Home Foreign News For Issuing Executive Order 131: US Cheers Boakai… Vows Full Support For War Crimes Court

For Issuing Executive Order 131: US Cheers Boakai… Vows Full Support For War Crimes Court

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By: Frank P. Martin

MONROVIA: Giving full backing to President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and his “RESCUE MISSION” government to bring an end to impunity and instill accountability for atrocities committed during Liberia’s decade-long armed conflict, the government of the United States has commended President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

The Liberian President has formally issued Executive Order #131, establishing the Office of War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia.

“I commend President Joseph Nyuma Boakai Sr for taking this historic and courageous step to bring justice and accountability for the atrocities committed during the Liberian civil wars,” US Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires, Catherine Rodriguez, said, in a statement issued in Monrovia over the weekend.

As an unflinching supporter of the President’s decision, Rodriguez said, “the United States firmly supports Liberia’s establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court and stands ready to assist all Liberians” as the country moves forward.
The US government’s statement comes on the heed of President Boakai formally affixing his signature on the much-talked about War and Economic Crimes Court’s document, on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Addressing the nation Thursday, President Boakai said the executive order signifies his government’s commitment to justice and the rule of law.

The Liberian President signed the documents, after both Houses of the 55th Liberian Legislature passed Resolutions to establish the War Crimes Court and bring about justice and reconciliation for crimes committed during Liberia’s 14-year civil war.

The president said the Executive Order (131),will set in motion deliberate action steps toward bringing justice and closure to the scars and memories of the tragic and violent misadventures that characterized the wars.

He reminded the Liberian Nation that for several years following the silencing of the guns, Liberians have endured downpours of agony, an avalanche of recriminations, and clarion calls from either victims or alleged perpetrators.

According to the Executive Order #131, the Office of War and Economic Court will, among other things, investigate, design, and prescribe methodology, mechanisms, and processes for the establishment of a “special War Crimes Court for Liberia,” a “National Anti-Corruption Court” that would separately prosecute war crimes and economic crimes.

President of Liberia: “I, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., President of the Republic of Liberia, by the power in me vested by the Constitution of Liberia, and in compliance with Liberia’s international obligations and the will of the Liberians people to obtain justice and bring closure to the events of the civil war, do hereby establish the Office of the War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia. The office shall investigate, design, and prescribe the methodology, mechanisms, and the processes for the establishment of a Special War Crimes Court for Liberia as well as for the establishment of a National Anti-Corruption Court for Liberia.”

The Office of the War Crimes Court is to be headed by an Executive Director, preferably an astute Liberian lawyer of impeccable character, shall conduct search and studies and, therefore, in consultation with international partners, select a model for an international tribunal for war crimes, including the jurisdiction and status of the Special War Crimes Court for Liberia, consistent and in harmony with international models that have been used elsewhere for similar trial of war crimes.

The Special Court shall liaise with international partners in sourcing funding for the Special War Crimes Court of Liberia draft legislation for the establishment of the Ant-Corruption Court for Liberia, taking into full consideration jurisdictional configuration, which shall be distinct and separate from those ascribed to other current criminal courts of addressing all forms of corruption cases connected and growing out of the civil war as well as corruptions committed during the governance of the Republic subsequent to the Liberian War up to present.

“The Office of War and Economic Crimes Court shall report to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General but shall be Semi-independent, divorced of any and all political influence, and guided straightly by legal considerations,” the President averred.

However, the defunct Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommended more than 100 persons, including ex-warlords, rebel generals, and private individuals, for prosecution for their various roles played during the country’s brutal wars.

No one has been tried in Liberia for crimes committed during its two civil wars, the first of which ran from 1989-97 and the second from 1999-2003.

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