Liberian Leader To Lecture At Frank And Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series, As CJL Questions Rational Behind Her U.S Trip

As the specter of another crisis threatens Liberia’s fragile peace, the Coalition for Justice in Liberia (CJL) is appalled that amid Liberia’s current electoral stalemate, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf would travel to the United States yet again to solicit another undeserving award from the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas.

According to the University of Arkansas news media, both the Clinton School of Public Service and the Clinton Foundation will host a conversation with the Liberian President Sirleaf at the next Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture series.

The Coalition for Justice wishes to implore the international community’s intervention to save Liberia especially as justice and democracy are willfully undermined in Liberia.

It is important to note that throughout President Sirleaf’s 12-year leadership, the issue of justice for war crimes victims in Liberia, was ignored and never given prominence as critical to bringing about genuine peace, reconciliation and assuring post-conflict stability in the nation.

The 14-years brutal civil war caused the deaths of an estimated 250,000 Liberians and other foreigners, many of whom were vulnerable women and children. In addition, the war resulted in the destruction of the economy and caused half a million Liberians to be displaced in foreign countries, has made genuine peace and stability a far-fetched reality.

Furthermore, CJL wishes to inform the Clinton School of Public Service that those who committed such heinous crimes against the Liberian people, were cuddled and given protection by the Sirleaf led regime without any consequences for their crimes committed. Many of those who were directly involved in committing such war crimes and crimes against humanity are the same individuals who now control state power, and are more than determined to cling unto it more than ever before.

While CJL is fully cognizant and appreciative of the fact that the country has enjoyed relative peace over the last 12 years, we are deeply concerned that much has not been done by President Sirleaf who leaves office in a little over a month, to strengthen the foundation of peace and stability Liberia desperately needs.

As domestic and international human rights groups continue to mount pressure to find and prosecute warlords around the world, CJL wishes to call upon the Clinton Foundation, in particular, President Bill Clinton, to make the issue of justice for war victims in Liberia a priority because it offers the best solution to durable and sustainable peace in Liberia.  President Clinton could bring his fame and stature of influence to the table to hasten the implementation of Justice for war victims in Liberia. In the absence of justice, the people of Liberia, especially war crimes, victims will not fully experience healing and ending the entrenched culture of impunity that exists in Liberia.

Therefore, CJL vehemently protests the presence of President Sirleaf at your Institution who has trampled over the inalienable rights of war victims in Liberia. It baffles us that such person would be received and honored at Clinton School of Public Service to receive another undeserving award and recognition.   Such action contradicts, defeats and derails the purpose of the late Frank and Kula Kumpuris who believed, “…that through understanding, teaching, and discussion, the world could be a better place.”

“Now is the time to make justice a reality for ALL. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ms. Lovetta Tugbeh

Director, Coalition for Justice in Liberia

Mr. Bernard Goah,

Director, Operation we care for Liberia

Cllr. Frederick Jayway

Director, Africa Center for Law and Human Rights

Mr. Patrick Tuon

Director, Liberia Human Rights Campaign

“Now is the time to make justice a reality for ALL. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ms. Lovetta Tugbeh

Director, Coalition for Justice in Liberia

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About Cholo Brooks 15375 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.