Africa

Full Text: US Congressional Resolution On War Crimes Court in Liberia

Seal of Liberia

The International Justice Group (IJG) has released a copy of the Congressional Resolution introduced by Republican Representative Daniel M. Donovan Jr. to call for establishment of a war crimes court in the West African nation of Liberia.

The full copy of the Resolution submitted on Friday was copied to The West African Journal Magazine late Sunday.

115TH CONGRESS 2D SESSION

H. RES. 1055

To affirm strong United States-Liberia ties and support for democratic prin- ciples, and call for full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, including the establishment of an Extraor- dinary Criminal Tribunal for Liberia.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SEPTEMBER 7, 2018

Mr. DONOVAN (for himself and Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

RESOLUTION

To affirm strong United States-Liberia ties and support for democratic principles, and call for full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission rec- ommendations, including the establishment of an Ex- traordinary Criminal Tribunal for Liberia.

Whereas today the United States is home to an estimated 80,000 people of Liberian ancestry in vibrant communities across the country, who have been instrumental in America’s efforts to build a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Liberia;

Whereas Liberia and the United States share close historical, political, and economic ties over the course of a nearly 200-year relationship;

IV

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Whereas the people and Government of the United States have a deep interest in Liberia’s democratic stability and post conflict development;

Whereas the civil war from 1991 to 2002 resulted in the death of over 200,000 people in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the displacement of over 1,000,000 persons, and the horrific cases of amputations, mass rape, and human rights abuses conducted under the leadership of Charles Taylor;

Whereas Charles Taylor was convicted through the Special Court for Sierra Leone for 11 different charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, such as rape, sexual abuse, and slavery, and violation of international law, in- cluding the use of child soldiers;

Whereas a comprehensive peace agreement was signed by the Government of Liberia, rebel groups, and political parties in 2003;

Liberia TRC Commissioners File Photo

Whereas the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as established under the 2003 comprehensive peace agreement, was formally created in 2005 with a mandate ‘‘to promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation by investigating gross human rights violations and violations of humanitarian law, sexual violations, and economic crimes that occurred between January 1979 and October 2003’’;

Whereas the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a report in December 2008 recommending the establishment of an Extraordinary Criminal Tribunal for Liberia and listed individuals, corporations, and institutions recommended for further investigation and prosecution, among other recommendations;

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) upholds its commitment to maintain and foster the enduring relationship between the people and the Governments of the United States and Liberia;

(2) urges the Government and people of Liberia

to support the truth and reconciliation process

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Whereas the Government of Liberia has not fully implemented the recommendations of the Truth and Reconcili- ation Agreement to date, including the establishment of an Extraordinary Criminal Tribunal;

Whereas Liberia experienced its first democratic and peaceful transition of power since 1944 after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf respected constitutional term limits and George Weah defeated Vice President Joseph Boakai following a runoff during the 2017 Presidential elections;

Whereas the United States congratulated the people of Liberia on the successful conclusion of the Presidential runoff election and recognized the important role Liberia’s Su- preme Court, political parties, security forces, and civil society organizations played in holding a peaceful and transparent contest; and

Whereas the United States Government and American citizens have invested in Liberia to rebuild and support democratic institutions, postconflict recovery, economic growth, improved access to education and health care, professionalization of the country’s military and civilian security forces, and efforts to foster accountability and transparency of government institutions:

Now, therefore, be it through full implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including the establishment of an Extraordinary Criminal Tribunal; and

US House of Representatives

(3) supports efforts by the Department of State and United States Agency for International Develop- ment to advance Liberian efforts toward national reconciliation through continued support for the rule of law, effective governance, and the robust role of civil society.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine