Weah's Appointment as Peace Ambassador Signals the Ongoing Manipulation of Liberia’s Reconciliation

By: P.Nimely-Sie Tuon

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
January 10, 2013

The recent appointment of George Weah, the political leader of Congress For Democratic Change, Liberia’s main opposition party, is part of a manipulative and distractive trend designed by the Sirleaf government to prevent it from implementing the final report of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Weah’s appointment is also a life-line or a new lease for life for the continuation of Madam Sirleaf’s clinch to power without providing the leadership necessary to genuinely reconcile the Liberian people as was outlined in the TRC report. The fact is clear; no peace ambassador is worthy enough to replace the implementation of the recommendations contained in the TRC report. Those following the unfolding events in Liberia have noticed that the Sirleaf government usually comes up with this scheme of appointing peace ambassador or reconciliation committees when pressure begins to mount about the implementation of the TRC report as was the case of Leyman Gbowee who was appointed to head a so-called reconciliation commission. Gbowee, while basking in her glory as newly winner of the Nobel Peace Prize presented an opportunity to Madam Ellen Johnson, also a co-winner of the peace prize, to appoint Leyman Gbowee when many were questioning the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Madam Sirleaf.

This trend of manipulating the Liberian reconciliation process as was outlined in the TRC report remains the strategy of the Sirleaf government despite the fact that Madam Sirleaf already setup the Liberian National Human Rights Commission which is charged by law to implement the recommendations in the TRC report as the path to reconciliation in Liberia. In other words, there are individuals running around in Monrovia, calling themselves commissioners of the Liberian National Human Rights Commission who are being paid without performing their duties. How can you reconcile the existing of a national human rights commission charged with implementing the legally and morally recognized Liberian reconciliation process with the appointment of a quasi-peace ambassador like George Weah and chairperson of a so-called reconciliation commission like in the case Leyman Gbowee. Like Leyman Gbowee, George Weah is expected to failed in his so-called peace ambassadorship, give up and resign, and like Gbowee, Weah will cite corruption, nepotism, cronyism other iniquities of the Sirleaf government that were already existed prior to his appointment. The expected failure of George Weah as peace ambassador and the past failure of Leyman Gbowee as head of the now defunct reconciliation commission continue to re-enforce the fact that anything outside the implementation of the TRC report as relates to genuine reconciliation in Liberia will not be accepted and will massively be rejected by the Liberian people.

George Weah’s acceptance of this position as peace ambassador represents his contribution to the delinquency for the implementation of TRC report which the Liberian people will not forget. Weah has now become a tool to prevent the implementation of genuine reconciliation in Liberia, and a conduit of the manipulation to keep the Sirleaf government alive despite its continuing failed policies to provide basic services to the people. Weah’s as peace ambassador has added to the skepticisms many Liberians have regarding Weah’s ability and capacity, including that of his political party, to provide the necessary leadership to lead Liberia out of over century of disgusting policies of corruption, discrimination, lawlessness, impunity, etc. Weah and his advisors have failed to realize that Weah’s thunderous support among the Liberian people is based on his support for their concerns not base on his support for the Sirleaf government’s policies of manipulation and distraction. Weah’s acceptance of this so-called peace ambassador position holds not benefit for the people of Liberia, especially his supporters. In other words, this fictitious title of peace ambassador could become the last nail in the political coffin of George Weah. Imagine if Weah had recognized this appointment as an anti-people appointment and went on rejecting it, this would have not only re-enforce his perceived sensitivity for the people of Liberia, it would have reverberated around the length and breathe of the Republic of Liberia that Liberia has indeed found her political knight in shining amour determined to lead Liberia from evil. Some a two letter word like “no” is what it takes to liberate an entire nation, a word that is hard to come from the lips of Liberian politicians.

Right now it seems the greatest fashion in Liberia is to accept Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s version of reconciliation through the establishment of fake reconciliation committees and the appointment of peace ambassadors. However, with the current upsurge of support for the implementation of the TRC report, both nationally and internationally, people like George Weah, Leyman Gbowee and others who are supporting Madam Sirleaf’s version of true reconciliation in Liberia will be on the wrong side of history. And we say this, with the almost confidence that the TRC report will be implemented sooner than later. The acceptance of any position, part of an activity or task designed to weaken or undermine the implementation of TRC report is an obstruction of justice under the laws of Liberia since the implementation of the TRC report is backed by the Liberian law under which the common-law doctrine of respondeat superior will not be applied. Liberian politicians and supporters of a disgraceful government no longer in power always used this excuse that their disgusting activities in a past government were part of their job or the president was not accepting not their advice. We encourage all Liberians to stand up for the implementation of the TRC report because it is the key to unlock Liberia’s forward development. In other words, there is still time to get on the right side of history before your hands are caught in the cookie jar.

P. Nimley-Sie Tuon

Maryland, United States

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