Implementing the Final Report of the TRC will Enhance Justice, and Ensure Human Rights Compliance in Africa, Part II

Implementing the Final Report of the TRC will Enhance Justice, and Ensure Human Rights Compliance in Africa

By Frederick A.B. Jayweh, Counselor-At-Law
Part II

5)  Taking of Hostages:
The perpetrator seizes, detains or otherwise holds hostage one of more people. The perpetrator threatened to kill, injure or continue to detain such person or persons for personal or financial gain and material benefit.

6)  Outrages upon Personal Dignity:
The perpetrator humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of one or more persons. The severity of the humiliation, degradation or other violation was of such degree as to be generally recognized as an outrage upon personal dignity of unarmed people.

7)  Kidnapping:
an accused is guilty of kidnapping if he unlawfully removes another from his place of residence or business, or substantial distance from the vicinity where he is found, or if he unlawfully confines another for a substantial period in a place of isolation, with any of the following purposes in mind:

  1. To hold for ransom or reward;
    ii.  To use him as a shield or hostage;
    iii.  To hold him in condition of involuntary servitude;
    iv.  To facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter;
    v.   To inflict bodily injury on or to terrorized the victim or another;

Economic Crime:

  1. A)  Economic Crime: – A person is guilty of a first degree felony, if he/she, engaged in any activity by a public or private person of any nationality, or domestic or international corporate entity conducting or facilitating business in or related to Liberia, or on behalf of the Liberian government, a Liberian business, or Liberian resident or citizen, that generates illicit profit either individually or collectively or in any organized manner by engaging in, fraud, narcotic drug trafficking, money laundering, embezzlement, bribery, looting and any form of corruption and malpractices, etc. against a nation state and people.
  2. B) Fraud on the Internal Revenue of Liberia:

A person is guilty of a first degree felony, if he/she:

  1. Knowingly conspires or colludes to defraud the Government of Liberia;
    ii.  Knowingly makes an opportunity for any person to defraud the Government of
    Liberia or another;
    iii.  Does or omits to do any act with intent to enable another to defraud the
    Government of Liberia; and
    iv.  Makes or signs any fraudulent entry in any book or record of any Ministry or
    agency of the Government or signs any fraudulent certificate, return or
    statement.  Actually, the list could go on when it comes to this crime.

We are fully aware and are witnesses to the fact that during the nearly 15 years of armed conflict in Liberia, all the warring factions and their leaders intentionally violated all of the provisions of law cited above during the armed conflict in Liberia.  The Final Report of the TRC along these lines is strongly support by us. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, PP 3-10, ICRC Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law, and International Human Rights, PP  1-2

D} Individual Criminal Responsibility

Any person that plans, instigates, commits, aids and abets in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime is responsible for the crime. Further, any person, or persons, groups or entities involved in a joint criminal enterprise or conspiracy including those that planned, instigated, ordered, committed, aided or abetted the planning, preparation or execution of any crime referred to under international human rights law, international humanitarian law, the laws of war, irrespective of that perpetrator’s official position, whether a President or Head of State, government official, or elected representative, irrespective of the accused citizenship or status in the  society shall not be absolved from criminal responsibility nor mitigate the punishment for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. All the warring factions and their leaders are clearly responsible for the crimes that they committed from 1989 to 2003 in Liberia. We also strongly support and uphold this aspect of the Final Report of the TRC because that all the warring factions and their leaders notoriously and openly committed violations of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and the laws of war, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Liberia. Obligation to Respect, Ensure Respect for and Implement International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law; The Scope of Obligation; Statute of Limitations, PP 1-6. And Individual Criminal Responsibility, P 17.

Whether it be in war time or peace time, state and non-state’s actors obligation under international human rights law, international humanitarian law, the laws of war are never suspended when it comes to promoting, respecting and upholding human rights compliance in Africa. We also strongly support the Final Report of the TRC and recommend that all warring faction leaders, supporters, and their financiers be accordingly indicted, tried and sentenced consistent with the crimes that they committed from 1989 to 2003 in Liberia. Since and because no amount of domestic statute of limitation or the Constitution of Liberia can be used to shield or legally shelter human rights violators from facing the full force and effect of the law, we overwhelmingly and forcefully acquiesce and support the final report of the TRC as released because it represents a structural and constructive roadmap to true reconciliation, justice and peace in Liberia.  We also further, support the findings that all political and financial leaders of the warring factions and supporters of the war in Liberia be banned from holding public office for 30 years as determined and recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia and they must also be required to criminally and civilly account for their unlawful behaviors from 89 to 2003.

In view of the above and to actually ensure lasting peace, justice and reconciliation in Liberia, we are calling on the government of the Republic of Liberia, upon the receipt of the Final Report of the TRC by the National Legislature and the Head of State to proceed to forthwith start to implement the Final Report of the TRC as provided for in section 48 of the May 12, 2005 Act that created the TRC. Further, and because all the Commissioners of the TRC and their staff are officials of the government of Liberia, we are encouraging the government of Liberia to proceed to immediately restore their works and activities to the National budget of Liberia and to further provide them security effective immediately as it is being done by the government of Liberia for all other employees and citizens of Liberia. We also support the findings that there needs to be further investigation to establish who else committed war crimes and supported the war and destruction in Liberia. Acting accordingly and swiftly to enforce all the recommendations and findings of the TRC is certainly in the best interest of lasting peace, justice, reconciliation, the rule of law and human rights compliance in Africa.

“The African Union has declared 2016 as African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the rights of women in Africa. This auspicious year is seen as a veritable watershed in the continental human rights trajectory: it marks, among others, the 35th Anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) in 1981; the 30th Anniversary of the entry into force of the African Charter in 1986; the 10th Anniversary of the operationalization of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Court); and the 15th Anniversary of the operationalization of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC)”; African Union (AU) 2016.

Consistent with the clear and enforceable posture and approach of the African Union (AU) as cited above, it remains our sense that implementing the Final Report of the TRC, will certainly enhance the justice, peace and human rights compliance in Africa and for Africa. Thus, we herewith recommend and encourage all friendly nations and governments to whenever possible, indict, arrest, prosecute an sentence the following people for committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and economic crime in Liberia:

Most Notorious Warlords

  • Charles G. Taylor, former Leader, NPFL
  • Prince Y. Johnson, former Leader of the INPFL
  • Alhaji G. Kromah, former Leader of ULIMO-K
  • George S. Boley, former Leader of LPC
  • Sekou D. Konneh, former Leaders of LURD
  • Thomas Yaya Nimley, former Leader of MODEL

We are equally encouraging all friendly nations and governments to when possible, indict, arrest and prosecute all those that associated themselves with the warring factions in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Liberia as documented by the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation (TRC).