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

“I Never Call For War Crimes Court” –Weah

By Alex Yomah
President George Manneh Weah seems to be uncertain over the CDC led-government’s actual intent of establishing the War and Economic Crimes Court, after recently rallying members of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA, when he addressed the Assembly on behalf of the Liberian Government.
The Liberian leader’s message at the UNGA referencing his government’s effort so far, for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court was resounding and captivating, especially as he provided updates on steps already taken to ensure the court is a reality in Liberia.
But it appears that the UNICEF former Ambassador who once called for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court might have summersaulted as recent comments attributed to the Liberian leader, upon his arrival from the USA, send absolutely to different signal.
President Weah told newsmen while on the Liberian soil that since he became President of Liberia, he has never called for War and Economic Crimes Court. However, the Liberian leader indicated that said call was made by the Liberian journalists as well as victims and perpetrators.
Weah, amongst many things said at the UNGA, that he had anticipated restorative justice over retributive justice but Liberians have expressed their unflinching support for retributive justice; a call he consented to, and therefore rallied international partners to fund the establishment of the court.
President Weah made the assertions to Executive Mansion reporters on Tuesday, October 1, at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) when he arrived from the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
According to the Liberian leader, at no time since his ascendency to the presidency had he call for the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court, and he also impugned those requesting for the court.
“I never called for War and Economic Crimes Court. It is you the journalists; the victims and perpetrators are the ones calling for War Crimes court,” Weah averred.
“I do not know why Liberians continue to call for the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court especially at a time the country is facing serious challenges,” President Weah questioned the demand for the court.
The Soccer legend also wondered as to why Liberians did not call for the court during the former regime of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf but chose now.
Weah added: “So, why now? Is that what you want? Okay, I have sent it to the Legislature so Liberians can talk about it. I want to give you an opportunity to talk about it instead of everyday disturbing the peace of the country.
Addressing world leaders at the UNGA he said; “I spoke before you last September, after my first nine (9) months in office, I indicated a preference for dialogue as a conflict-resolution mechanism, so that as a Government and People, we could together focus our efforts on poverty-reduction, growth, and economic development, rather than on retribution.
However, since that time, there has been a rising chorus of voices from many quarters, calling for the establishment of an Economic and War Crimes Court. These voices include not only thousands of war victims, but also some of the alleged perpetrators, who seem to wish to either clear their names or their conscience.
Nevertheless, our Government is a listening Administration, and we have been paying keen attention to the voices of our people. What I have discerned from their cries is that it is important to bring closure to the wounds from the 14 years of Liberia’s brutal civil war, and that we need to agree on a mechanism that would guarantee the sustenance of peace, stability, justice, and reconciliation, as well as enhance our prospects for economic recovery. Considering the importance of this matter, I have already begun consultations with our National Legislature – the representatives of our people – and we intend to have a broader engagement with the Liberia Judicial System, and with our strategic International Partners and Organizations, in order to determine pertinent issues such as legal framework, timing, venue, and funding, among others.
It is my hope that at the end of this consultative process, a National Consensus will evolve that will determine the pathway to resolving this issue. I therefore ask for your unflinching support, as we embark upon this important national endeavour,” President Weah said.

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