It's Time to end Impunity in Liberia


The Movement of Liberians against Corruption (MOLAC) and Concerned Liberians against Corruption & Impunity (CLACI) Call Attention to the Following Problem Facing Liberia.
In December 1989, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her associates financed, defined, promoted, and facilitated the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) genocidal war on Liberia, (TRC report, 2009).  The war escalated to the point that different warring factions emerged and, like the NPFL, ruthlessly raped women; tortured unarmed innocent people; pillaged the scarce natural and human resources of Liberia, and massacred innocent women, children, and the elderly.
With the intervention and help of the International Community, Liberians met on several occasions in different capital cities and adopted 16 peace agreements during the course of the civil war, all of which failed despite the fact that, the warlords and their patrons were rewarded and appeased with political and economic powers. Still determined to find sustainable peace and stability, again in 2003, Liberians with the support of the International Community, met in Accra, Ghana to sign a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the hope of bringing an end to the brutal civil war in Liberia and to put in place sustainable peace that will address issues of corruption and impunity in Liberia. Article VIII of the CPA calls for the creation of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that would address the question of impunity in addition to providing a forum whereby perpetrators and victims alike would have an opportunity to tell their stories either to exonerate themselves or seek forgiveness. The TRC was also mandated to investigate the root cause of the conflict and make necessary recommendations to deter future violence, death, and destruction in Liberia.
After nearly three years of rigorous work characterized by agonizing and emotional tales of horrors and barbarism told by victims and at an estimated cost of US$10,000,000 (ten million United States Dollars), the TRC issued its final report in December of 2009. The report   included a set of recommendations, which included but not limited to the creation of a National Human Rights Commission, enhancement of the peace process by implementing a wide-range of measures to root out corruption and impunity, as well as other vices in Liberia.
Pursuant to the Powers and Authority of the TRC as enshrined in Article VII Section 26(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) of the TRC Act of 2005 to address issues of impunity and to ensure accountability for violations of human rights during the period 1979 - 2003, the TRC recommended 49 individuals including Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for debarment from holding public offices in Liberia for 30 years and other possible criminal prosecution by a specialized war crime court.
According to the TRC report (pp. 360-361), the 49 individuals, some of whom currently work in the administration of President Sirleaf, committed acts of gross human rights violations, as well as international human rights laws, war crimes, crimes against humanity, economic crimes, and the egregious violations of Liberian domestic laws. Contrary to the intent and spirit of the 2005 TRC Act, which obligated the Liberian Government to uphold and implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including most especially the TRC recommendations, the Administration of President Sirleaf has failed to implement the TRC recommendations intended to address impunity in Liberia.
For the past 10 years, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ruled Liberia like a private business enterprise and has failed to institute any genuine reform in Liberia in total disregard of the needs and aspirations of Liberians. President Sirleaf, who came to power with an overwhelming international support, has failed to reconcile Liberians and has unfortunately transformed Liberia into a criminal enterprise by recruiting and hiring her foot soldiers that reportedly raped, tortured, murdered, and decapitated the bodies of their victims; as well as pillaged the scarce natural resources of Liberia. For Example, General Alhaji G.V. Kromah, former Chairman of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO-K), one of the notorious rebel groups responsible for perpetrating torture and other heinous crimes in Liberia, is currently the Ambassador at-large and Advisor on foreign policy to President Sirleaf, while his nephew,   Abraham S. Kromah, former chief of staff of (ULIMO-K) served as  Deputy Director of Operations, Liberia National Police (LNP)  up to the summer of  2015;  Kabineh Ja'neh,  who is on record by the TRC report  for recruiting child soldiers and proving legal and material support for ULIMO- K,  is currently one of the  Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia;  Lewis Brown, Charles Taylor’s NPFL spokesman, is currently the Information Minister of the Sirleaf government. 
In 2005, Benedict Sannoh, the current Justice Minister of Liberia along with Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and Peter Bonnar Jallah, Jr.,  represented the interests of convicted war criminal, Charles Taylor, negotiated the Status of Forces Agreement (SFA)  with the West African Peace Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), which proved to be fraudulent.  As a consequence of these self-indulgence so-called legal experts of Liberia illicit act, ECOMOG prematurely left Liberia immediately following the election of Taylor in 1997.  Consequently, Taylor had the freehand to eliminate his perceived enemies.

