The Liberian government has failed to give an undertaking that it will create a war crimes court to prosecute those who allegedly committed atrocities during the country’s two armed conflicts spanning more than 14 years.
This week in Geneva, the government came under pressure at the 123rd session of the UN Human Rights Commission over the zero prosecution for crimes committed during the civil war, characterised by widespread human rights abuses.
In 2009, Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended the creation of a war crimes court but no action has yet been taken.
Activists are hoping that under new Administration headed by President George Weah, the country will finally be “addressing accountability for the crimes”.
For two days the Commission, which monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its member states, examined Liberia’s commitment to these principles.
The Liberian government delegation included Deputy Minister of Justice for Economic Affairs Kou Dorliae, the Deputy Minister for Administration and Public Safety, Juah Nancy Cassell, Solicitor General J. Daku Mulbah, and the Assistant Minister for Legal Affairs, Rosetta N. Jackollie.
The delegation did not give any commitment to the creation of the court but explained that for now the new Administration was focusing on reconciliation.
They added that with more Liberians calling for justice and accountability, the government would be making a public statement on implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations on accountability.