The Palaver Hut
The ancient Romans had a proverb for it: “A wealthy man can err with impunity”. That was when corrupt Caesars were ruling the roost and playing the fiddle, while their city burned.
Things were supposed to have improved in the last couple of thousands years. But still there is the stink of cordite about the way unlimited powers bestowed on our governments is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it in our modern society, with the manner in which our politicians’ business type characters are firing up the law to burn down our freedoms.
For instance, the United-Nations post-war recommendations for Liberian reconciliation process stated that those appointed or elected to the new government must be individuals of high moral characters and integrity with untainted past records.
It warned against the naming of discredited cronies of past leaders to posts in the broad-based transitional government. That was before the 2003 Liberian elections!
I grew up believing in the power of the United Nations, an organisation that focuses on rights. So I was astonished when I realised that Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf refused and disagreed with the UN. She also refuted the prosecution of Liberian War criminals, as part of the healing process for Liberian war victims. Am I missing something here?
Apparently though, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was alleged to be one of the Liberian war financiers, together with self-imposed war generals who have been compensated by being elected Senators and ministers in her government. These are people who allegedly played an active role in the Liberian war that lasted for 14 years, leaving so many dead and wounded.
Also, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that was set up instead of a War Crimes Court in Liberia produced a report recommending the creation of a War Crimes Court.
The report also listed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as one of the people who should be sanctioned for committing war crimes, meaning that she was supposed to be barred from public office.
Strangely enough, the International Community and the UN are turning a blind eye to these recommendations as President Ellen Sirleaf and her team are preparing to run again for public office this year.
This is shockingly disrespectful to the memory of the dead victims of the 14 years of war in Liberia, because all these acts illustrate the utter travesties of our International Communities, UN and its justice system.
Let me give you a case in point. Chukie Taylor, the son of the notorious Charles Taylor currently facing a War Crimes Court in The Hague has been imprisoned for 99 years by the US Government for his engagement in the heinous war-crimes in Liberia.
Yet, the International Community, the British Government and the US Government are turning a blind eye and letting Liberians not only live with the rest of the alleged war criminals, but also be led by them.
Young Liberians need help of the International Community to establish War Crimes Court in Liberia. We deserve to have it on a platter of gold because we’ve suffered too much in the early part of our lifetime to continue to fight for it.
I honestly do not know how the World Government expects justice for the innocent victims of the Liberian war, when many of the alleged perpetrators are now the prosecutors, judges, and lawmakers!
By Joseph Spencer