Monday, May 16, 2011

Libya: Hague Prosecutor Seeks Arrest Warrant for Gaddafi

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced Monday that his office will seek arrest warrants on war crimes charges for Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, whom Ocampo described as the “de facto prime minister,” and Director of Military Intelligence Abdullah Al-Senussi, Gaddafi’s “right hand man, the executioner” on war crimes charges.

According to Ocampo, Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians in their homes and in public spaces. His forces shot demonstrators with live ammunition, used heavy weaponry to attack funeral processions, and placed snipers at mosques to target individuals exiting prayers. And “revolutionary committees,” commanded by Gaddafi’s son, created lists of anti-government participants who were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and then disappeared. Ocampo added that these crimes are ongoing in Gaddafi-controlled areas.

Ocampo identified the three leaders as the “most” responsible for the murder and persecution of civilians, but noted that the choice to omit others from the list does not mean they are innocent. Libyan authorities have the power to conduct their own investigations and to take further actions against other individuals.

Ocampo would not give much detail on the evidence his office has collected, but noted that it was “strong.” He said that there was evidence that each of the three named individuals committed crimes, and that the three held meetings on how to plan and direct operations.

The Office of the Prosecutor has handed over a 74-page dossier to a three-judge panel of the court. The panel will now review the strength of the evidence and determine whether to accept his request for arrest warrants, reject it, or ask for further investigations. Ocampo said that he expects the decision will come in a matter of weeks.

If the panel decides to issue warrants, Libyan authorities will then have a legal duty to implement them. Ocampo said that he both hopes and thinks that Libya will do so, as facts show that Libyans, whom Gaddafi has ruled for so long through fear, are now beginning to lose that fear.

In the meantime, the Office of the Prosecutor will conduct further investigations into alleged rapes, killings of sub-Saharan Africans considered to be mercenaries, and other war crimes. It will liaise with an inquiry being conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is to issue a detailed report at the beginning of June.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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