Hundreds of Liberians under the banner ‘Movement For War And Economic Crimes Court’ on Monday, 12 November 2018, submitted a petition to the Government of Liberia, for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court to put an end to impunity and drastically reduce corruption.
According to the petition, the establishment of the War Crime Court will bring justice to the families, relatives and friends of victims who were gruesomely murdered and raped during the 14 years of civil crisis in Liberia.
The petition recounted that the Liberian civil war took away the lives of two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) innocent Liberians and also witnessed the raping of women and children as well as the conscription of youngsters into rebel factions, which according to them, led to the massive pillaging of every fabric of Liberian society.
According to the petitioners, the heinous crimes perpetrated by rebel factions against humanity, which violated humanitarian laws should not go unpunished. “The facts and evidence that tell this sad and ugly story of our country are readily and conspicuously available in every nook and crony of Liberia,” the petitioners pointed out.
The petition indicates that proving justice for the barbaric crimes committed during the the civil unrest in the country is the only way to right the wrongs and reconcile the country and its people, which will finally end the culture of impunity in Liberia.
“Heads of warring factions betrothed in the massive killings of our people and the destruction of our country still walk freely in the midst of their victims they violated, degraded, abused, vilified, raped and sexually enslaved during their heydays of violence. It will be sad, regrettable and shameful for the world to let these atrocities go unpunished, it will be disappointing and mistaken for such heinous crimes to go unpunished,” the petition lamented.
The petition also stressed that the establishment of the Economic Crimes Court will help end persistent greed and dishonesty of leaders in Liberia, adding that impunity has caused leaders in Liberia to amass wealth unduly for themselves, thereby subjecting the entire citizenry to horrible poverty.
“Corruption is eating up every part of Liberia, impoverishing 90 per cent of the citizenry; it is eating up the entire country; making development stagnant,” the petition further lamented.
Responding to the petition, the Legal Advisor to President George Weah, Archibald Bernard, lauded the protesters for the peaceful manner in which they conducted themselves, adding: “This is the essence of our democracy. I have received your petition, and heard your words being added to it and will be delivered directly to the president,” Bernard indicated.