The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Gov’t Reacts To TRC Boss Report

The Government of Liberia through the Executive Mansion has reacted to former Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Boss, Cllr. Jerome Verdier’s group –complaining the CDC-led Government to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the gov’t for Crimes Against Humanity.

Responding to the report during the Executive Mansion regular press briefing yesterday, Presidential Press Secretary, Isaac Solo Kelgbeh called on the media to profile the head of IJG before giving it heed for public discussion.
In a rather harsh worded retort, Mr. Kelgbeh said Cllr. Verdier probably needs to check the doctors noting that his allegation levied does not make any sense.
“I said this because this is a man who was part of drafting and going through what is called today ‘TRC’ and does not have the audacity to say a word on how the report will be rolled out but using the gullibility of the state to vent his anger due to personal gains.
According to Solo, as he’s famously called, Cllr. Verdier is an angry man and is spewing negative tales against this government because he drafted the ideology of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and he is not getting what he desires.
According to him, Cllr. Verdier has his right to spew out whatever he wants to say or write whatever he wants to write but noted that everything he wrote against government is incorrect.
He then urged Liberians not to support the former TRC boss because his utterances are not in the interest of the country and the people of Liberia in general.
Government’s reaction stems from the International Justice Group (IJG) owned and operated by Cllr. Jerome Verdier- which brought to his attention during questions and answer period.
IJG recently released a 46 page damming report calling on the International Crime Court in The Hague, to investigate the government of President George Manneh Weah for crimes against humanity allegedly committed by senior officials of the Weah’s government.
The report which is compiled by the IJG information and evidence Unit, called on Miss Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the ICC to investigate the widespread and systematic crimes against humanity perpetrated against citizens under the George Weah’s government since January 2018.
The letter to Madam Bensouda, a copy obtained by this paper states: “Greetings, Madam Prosecutor: We present with compliments and wish to refer the case of Liberia to you for INVESTIGATIONS INTO CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, widespread and systematically meted out violence against the civilian population since the incumbency of Mr. George M Weah, President of Liberia in January 2018.”
“ Not only is Mr. Weah believed to be spinning the wheels of criminal violence from behind the scenes against his own people, but his regime, His Office, has become conspicuously silent on the widespread and recurrent incidents of violence against women, young girls and children and people the regime has invariably referred to as “enemies of the state”.
“President Weah has empowered his City Mayor as the perpetrator-in-chief. Mayor Jefferson Koije, The Mayor of Monrovia, appointed by Mr. Weah behaves like a violent psychopath who acts under the authority of President Weah alone and is shielded and protected by him. We are worried that the malediction of impunity has given justice a repugnant name in the Liberian society,” The letter to the ICC read.
The communication also stated that after 13 years of fratricide in Liberia when war crimes and crimes against humanity were massively committed, no one, to date, has been brought to book in Liberia despite efforts by other nations to hold these war perpetrators accountable and Reports of The Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommending criminal and political accountability for war time atrocities, the Weah government has failed to implement such.
The IJG letter further stated that accountability for war time atrocities and ongoing crimes against humanity is not an option for a society transitioning from war to peace – it is a must!
“We implore you, Madam Prosecutor, to act in Liberia. Our seriousness is well grounded on the realization that if nothing is done about past crimes, ongoing crimes against humanity and violence, and lawlessness will escalate, and Liberia may return to its once regrettable “Failed State” status. Because of their own involvement in committing Crimes against Humanity, the Government of Liberia neither has the will nor the capacity to investigate and prosecute those involved.”
“As the International Criminal Court is truly the court of last resort must intervene to save the lives of innocent citizens of Liberia as well as put an end to the senseless violence, including wide scale rape and sexual violence against our girls and women who continue to be traumatized on a daily basis,” IJG letter continued.
Furthermore, the communication to the ICC Chief Prosecutor noted that the State (Liberia) will regress into violence and human rights violations and impunity will become entrenched: “… the rule of law under President Weah may be undermined by individuals whose records do not inspire confidence in attaining the goals of fighting corruption, ending impunity and promoting national reconciliation, as well as transparency, in public management…with the very weak separation of powers, weak rule of law and wrong people appointed, the country risk going down a slippery path, which may lead and plunge into the abyss.
“ Given such a disposition, and judging from experience, journalists and the media, first in the line of fire, may be in for rough ride, given the torrent of vitriolic attacks against media practitioners,” the IJG letter under the signature of its Chairman Cllr. Jerome J Verdier, Sr read.
The International Justice Group, communication to ICC Chief Prosecutor, outlined over 200 alleged atrocities committed by key members of the George Weah government which must be investigated.
It may be recalled, last Tuesday, January 7, 2020, the Independent National Human Rights Commission (INCHR), in conjunction with the Civil Society Human Rights Platform, released an ugly report on the Council of Patriots, Monday’s, January 6, 2020 protest, called on the government of Liberia to investigate the cause of ‘Excessive use of force by state security against peaceful and unarmed protesters’.
The joint statement also called on the government of President George Manneh Weah to answer to why it hired, deployed, and used ex-rebel generals who are excused of committing gross human rights abuses.
The statement by the Independent National Human Rights further stated that during the protest, human rights monitors identified a vehicle occupied by former notorious rebel generals among the protesters when all vehicles were being stopped by the Liberia National Police and not allowed to enter the protest grounds.
The human rights groups confirmed in the joint statement that monitors saw vividly ex-LURD rebel General Ofori Diah driving the unmarked vehicle, along with ex-NPFL General Siafa Norman, ex-ULIMO-J General Augustine Nagbe alias “General Power,” and four others, who are noted for committing gruesome murders ranging from opening pregnant women’s stomach and cutting off limbs of children as young as 5 years, during the Liberian Civil War.
The Rights groups stated that their concerns stems from a “No go zone” set by state security for vehicles as police officers mounted vehicles to monitor protesters who were converging on the protest grounds.
The joint monitoring statement further noted that to their dismay, those rebel generals, some of whom are recorded for committing atrocities in Liberia’s civil war, were on a vehicle among the protesters who were peaceful sparking concerns and fears.
It may be recalled, the former rebel generals last October threatened on state radio ELBC to arrest Representative Yekeh Kolubah, for his continued critical stands against the George Weah government, even though he himself (Rep. Kolubah) is also a former general of the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia- NPFL, of now jailed war criminal Charles Taylor.
The former rebel generals also announced last year that they were forming a non-governmental organization with the support of Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, something that sparked public debate about the intent of the government supporting such a group in the name of an NGO.
Recently, one of the rebel generals, commonly known as ‘general power’, was seen active on the day Roots FM, owned and operated by talk show host and Chairman of the Weah step down campaign Henry P. Costa, was shut down by court orders that the station was not airing in accordance with the Liberia Telecommunication Authority-LTA regulations.
Sources told this paper that ‘general power’, is actively executing and administering orders of Sam Sanyon, Deputy for Operations, at the National Security Agency-NSA, but is not an employee of the NSA and amongst other allegations.

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