Dr. Clarence R. Pearson, Sr. has called on President George Manneh Weah to take advantage of the Senate error to write the United Nations and establish for Liberia the prosecution of would-be war criminals.
In an open letter to the Liberian leader, Dr. Pearson used the football games as a scenario. He said in the game there there is something called ball. He brought the scenario to the attention of the President as the facts that he is acquainted with. He noted that there are two major advantages that an opponents may have that could cost him (Weah) to lose the game. He named superior ball possession and utilization of scoring opportunities.
Dr. Pearson said President Weah lost both possessions and his chance to score on justice, reconciliation, and national healing by giving the deciding choice of the matter to his opponent – the Senate. He said had the Senate maintained possession and delivered on the matter, they would have scored big against the President’s team.
He reminded the Liberian leader that in the game of soccer, the quality of the skills of his opponents may cause them to also loose possession and miss scoring opportunities, and they (the Senate) did so by giving back possession.
Stating that as former World Best, and the King of African Soccer, he is fully aware that a wise captain will not allow himself to make the same mistake twice, and that your next move must best your previous.
He went on to say that the Liberian Senate has lost possession to Weah. Arguing that they have missed the chance to capitalize on the President’s mistake. “They have missed an opportunity that would have given them an edge in 2023 and beyond. They have glorify you as the Father of the Nation – Mama Liberia; as the one who should deliver justice to thousands of Liberians and foreign partners that suffered egregious crimes as a result of a 14-year of brutal civil conflict. A conflict during which you stood as an icon of peace and hope to millions of Liberians and foreign partners when everything seemed gloomy and lost. Your selfless interventions gave you international recognition amid your already well-established fame ad a soccer legend – the documentary evidence os there to prove it, he noted.
He urged President Weah to write the United Nations for help in setting up a Special Court for Liberia as a short-term path to criminal accountability, cautioning the President not to be afraid.
He is quoted as saying “The very UN will provide the resources, strategy, and the security you need to see this through. We trusted the international community with our security when we didn’t have a single means to protect ourselves. They rescued us with blood and substantial amount of resources. Do you think they will sit and allow this country to revert to chaos under their watch. Remember former President Taylor with the biggest fighting forces, including the rebranded AFL, ERU, PSU, etc. and the International community still apprehended him without repercussions from his supporters. Consider the case of Sierra Leone also. Mr. President, you have an opportunity to go down into history once again achieving what none of your peers would ever dream of achieving. Requesting the UN help to establish a Special Court for Liberia is an opportunity, not a challenge to your administration. This is a goal you do not have to score directly, it only requires a surgical through pass to the UN, they will do the scoring; but it will be your team that wins.”
He suggested that for a long term strategy and in the spirit of team effort, the President should support the National Legislature’s recommendation to form a Transitional Justice Commission (TJC) as long as it does not duplicate the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), or usurp the function of the Independent National Human Rights Commission(INHRC).
He stated that it could be a long-term institution used to work to maintain the peace through those technical and professional mechanisms that help the country deal with political, economic, and social cleavages. He mentioned that the body could also be used to facilitate the path to and mitigate issues arising from the Special Court for Liberia, as well as serve as the official body to watch over and keep the peace of the motherland.