Forming a tribunal in Liberia to try people accused of committing war crimes during the West African nation’s civil war appears thin as local and international justice activists fail to bind a coordinated front.
Rivalry clots at the heart of campaign to establish war and economic crimes court for Liberia according to Massa Washington – an eminent member of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
She alleges pursuit for money and fame is undermining efforts to end impunity and administer justice.
“For some of you calling yourselves international advocates, the issue of justice and War Crimes in Liberia is another opportunity to make your millions of the tears, blood, sufferings and deaths of the Liberian people,” Ms. Washington said.
In 2010, the TRC proffered the Court’s creation to put on trial warlords and rebel combatants who bear greatest responsibility for the mass murder, enslavement, rape and looting that occurred during the wars of the ‘90s and early 2000s.
What The Truth Commissioner Says?
Ms. Washington, exiled in the US wrote on facebook:
‘Wow wow and more wow! So now we have this International fight and harmful competition over supremacy and ownership of who can make the TRC’s Recommendations for a War Crimes Court happen in Liberia. All of this harmful and selfish propaganda and sowing seeds of discourse amongst justice advocates serves no valuable purpose to the quest for justice for the over 250, 000 of our love ones and murdered compatriots. The only purpose this act of selfishness serves, is to line the pockets of these charlatans with loots from an already impoverished people.
‘Where were some of these so-called international justice advocates when “little people” like myself and other TRC Commissioners worked our butts off honestly with little resources amidst an extremely hostile environment under the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s government who was heavily supported by the international community?
‘Where were all these “supreme internationals justice gurus” when TRC Commissioners were chased into hiding from threats to our lives and those of our families?
‘Where were you guys when our just and hard-earned enumerations and benefits were denied us because we dare and bravely called a spade a spade?
‘Where were you guys when the six brave TRC Commissioners, myself included, who signed the Final Report of the TRC were marginalized and ostracized in the Liberian society by the Unity Party Government of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her warring factions allies as if to say we are the ones who murdered the over 250, 000 war victims.
‘Where were some of these our international “heroes” when poor TRC Commissioners such as myself were abused, vilified, and continued to be abuse and vilified even today by warlords, their allies and supporters?
‘For some of you calling yourselves international advocates, the issue of justice and War Crimes in Liberia is another opportunity to make your millions of the tears, blood, sufferings and deaths of the Liberian people.
‘But for us TRC Commissioners who truly represented the interest of our people, having a War Crimes Court in Liberia is about addressing the gross violations of the human rights of our people and getting justice for family members, friends, the communities, the greater Liberian population and innocent peace loving Nationals of ECOWAS and the rest of the world who were murdered in cold blood by warring factions and their collaborators.
‘For us, it has never been about the next appointment in government or money or self- glorification.
‘Our presence on the TRC was about implementation of the TRC Mandate, which laid a clear path for lasting peace in Liberia.
‘For some of you calling yourselves internationals justice advocates, it has been about finding your next source of filling your pockets. Charlatans and Carpetbaggers you are and the Liberian people see.