We Doubt The Senator’s Compassionate Claim
When The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommended that former warlords and other individuals alleged to have committed some of the repulsive crimes in Liberia be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and for their alleged roles in the country’s civil war, some influential individuals in government snubbed the recommendations and settled for something else.
Today, Thousands Of Liberians are disillusioned because perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity (some of whom occupy key positions in government) still wander and are displaying bravado for what they did to innocent Liberians.
It Was The intention of the TRC that the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleafwould implement the recommendations and ensure that justice is done. Madam Sirleaf has reneged and continues to do so; instead, the chief executive has stated that she would implement certain portions of the recommendations.
With Less Than a year left in her tenure, members of civil society believe that the Liberian leader lacks the political will to implement the TRC report and her silence on repeated calls for the establishment of a war crimes court suggest that no practical measures will be taken by this regime that will soon face out as presidential and legislative elections are set for October 2017.
There Are Fears that if the opposition wins the election, the new regime could support the full implementation of the TRC report, including the establishment of a war crimes court. There are reports that the ruling party candidate, Vice President Joseph Boakai and Madam Sirleaf, apparently do not share the same opinion on this matter.
The Refusal Of the current administration to implement the TRC report has elevated the profile of certain characters in our country, some of whom allegedly murdered innocent people and are made to wander around with impunity when they should have been held behind bars for the crimes they reportedly committed many years ago.
Senator Prince Y. Johnson is showing off that he’s compassionate and that he even demonstrated sympathy on certain officials and individuals of the Samuel Doe regime back in 1990. Senator Johnson, known as the man who reportedly killed the former Liberian President, Samuel Doe, said despite characterization that he massacred people during the country’s civil war, yet he protected the lives of scores of ex-officials in Doe’s Government.
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor, on trial at The Hague, testified that Senator Johnson killed the country’s former president in 1990, even though he (Johnson) publicly denied killing Doe. In a well-publicized video of him drinking Budweiser beer, the former warlord ordered his men to cut off Mr. Doe’s ears.
Senator Prince Johnson, head of the disbanded breakaway Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), said those he saved in President Doe’s administration were individuals and officials who surrendered to his group because his mission was to “deliver” the country from bondage.
The Ex- INPFL leader said although his group did not relent to execute people who refused to surrender, however, he protected Doe’s associates including the brother-in-law of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, VarsieSirleaf. The Nimba County Senator spoke Tuesday in Monrovia when some of the children he saved along with their parents during war honored him.
Some Of The ex-Doe officials Senator Johnson claimed to have saved include Dr. Peter Naiga, Information Minister, Dr. TheophilusSonpon, Education Minister, Dr. Cyrenous Ford, Labor Minister, Mr. Jonathan Manson, Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy and Mr. David Vinton, Governor of the National Bank, now the Central Bank of Liberia.
Others Are NathanielPatry, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Liberia, Mr. Charles Greene, a Liberian Banker, AlfredKulah from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Dr. Isaac Wiles, and Peter Bonner Jallah, among several others.
Sen. Johnson’s Assertion that he saved the lives of former officials of the Doe’s government is no reason to believe that he was truly compassionate. In fact, it is not any legal ground to purge him of crimes he allegedly committed in Liberia. His assertion does not weaken some of the irrefutable and impeccable pieces of evidence and accounts that several Liberians have to adduce in court.
The Senator’s Statement conflicts with previous accounts given before the TRC in which he said that the late President Doe committed suicide. But at the press conference held Tuesday, the former INPFL leader disclosed that he didn’t kill Doe; instead, it was some individuals in his group, whose identities he did not reveal killed Doe.
These Conflicting Statements create doubts in the minds of the public whether the senator was truly compassionate during the war years as he claims.
We Know Thatthe current administration will not support the establishment for a war crimes court in Liberia. The government may have other reasons for which it continues to renege on this issue, but no matter how long it takes, war crimes perpetrators will face the wrath of justice.
We Believe that the people of Liberia are not ignorant of the horrible history of the past, because truth crushed to the ground will rise one day. Our people are not weak, but strong and resilient; they might be quiet on this issue, but they know how and went to act (not be through violent means) as time tickle, justice will be done.
For now, We seriously doubt the senator’s compassionate claim.