On September 18, 1998,  the ruthless Executive Mansion Special Security Unit (EMSSU)  headed by Chucky Taylor, Taylor's infamous son who  was convicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the US government and  the  Special Operations Division of the National Police headed by the late  Joe Tate, former commander of Taylor’s notorious National Police moved on the residences of innocent tribal men and women belonging to the members of the late President Doe’s tribe - Krahn. The outcome was mayhem – the massacred of innocent Krahn and Sarpo tribes men and women, elderly, children and others on Camp Johnson road, Monrovia.  The unpleasant scene was marked by human body parts displaced by high-power explosives and caliber weapons. 
We believe Brumskine and his legal expert partners were fully aware of Taylor’s desire to run ECOMOG out of Liberia so that he could terminate his perceived enemies. Charles Walker Brumskime, Peter Bonnar Jallah, Jr. and Benedict Sannoh must account for the precious lives that were lost on September 18, 1998. Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, the current Vice President of the Economic Community of West African States (EOWAS) Commission, appointed by President Sirleaf is a founding member of the NPFL and served in many high profile positions in Charles Taylor’s government.  Dr. McIntosh as one of the funding members and high profile leader of the defunct NPFL is responsible for NPFL’s policy of terminating innocent Krahn, Mandingo, Sarpo, and members of the Liberian security forces and other innocent citizens from West African Countries that initially contributed troops to The Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) mainly, Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. We ask the Nigerian authorities to arrest and prosecute Toga Gayewea McIntosh for war crimes and crimes against humanity on behalf of Liberian war victims and the innocent West Africans including Nigerians who were killed in Liberia by the NPFL forces.
In 2011, Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh and Cllr. Varney Sharman were featured in the documentary, “The Ambassador,” in which both men were filmed by a Danish investigative journalist selling Liberian’s Ambassadorial position.  In the documentary, Mads Brügger was accredited as Liberia’s Ambassador to the Central African Republic. He used the documentary to expose how Dr. McIntosh   and Cllr. Sharman have been using their positions as Foreign Minister and Chairman of the ruling Unity Party (UP) to loot Liberia’s scare natural and human resources for their personal economic gain without regard to the image of the country. These are just a few examples; but there are numerous Liberian perpetrators currently serving in various high positions of influence and power in the three branches of the Liberian government. 
Additionally, there are many who pillaged,  patronized,  and  economically benefited from the  blood of Liberian war victims  and are glamorously enjoying the fruit of their satanic crimes against Liberian war victims;  and are walking down the streets of Liberia with  absolute  economic  and social powers  with impunity. A classic example is in the person of Benoni Urey. Urey is a passionate supporter of the NPFL who served as the head of the Liberian Maritime Bureau. He allegedly pillaged millions of dollars from the Liberian Maritime funds and used the money to support the NPFL onslaught on the Liberian people and the people of Sierra Leone. Today, Urey is regarded as a successful businessman, philanthropist and an honorable elderly statesman. He has declared his intention to run for president of Liberia   in the 2017 general and presidential elections.
If President Sirleaf is actually serious about promoting peace and justice for Liberia war victims, we call on her to immediately remove Justice Kabineh Ja'neh from the Supreme court bench, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh from the Justice  Ministry, Mr. Lewis Brown from the Information Ministry, and recall Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh from ECOWAS, remove Cllr. Varney Sharman from the leadership of the ruling party and all those  named by the TRC report from their current positions in government until  the allegations against them are addressed through the proposed internationally backed war crimes court on Liberia. By doing so, she would have demonstrated concrete steps in the direction of genuine peace, reconciliation and justice for Liberian war victims. We cannot continue to allowed war and economic criminals to walk the streets of Liberia with impunity while ordinary Liberians who were victimized by their heinous acts continue to be dehumanized in abject poverty.
Listed below are few examples of how President Sirleaf has transformed Liberia into a criminal enterprise:
1.      President Sirleaf who claimed to have spent her lifetime advocating against corruption, fraud, waste, abuse and nepotism in the Liberian society contrarily, according to Transparency International (TI), has transformed Liberia into  one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
2.      President Sirleaf who prides herself as an advocate of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and social justice, has transformed the Liberian Government into a family business enterprise with over 17 members of her family, friends, and allies currently holding powerful positions in her government, having successfully excluded skilled and well-meaning Liberians. For example, (1) Robert Sirleaf, the senior son of Madam Sirleaf was the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Liberia National Oil Company.  Currently, he is the Senior Advisor to the Liberian Government, Chief Oil Negotiator, and was a Senatorial Candidate, Montserrado county; (2) Fumba Sirleaf, son of President Sirleaf, Director National Security Agency; (3) Charles Sirleaf, son of Madam Sirleaf, Deputy Governor of Central Bank, and others.
3.      President Sirleaf spent over $50.9 million United States dollar to promote her image abroad while Liberian schools and healthcare system remains substandard (DOJ, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). As the consequence, the Liberian health care system rapidly colapsed under the pressure of the Ebola virus disease, which killed more than  3000 Liberians mostly, the economy depressed while she and her officials traveled aboard for medical treatment on a regular basis.  
4.      Since her acendency to power, the officials of her administration have consistely use frivolous libel and slander lawsuit to harrass and silence journalist who are objectively and deligently reporting on issues of government misconduct. For example, in September of 2013, journalist Rodney D. Sieh was imprisoned by the Sirleaf Government for $1.5million libel lawsuit purportedly filed by one of her allied, former Agriculture Minister who was implicated in a multimillion dollar scandal by the Liberian General Audit Commission (GAC); the ChronicleNewspaper editor in chief, Philipsburg Brown  was detained and denied exit visa, and many others.
Over the years President Sirleaf has undoubtedly abused feminist and human rights sentiments and used Harvard University credentials and her connections at the United Nations and other international organizations to circumvent the Liberian TRC process and the Liberian constitution, as well as to discredit those whom she perceived as political adversaries while projecting herself as the “Messiah of Liberia who kept the peace.” Contrarily, evidence of what is unfolding in Liberia shows that if the United Nations peace keeping force were to leave Liberia without justice for Liberian war victims, we will sink back into violence. This insincere behavior has helped to keep Liberia in the state of backwardness for years and has also emboldened alleged war and economic criminals in Liberia. In view of the aforementioned historical background and grievances, we demand the following:

