Home Politics In Defiant of War Crimes Court: “The Generals Are Meeting” -PYJ Discloses; Predicts Total Chaos

In Defiant of War Crimes Court: “The Generals Are Meeting” -PYJ Discloses; Predicts Total Chaos

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By: Frank P. Martin

In Defiant of War Crimes Court: “The Generals Are Meeting” -PYJ Discloses; Predicts Total Chaos

By: Frank P. Martin

MONROVIA: On the heel of the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia, Nimba County’s charismatic Senator, and former warlord, Prince Yormie Johnson, has blamed President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and the Unity Party (UP) led government for allegedly targeting him and Nimba County.

Senator Johnson blasted that President Boakai has no reason inviting Allen White, an American War Crimes Court Advocate, for a conference in the Executive Mansion on Capitol Hill in Monrovia after Liberia continues to enjoy unprecedented peace for nearly two decades.

Voicing out what appears be to his annoyance over the Court’s establishment Tuesday night via Freedom FM, a local radio station, Senator Johnson, who is also former leader of the erstwhile armed rebel group, Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), then, a breakaway faction of Charles Taylor’s now dissolved National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), argued that all ex-warlords who took part in Liberia’s bloody civil war were Granted Amnesty at a peace conference held in Accra, Ghana, and attended by former leaders of erstwhile armed warring factions, representatives of political parties and civil society as well as other stakeholders.

Senator Johnson stressed that the Accra Peace conference put into law, granting immunity for all former warlords from prosecution for war crimes.

“I want to tell all Liberians – they should pray for our continued peace, which we have enjoyed for 20 plus years due to the amnesty law that was passed and printed into handbill. The Accra Peace Accord was guaranteed by this amnesty law,” PYJ pointed out.

According to the Nimba County Senator, President Joseph Nyuma Boakai “unnecessarily” invited Mr. Allen White, a known War Crime Advocate, to Liberia and both White and Boakai discussed issues affecting Liberians.

Senator Johnson also revealed that at the moment, there exists a strained relationship between him and President Boakai amid discussions by the President and Allen White for the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia.

Senator PYJ: “Look, I see one reason the President decided to stop answering my calls because he has been planning this thing with Allen White who doesn’t have any connection to the US government but living on lies to survive.”

“Mr. Boakai has even refused to pick up my phone calls because of his connection with the Allan White group, as he feels that I am a war criminal. But, we are watching. They want to do something clandestine against us, and we are not going to accept that,” Senator Johnson declared.

Asked during the radio talk show as to whether he (Senator Johnson) was afraid about the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia, he responded: “It doesn’t scare me; It worries me because it may disrupt our peace. And if there is a reason for disruption, it will be difficult to end because of those men who went to Accra, Ghana. I was not there. I only fought for nine months, and I have every document available to show you that the TRC is a bogus document.”

The Nimba Senator also revealed that though his name is always mentioned whenever the topic of the War Crimes Court for Liberia is being discussed, there are other ex-fighters who are having meetings to reject such calls.

“Although people mention me every time, there are other generals, other majors, and other officers who protected and worked alongside their commanders. They are holding consultative meetings now as I speak with you,” the former INPFL feared ‘General’ further discloses.

Senator Johnson didn’t mention the names of the ex-warlords who are holding secret meetings but asserted that since Allen White video was circulated on social media, there have been consultative meetings going on and the outcomes of those meetings would threaten the country’s peace.

“And if you are not afraid of disruption and you want to tamper with the peace of the nation by removing the amnesty law, I can tell you for a fact that those guys are still alive in the interior, engaging in their gold business, their diamond business. They will not sit down there for you to go after them,” PYJ further asserted.

PYJ: “True, true, true, Nimba County has more generals, more officers, more combatants because it was their county that was declared enemy of the state by the previous regime. You have more combatants who liberated not only Nimba County but the whole of Liberia. So, if you want to go after their leader, who is getting old, for giving you the victory in the just-ended elections and you feel proud to do that because they have raised US$300 million, some of which they have been given to people underground to sign resolutions, why do you sign resolutions when there is an Amnesty Law passed by the Legislature?”

Senator Johnson added: “My people in Nimba County were killed in cold blood, and we fought in defense. We gave you votes, and you want to go after us? We are not going to accept that. My people in Nimba are listening to you, and you think they are going to sit here and turn me over to you to give me false charges on things that I never did before?”
He denied that the “Rescue Mission” of Boakai-Koung didn’t sign onto War Crimes Court Establishment but solidified Liberian votes during the 2023 Presidential elections to better their lives because they have been subjected to abject poverty for so long as a result of bad governance and wanton corruption inspired by the erstwhile administration of former President George Manneh Weah and the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change Government.

