After three years of extensive investigation, statement-taking from tens of thousands Liberians and the convening of a national conference, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) has released its final report which contains the following statement:
“The full and timely implementation of these recommendations is critical to Liberia’s recovery and progress beyond the conflict and will contribute to a more equitable society in which everyone is equal before a set of laws which guarantee equal protection and opportunity for all.”
The comprehensive report is yet another milestone on the very difficult journey toward normalcy. Therefore, we join the TRC in calling for implementation without delay. Because entrusting the affairs of state to persons whose offences are so egregious they must be barred from public office for up to 30 years and/or the possibility of long-term prison term is a risk this nation cannot afford.
STAND agrees with the TRC that persons currently holding elected office who have been recommended for prosecution and/or debarment should because of financial constraints complete their tenure of office. However, to protect the interests of the State and guide against inappropriate behavior on the part of these individuals, particularly as it relates to contractual agreements; we propose that a select group of upstanding citizens be empanelled at the soonest for the purpose of overseeing and approving all major contracts as well as long-term commitments involving the Republic.
Also, we would like to use this occasion to call upon the international community, particularly the United States, to support the will of the Liberian people as expressed in the TRC report. And that funds and expertise are made available for the ‘Extraordinary Criminal Tribunal for Liberia’ to ensure the proceedings are fair, swift and just.
It must be noted, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as well as the vast majority of affected persons voted overwhelmingly for the Truth telling process; now they must comply with these recommendations. No longer must they be allowed to threaten the peace, security and stability of Liberia and the Sub-region at large.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) was established at the end of the peace conference in Accra, Ghana when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed by all parties to the conflict including the international community, in August 2003. Under the CPA President Charles Taylor left office and went into exile, paving the way for a two year Liberia National Transitional Government headed by Chairman Gyude Bryant. In June 2005, the National Transitional Legislative Assembly enacted the TRC Act into law. National Elections were held in November 2005. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf inaugurated the nine-member Commission in February 2006.
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