LNBA Runs to UN Security Council on War Crimes Court Issue; Pleads for UN Resolution

After the Liberian senate passed a resolution for the establishment of a transitional justice, the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) has run to the United Nations Security Council with an appeal to pass a resolution establishing a war and economic crimes court in Liberia.

Speaking at a program marking the observance of the International Justice Day organized by the Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia, in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Monrovia, LNBA’s President said the UN Security Council should set up a justice mechanism for Liberia, stating that the people of Liberia are powerless in ensuring the establishment of war and economic tribunal in the country.

Cllr. Gongloe further noted that relying on the Liberian government will never yield to the establishment of such court so the UNSC should pass the resolution and impose it on the state and the government

The Liberia National Bar Association’s President maintained that this is because the executive is dominating the other two branches of the government, and it has done so over the years.

He is quoted as saying, “It has been this way under the governments under William Tubman, Richard Tolbert, Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. If the Executive Mansion does not want something in the legislature and Supreme Court, it does not happen,”

He also added, “President George Weah does not want war and economic crimes court established in Liberia. But if he wants it, because, there must be accountability for war, the next day , the legislature will past it into law and allot the budget.”

Cllr. Gongloe also disclosed that Liberian president has diversional tactics, because when he or she does not want to solve certain problems based on public outcry , he or she sets up a committee or commission to deal with it but the committee or commission will never be made public.

Cllr. Gongloe, who is former Solicitor General of Liberia, said this is one of the reasons he resigned from the Unity Party-led government because former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf deviated from her political pronouncement, action and good governance.

He went on to say, “The worst thing Madam Sirleaf did was to institutionalize bribery in the legislature and currently, nothing goes through the lawmakers without envelope.”

Cllr. Gongloe further accused the Liberian legislature, “The good things in the interest of the masses will be buried unless their(legislature) pocket is full and it is an open secret that the president controls the legislature and the judiciary.”

The Bar Association president hinted that he was once informed by a lawmaker that there is a need for Liberians to look for someone with good moral standing to occupy the executive mansion for a decision of this nature to take place in the country, which is not possible

He noted that the international community is wondering whether the estimated 250,000 who were killed as a result of the war is not an issue to the lawmakers in Liberia.

Cllr. Gongloe expressed surprise to see that some of the lawmakers have relatives who were killed during the war but they do not care simply because of greed for power.

The well learned counselor expressed skepticism for the lower House to pass a law establishing the war and economic court because the list on which the representatives affixed their signatures is also missing.

“I am of the opinion that the lower house will also agree with the Liberian Senate because there will be financial inducements and they have all failed us because the pedicle of governance is for the government to seek the interest of the governed,” Cllr. Gongloe stated.

For her part, former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Massa Washington said the senators who voted in favor of the establishment of the Transition Justice Commission constitutes a betrayal of the trust of the people who voted for them

According to her, most of the disadvantaged adults who are on the streets are a result of the war because their futures were snatched away.

She claimed that whatever has happened at the Liberian Senate is just a constitutional established institution doing what is illegal and she has lost respect for some of these senators.

Madam Washington described the decision of the Liberian Senate to vote in favor of the establishment of the transitional justice commission as fraud, bogus, illegal and a sham.

She called on Liberians to vote out the senators who backed the TJC and their collaborators in any other election because they do not care about the people or have any interest in the people they are representing.

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