“I support the regime whether he gives us more jobs or not. He signed a resolution to support war crimes Court. We will simply reciprocate to live at peace with ourselves. We cannot support you at the age of 79, and you are bringing people having secret meetings with people to try to impose something on Liberia,” he said.

Senator Johnson added, “My name is everywhere, but there are other people who are listening, and they know that you are going to go after them. Like the economic crime court, you are going to go after George Weah, Madam Sirleaf; you will go after those countries that provided the training ground like Guinea and others. There is going to be total chaos.”

The Court establishment in the country is gaining momentum as the House of Representatives has adopted a Resolution for its establishment.

The adoption of the War Crimes Court Resolution coincides with the visit of Dr. Beth Van Schaack, the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice.

The Resolution, if granted, would then lead to the enactment of a statute bringing the Court into force, decades after the end of the brutal Liberian civil war in August 2003, during which an estimated 250,000 persons, predominately women, children, and the elderly were killed and more than a million others internally and externally displaced, as the country’s economy which was abysmally destroyed, is yet to recover to its pre-war status.
The Resolution signed by 42 out of 73 members of the House of Representatives marks a historic vote for victims of the civil war.

The House Resolution calls on President Joseph Boakai to work with the United Nations, international partners, institutions, and civil society organizations for assistance in establishing the Extraordinary Criminal Court in Liberia.

It added that the Court should be established in a manner that allows the trial of international crimes in accordance with international standards and best practices.

In compliance, the Legislature shall require the Head of State to show cause for such non-compliance,” therefore this matter before us is overdue, and that the President should act effectively, immediately on said legislative enactment without seeking advice from the Legislature because, the TRC is already an Act enacted by the Legislature which Report is awaiting full implementation.

The Lower House also notes that the Head of State is committed to providing funding for the conversion of the records of the erstwhile Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Conserving the records of the TRC would be crucial in serving the following purposes.
The Head of State is also required to ensure the availability and ownership of the country’s collective memory on the conflict, the TRC is just but a fraction of the colossal information contained in these records and form an indispensable part of the implementation of the TRC recommendations: Promote the culture of justice, rule of law and bolster the ongoing democratization process in Liberia.

The Lower House states that the Resolution is a lasting legacy and tribute to the hundreds of thousands of victims and witnesses whose selfless contribution to the process led to the generation of these records.

All this will ensure that state and international resources put in the TRC process were worth the exercise, the Resolution added.

It is not clear whether alleged perpetrators from the country’s 14-year civil war could be tried and if convicted serve their sentences in Liberia.
However, the former Chairman of the erstwhile TRC, Cllr. Jerome Verdier, now a war crimes court advocate, based in Washington DC, United States of America, has different view on war crime jail construction.

Appearing on Spoon FM on Wednesday, March 5, 2024, the former TRC Chairman stated that establishing the court outside Liberia would deprive Liberians the social and economic benefit of the court.

He also said, it would deprive Liberians of witnessing justice being served on their own soil.

“Liberians should have the benefit of seeing justice… “The economic benefits for establishing the court, the social benefits for establishing the court, the healing and recovering process for establishing the court should be in Liberia,” Cllr. Verdier pointed out.

The erstwhile Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), with the goal to promote national peace, security, unity, and reconciliation, was mandated principally as contained in the Art. IV, Section 4 of the TRC ACT to foster truth, justice, and reconciliation by identifying the root causes of the conflict, and determining those who are responsible for committing domestic and international crimes against the Liberian people as follow:

Document and investigate the massive wave of human rights violations that occurred in Liberia during the period January 1979-October 2003;

Establish the root causes of the conflict and create a forum to address issues of impunity; Identify victims and perpetrators of the conflict;

Establish a forum to facilitate constructive interchange between victims and perpetrators to recount their experiences in order to foster healing and reconciliation;

Investigate economic crimes and other forms of human rights violations and determine whether these violations were part of a systemic and deliberate pattern of violations or isolated events of violations;

Conduct a critical review of Liberia’s historical past to acknowledge historical antecedents to the conflict and correct historical falsehood; Adopt specific mechanisms to address the experiences of women and children;

Make recommendations to the Government of Liberia for prosecution, reparation, amnesty, reconciliation, and institutional reforms where appropriate to promote the rule of law and combat impunity;

And Compile a report and submit same to the Government and people of Liberia.

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