Press Releases

Ellen's Mother Of Liberia's Brutal Conflict...Winston Tubman

Montserrado County, Liberia
06 October, 2008
Categorized as pertaining to: Hearings

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf more than anyone else was the mother of Liberia's brutal conflict, former justice minister Winston Tubman has said.

As the first mother to be elected president of an African country, Cllr. Tubman said, President Sirleaf is better suited than anyone else to discharge the duty of bringing closure to the Liberian conflict in a motherly and unbiased way.

Cllr. Tubman, former standard bearer of the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) in the 2005 polls that won Madame Johnson-Sirleaf the presidency was testifying Monday at Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ongoing Contemporary History of the Conflict Institutional and Thematic Inquiry Public Hearing in Monrovia.

But Mr. Tubman said President Johnson-Sirleaf cannot do this if she "remains partisan, seeking by her actions something for herself or her many friends that were deeply involved in the conflict and her political party in the future."

"Hard as it may be, she must act objectively and for the whole nation. When it was necessary she ran on the Unity Party ticket even though she had previously run on the ticket of the Liberia Action Party," he said.

Unsurprisingly, he added, by sending Charles Taylor to be tried abroad for his actions while serving as President of Liberia, President Johnson-Sirleaf alarmed many African leaders because the act send and ominous precedent for the future.

He said in the president's inaugural address she eloquently laid out her vision for a new Liberia, but Tubman noted that unfortunately Liberia's realities almost three years on do not match the president's uplifting words.

"What is responsible for this? That is the question! Because a country only gets the leaders it deserves, there is a great need for the Liberian political class to go back to the political drawing board, while UN peacekeeping troops are still here and international spotlight and favor are upon Liberia as never before, because of our president's fame," he proposed.

Under the theme: "Understanding the Conflict Through its Principal Events and Actors," the ongoing hearings are addressing the root causes of the conflict, including its military and political dimensions.

The hearings are focused on events between 1979 and 2003 and the national and external actors that helped to shape those events.

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.

Cclic This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This had been the official website of the Liberian TRC. The Commission ended operation
in 2010. This website is maintained by the Georgia Institute of Technology.