  1. That  the United Nations Peace Keeping force remains in Liberia until an internationally backed war crimes court is established and completes its mandate - to investigate and prosecute all those accused of aiding, abetting and perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity in Liberia, as well as economic crimes during the war from December 24, 1989- present;

     2.  That the Truth and Reconciliation Report (i.e. the TRC Report) be unconditionally implemented; 

  1. That all audit recommendations produced by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and all other reports by special committees set up to investigate corruption in Liberia be implemented with immediate effect; turn the cases over  to the courts for adjudication;

     4.That corrupt officials be publicly prosecuted without delay; 

  1. That a Liberian Wealth Recovery Taskforce be setup to track and recover wealth illegally acquired by current and past Liberian public officials and those responsible for squandering be prosecuted;

      6.That both the National Human Rights Commission  and Peace Commission  be headed by  Liberian war victims who were  physically    affected by the  war with strong  academic, intellectual, and historical background and passion for justice, true peace and reconciliation in Liberia, and 

7.   That a national conference on the future of Liberia to comprise of war victims, political parties, religious groups, civil society groups (both local and Diaspora) be organized and facilitated by the international contact group on Liberia to lay the framework for the implementation of the aforementioned demands. 

President Sirleaf has shown disdain and contempt for Liberian war victims as defined by the CPA and TRC Act in refusing to fully implement the CPA and TRC recommendations. “Where there is no justice there can be no peace,” as stated by Aung San Suu Kyi - In Quest of Democracy (1991).
Liberian war victims demand justice now!
As such, President Sirleaf must ask the international community, Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and the European Union (EU) to intervene and helped support the full implantation of the TRC Report before it is too late. Also, we call on the government of the United States and all super powers to kindly assist Liberians by pressuring President Sirleaf and the Liberian legislatures to seek the interest of Liberia and work with the President in the creation of an internationally backed war crimes court on Liberia. We urge all people of goodwill to stand with Liberia and encourage President Sirleaf to muster the courage and implement the TRC recommendations.
Done and Released on the 29th Day of September 2015 A.D. in the City of New York.


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