“When 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”.
“Support for the establishment of the Court has also been voiced by many international organizations, as well as some of our international partners”.
“Mr. President, we are at a loss to understand why the clamor for the establishment of the Court is now being made, almost a full decade after it was first called for, and during which time no such pressure was brought to bear on the government that grew out of the Accra Peace Accord”.
“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”.
HERE’S WHAT HE SAID TODAY IN REACTION TO A QUESTION:
“…since I came to power I have not called for a war crimes court. You the journalists did; Liberians did – the victims and the perpetrators did. What I did [at the UNGA] was to explain to them why now….is that what you want? We’ve sent to the legislature”.
WHERE’S THE DIFFERENCE IN HIS STANCE ON THE ISSUE?
Source: Boakai Fofana