|OWCL President |
Bernard Gbayee Goah
While we applaud the Minister’s boldness we are only too aware that in order for Liberia’s elections to be accepted by all parties, the process must be credible and transparent at all levels. For Liberia’s elections to be credible, those bearing the greatest responsibility for atrocities in Liberia must be held accountable before the 2011 elections. Assets of former President Charles Taylor and his associates must be frozen as demanded by the UN Security Council.
Allegations of War Crime remain unaddressed
While allegations of War Crimes remain unaddressed, and those suspected of committing them are the judges in charge of running the affairs of the country, elections in Liberia cannot be considered credible. Liberia’s 2011 election results will not be considered credible because there are major war crime suspects among candidates vying for public offices. Living under the dark cloud of guilt and suspicion, former warlords and their financiers have rejected the way forward to peace in Liberia. They have refused to accept the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) recommendations, even though it is one of the best available remedies for sustainable peace. Sadly, these are the very individuals in power today preventing justice from taking its course!
After reviewing all the evidence, the Truth Commission felt it necessary to recommend that Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be banned from public office for no less than 30 years. This is a clear indication of the extent of her involvement in the carnage. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s incredulity in the face of mounting evidence is incomprehensible. The presence of Madam Sirleaf in government makes it impossible for Liberia’s 2011 elections results to be considered credible because the country is currently being run by her. And again she has presented herself as a presidential aspirant whereas she should be answering questions in a court of law.
OWCL calls upon ICC to implement TRC final report
A step toward ensuring the upcoming election is credible would be by implementing the TRC final recommendations. We call on the International Criminal court (ICC) to take over the implementation of Liberia’s TRC final report due to the fact that there are evidence of international crimes been committed by certain individuals in Liberia, also because the Sirleaf led government is unwilling to implement said report.
A peaceful Liberia demands accountability, justice, and then reconciliation. Those bearing the greatest responsibility for atrocities in Liberia must be held accountable. They must not be allowed to walk freely or hold any positions in the next Liberian government! This is necessary in order to begin genuine reconciliation.
Madam Sirleaf must demonstrate leadership by either complying with the TRC recommendation that she not hold public office for 30 years, or invite the International Criminal Court to Liberia to investigate crimes committed in Liberia during the course of the civil war. After all, she vigorously supported and promoted the truth telling approach to national healing. Her acceptance of the TRC recommendations or inviting of the ICC to Liberia will compel other former warlords to cooperate. This will also serve as a deterrent to those who believe in the use of arms to obtain state power.
Lastly we look forward to seeing serious actions from the government of Germany as regards the anti corruption comments made by its Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development (Mr. Dirk Niebel) during his official visit to Liberia.
May God save Liberia!
Bernard Gbayee Goah
President, Operation We Care for Liberia (OWCL)