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Group Wants PYJ, Others Face Justice

By Alex Yomah
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on Human Rights groups have endorsed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission TRC’s recommendations, indicating that the TRC’s reports which among other things, calls for the establishment of war and economic crimes tribunals aimed at prosecuting those who were involved in pillaging the nation’s resources and its devastation during the civil uprising must be implemented.
The Human Rights activists made the remarks during an opening ceremony marking a three- day “Public Outreach and Awareness on the Implementation of the TRC’s recommendations for Rural Community leaders and Community- based organizations to promote accountability” in Nimba County.
Speaking to reporters, Janet G. Flomo, who was victimized during the war, narrated that the TRC recommendations are intended to ensure justice for all, and that those culpable for causing various atrocities during the Liberian Civil War be punished to serve as a deterrent.
She said all those who perpetrated heinous crimes against peaceful citizens even including her own Senator Prince Johnson and other warlords must be made to account for their deeds against humanity.
The CSOs grouping which overwhelmingly approved the implementation of the TRC’s recommendations recounted, “Women and children’s rights were violated; innocent citizens were maimed, while the country’s resources were “milked” and most of those reported doers are still alive and are at the helm of power, and disgustingly, some are not remorseful.
Explaining how she was victimized, MS. Flomo narrated as saying; “My very self was victimized during the war. I was born with open teeth. Today, as you can see, I am now using false teeth because I refused to comply perhaps “to be sexually abused.” “Should such kind of people be allowed to go Scotch free while I live grieving throughout my life? In my mind, now justice must be done by allowing people who harmed us to pay for it,” she lamented.
Adding; “I want to see those who committed heinous crimes against humanity to be prosecuted and reprimanded. People got affected during the war, women and children were raped, citizens’ rights were violated which was never the intent of the war,” Ms. Flomo said.
The public awareness and public outreach which commenced in Nimba on Wednesday is in fulfillment with a statement from the National Colloquium of the Implementation of the TRC in keeping with Section 46 of the TRC Act of 2004, that states: “ Independent National Human Rights Commission (INCHR) shall be seized with the responsibility to ensure that all the Recommendations contained in the Report of the TRC are implemented and that civil society organizations and moral guarantors of the CPA shall be seized of the responsibility to monitor, and campaign for the scrupulous implementation of all recommendations contained in the Report”.
Based on the above, the INCHR in collaboration with the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), Civil Society Human Rights advocacy platform of Liberia (CSOHRAP}, and the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) Organized a three-day National Colloquium in Gbarnga City, Bong County to discuss and advise the government and people of Liberia on a way forward for the implementation of the TRC Report and Recommendations of 2009.
Speaking earlier, Sonny Onyegbula, Human Rights Officer of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said, “The colloquium which prompted the awareness brought together key advocates and government’s partners, CSOs, professional body like the National Bar Association that provided the opportunity for Liberians from all walks of Life to come together and chart a path forward for the TRC recommendations and the whole transitional justice.”
“So what you see now is just the implementation of the colloquium that was brought forward. So out of that, we had sensitization exercises that OHCHR is supporting through CSOs and other relevant partners. To tell the community what transitional justice is all about,” he stated.
According to him, OHCHR has been responsible for Transitional Justice believing that they have a role to support the government and the people of Liberia.
“The process is not a UN led process but a National one that allows the people of Liberia to desire the kind of options they want their government to take to address past crime. We at OHCHR recognized that it is very important to address human rights violations because there are many gains and when that happens, number-one; it serves as a deterrent to those that will want to commit said crime for fear of being held accountable,” OHCHR Representative said.
“It gives room for reconciliation; builds a strong united country to move on with development. It also affects the peace because people are not free to express themselves or present their cases. The OHCHR is only supporting the process because it deals with the rule of law and enable people express their grievances they have inside,” he indicated.

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