Ambassador Charles Minor Expresses Support for the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Liberia in Letter to the Community
Robin Phillips, Executive Director
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
& Madam President, Officers & Members
Organization of Liberians in Minnesota
I have received, with appreciation, your kind invitation to participate in the ceremony to mark the beginning of statement taking in the United States by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Liberia. Regretably, I am unable to attend and do extend my profound apology.
This weekend I had a previous obligation to work with a team of experts on an important review of one of our vital concession agreements. I am unable to leave that assignment and one of my colleagues who could have represented me is ill.
Let me however send you sincere greetings as you begin to interview individuals affected by our senseless and brutal civil wars which trapped our country and all our people not too very long ago. The exercise you are embarking on is crucial for our country and I hope you tremendous success in your efforts.
There has been some debate at home and in the United States about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Some of our citizens are adamant that what we need is a war court while others feel the work of the TRC will only open old wounds.
In a plural and democratic society which we are trying to build, such debate should take place, giving all he opportunity to enjoy their right of free thought and free speech. In 2003 the very issues were also topical at the Peace Talks in Accra. Then it was agreed that the TRC route would be pursued and it has now become the law and order. Our role is to support the Commission for their work will enable both victims and perpetrators of human rights violations to speak out and clear their conscience. The TRC will also address the issue of impunity and enable us as a people to accept the wrong we have done to ourselves and, hopefully, resolve not to return to the past.
We pray that in the process we will see the wisdom of forgiveness, healing and thereby facilitate reconciliation to enable us to move on in unity.
I therefore wish you God speed and may all of us Liberians remain one people under God, knowing that in our pursuit of prosperity, we must have peace and stability; and we cannot have peace without justice; and to have justice, the truth must be established.
To all of you, I extend my very best wishes.
Charles A. Minor