Liberia’s President Joseph Boakai to set up first war crimes court

Source: BBC

Liberian President Joseph Boakai has signed an executive order to establish the country’s first war crimes court, more than 20 years after the end of two civil wars which killed 250,000 people.

Mr Boakai said Liberia had “endured downpours of agony”.

The 1989-2003 conflicts saw atrocities including mass killings, rape and the forced recruitment of child soldiers. 

Critics in Liberia have opposed the creation of the court, saying it risks reopening old wounds.

But Mr Boakai said the court would “help ferret the causes and effects of the violence” and bring about “justice and healing”.

This is the first major step towards creating a war crimes court in Liberia. 

A Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was set up in 2006 by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, but it was not a tribunal.

In 2009 the TRC identified a list of people to be prosecuted for war crimes, but no action was taken.

It was mired in political controversy as it named sitting politicians like Senator Prince Yormie Johnson.

No-one has been tried in Liberia but some perpetrators have been convicted in other countries. 

Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor is currently serving a 50-year sentence for war crimes in the United Kingdom but that was for his role in the conflict in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Related Post

No more posts to show

Post Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *