By: Joel Cholo Brooks
Liberians both at home and abroad are calling for the establishment of economic and war crimes court for Liberia, but it seems the current leadership of Africa’s oldest nation, headed by President George Manneh Weah are paying deaf ears to this call, even with the involvement of some US lawmakers.
President Weah who was named as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 2004called for the formation and establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia to arrest and prosecute all “warlords” for recruiting and arming children in Liberia.
According to Ambassador Weah, the tribunal when established, should be given the authority to identify, locate, arrest and prosecute all those who committed heinous crimes during the devastating and bloody war in the country.
Addressing a news conference held at the UNICEF-Liberia headquarters in Monrovia on 23rd April 2004, the nation’s foremost soccer legend made specific reference to warlords who forcibly recruited, trained and armed the Liberian children to participate in the 14-year arms conflict.
“Those who armed the children and committed heinous crimes against them should be brought to book”, the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador noted, adding that those to be prosecuted include warlords and military commanders of the various belligerent groups who, for their own selfish gains, brought children into the conflict.
Speaking further Ambassador Weah at the time challenged the former child soldiers to take advantage of the DDRR program and forget about the means of getting quick money. He appealed to the child-soldiers to submit to the DDRR exercise by disarming to UNMIL.
Now it is about time now that President Weah make true his 2004 call for the prosecution of war lords and others who committed heinous against the people of Liberia, many of whom are living with impunity.