Liberian senators back creation of war and economic crimes court

Liberian senators back creation of war
The Liberian Senate

Liberian senators back creation of war: On Tuesday (Apr. 9), the majority of Liberia’s 29 senators gave their approval to the creation of a War and Economic Crimes Court, which is a major step forward in the twenty years following the country’s worst war.

The law had already caused controversy before it was approved since some senators were former warlords.

Justice and accountability for all parties involved in the wars must be prioritized, according to Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, the Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate.

“Establishing [the court] is a necessary and critical step towards formal closure to the painful memories of the past, ensuring peace, and restoring confidence in the rule of law and the administration of justice in our country,” Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence told reporters.

She went on to say that Liberia’s dedication to the rule of law, fighting impunity for major crimes, bolstering the justice system, and promoting respect for human rights and international law is reflected in the country’s establishment of a war crimes court. The presence of the court, Senator Lawrence said, will prevent further breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights atrocities.

Massacres, rape, and the enlistment of minors as combatants were hallmarks of Liberia’s two civil wars, which raged from 1989 to 2003.

Nothing was done despite the fact that a truth and reconciliation committee suggested setting up a special tribunal to try the accused.

In early March, President Joseph Boakai proposed the creation of the court, and 42 out of 72 lawmakers expressed their support for the idea.

Estimates put the number of casualties from the two civil wars at 250,000.

Activists claim that past Liberian presidents have been reluctant to establish the court because they want to protect themselves or their allies from prosecution.


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