Press Releases

Morris Dukuly: War Crimes Court Will Not Preserve Peace In Liberia

Montserrado County, Liberia
27 May, 2009
Categorized as pertaining to: Hearings

Former Transitional Speaker Morris Dukuly says a war crimes court is not in the practical and best interest of preserving and advancing peace in Liberia.

Mr. Dukuly said a war crimes court will not preserve and advance the security and stability of post conflict Liberia at this specific time.

He insisted that although the advocates of the court have the right to advance their view in the public square, but pleaded with them to look at the country and critically examine the implications of their advocacy.

"This peace, this security, this stability, is young and fragile. We must hold and shepherd it tenderly, do nothing that may have the potential to unravel it," Dukuly said.

The former transitional speaker was speaking on the topic: "Independence of the Legislature and Conflicts of Jurisdictions Between the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government: When Should the President Veto Legislation; When Can the Veto Bo Overridden," recently at the TRC Special Thematic Hearing on the National Legislature in Monrovia.

"I have come here today in humility and with a contrite heart. I do not condone or sanction impunity, but the wisdom that under girded the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement must continue to be our guide. We are not out of the proverbial woods yet," he cautioned.

Liberia is recovering from years of conflict that was the backdrop for horrific human rights violations, including arbitrary killing, use of child combatants, rape and sexual violence, separation of families, and looting and destruction of properties. Out of a population of 3 million, an estimated 250,000 Liberians were killed, with as many as 1.5 million displaced.

But scores of key military and political actors that appeared before the TRC during public hearings denied responsibilities of the atrocities.

The TRC was agreed upon in the August 2003 peace agreement and created by the TRC Act of 2005. The TRC was established to "promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation," and at the same time make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.

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