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‘Justice Is Good in Time of Peace’

first_imgCllr. Tiawan Gongloe: “They know the taste of good life now, and getting them out of the luxury to account for crimes perpetrated against innocent people will be more painful than what they did to victimize people.” -Says Cllr. GongloeAmid counter-reactions from the government and some members of the public against the call for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia, human rights lawyer Cllr. Tiawon Saye Gongloe says it does not matter how many years it has taken since the war ended, because justice is good to be implemented in time of peace.Cllr. Gongloe, speaking on Tuesday, September 25, at a press conference organized by groups of human rights advocates in Monrovia, said prosecuting war criminals in time of peace sets a good legacy that would give victims relief and frustrate perpetrators who have used scare tactics to enrich themselves at the detriment of their victims.“It is good at this time to have justice and prosecute perpetrators of war crimes, because these perpetrators are living luxurious lives and have built decent houses,” Cllr. Gongloe said.“They know the taste of good life now, and getting them out of the luxury to account for crimes perpetrated against innocent people will be more painful than what they did to victimize people,” he said.Gongloe said it is now time for Liberia to fight impunity, because without it the current peace that Liberians talk of preserving will still be threatened.  “In order to have genuine peace, we must fight impunity,” he said.He emphasized that the perpetrators of war identified in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) are getting older, “and may die if they are not prosecuted to ensure justice, which will be a bad legacy for the country.”Furthermore, Cllr. Gongloe said most of the victims who should serve as witnesses are getting older as well and, if they die, evidence that should back justice will be gone. He described war criminals as “cowards” who do not follow rules and only act when laws are weak.He added that this is the right time for justice, because “it is logical to reason that when there is a war and ceasefire is declared, you resettle people, put in place a government and rule of law, and then you can bring justice.”  Therefore, he said, Liberia, having gone through these processes, has the right time for justice.Since the TRC made its recommendations in 2009, following the hearing, there have been opposing views about the full implementation of the recommendations, which call for the prosecution of those who bear the greatest responsibility during the Liberian Civil War.It may be recalled that in May this year, a group under the banner “Citizens Action for the Establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia,” came out to present a petition to the Legislature, to enact a law that will call for the establishment of a war crimes court.This request has also met counter-reaction from the government, with House Speaker Bhofal Chambers and a few others stating that they are opposed to retributive justice.Furthermore, some clergymen, among them Herman Browne of the Episcopal Church and current president of the Cuttington University (CU), have registered their opposition to the process.In recent days, Browne said the call for the establishment of a war crimes court is“revenge that is not meant for justice.”In response to a question surrounding these views, Cllr. Gongloe said before some clergymen took on their titles, they committed heinous crimes 15 years back and the guilt is hovering over them.Since the TRC process and subsequent call for the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia, only Joshua Blayee, alias Butt Naked, has admitted to crimes he committed and expressed willingly his desire to face the tribunal and bear the consequences for his crimes.The rest, including Nimba County Senator Prince Johnson, has always said that bringing a war crimes court will cause Liberia to revert to its dark days.But Cllr. Gongloe said those calling for justice should not get tired, because those warlords are afraid and fear is another form of justice.Hassan Bility of GJRP, Danieletta Sleyon of FHRD, Adama Dempster of HRAPL and Cllr. Gongloe.The press conference at which Cllr. Gongloe spoke was organized by Amnesty International, CIVITAS MAXIMA, Global Justice and Research Project, Human Rights Watch, Coalition for Justice in Liberia, Civil Society Organization Platform and the Center for Justice and Accountability.These groups, together with others, are calling on President George Weah to make an open admission to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that would back justice in pursuit of accountability for past war crimes committed in Liberia.In a letter written and endorsed by 80 human rights organizations and read by Adama Dempster to President Weah, the groups called on the government to establish a process of accountability for past war crimes, following its first-ever review of human rights violations.The group said that since July 1, 2009, when the TRC called for the establishment of a war crimes court for the prosecution of those who bear the greatest responsibilities in the Liberian Civil War, no government has made a decision on the report.“By seizing the General Assembly high-level segment to present plans for Liberia to bring justice for the serious abuses committed during the civil wars, you would stand with victims and take an important step to address impunity—which has undermined development and reconciliation in the country for far too long—and then build sustainable peace for Liberians,” the groups said in a statement.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘It’s an exceptional group’, Guardiola salutes City

first_imgThe Spaniard had watched that match from high in the stands as he served out a suspension.But he played down any significance in being closer to the action as Riyad Mahrez scored twice, his first goals for the club, in an emphatic victory which kept them in touch with the Premier League pace-setters.“I don’t play,” said Guardiola, after watching Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan help his team score five or more goals for the 10th time since he took charge before the 2016-17 season.“The managers, we are there to be there when they have little doubts, to support them.“I don’t know what’s going to happen with these guys. It’s the same group, they keep reacting, they are an exceptional group.“But they know when the situation is not good in terms of results, the closer I am to them.“They deserve all my respect. They made me happy the last two seasons, and that’s why, always, I will be with them.”City were 3-0 ahead and cruising at half-time, before Mahrez replaced Aguero on the hour mark and scored twice, his first goals since his move from Leicester in July.The Algerian has only started two Premier League games for the champions and Guardiola admitted he wished he could offer more minutes on the field to both Mahrez and young England hopeful Phil Foden, who also came off the bench in the second half.“It’s good for him to get the first goals,” added Guardiola.“Of course it’s important for him. He came here, he’s an incredibly talented player. He deserves to play more minutes, like Phil Foden.“It’s a pleasure to watch Phil play football and, of course, Riyad as well.“But the season is too long and they have to be ready, prepared, because they are going to play a lot of minutes.”– Slick City –City are now only two points behind leaders Liverpool after emphatically banishing any suggestions their European angst might leak into their domestic form.They toyed with Cardiff for much of a one-sided contest and if they had doubled their scoreline then the Bluebirds, who dropped into the relegation zone, could have had few complaints.“After a not good result in midweek, we responded with the same level we had for the last 12 or 13 months,” Guardiola said.“The first 20-25 minutes is always complicated, not easy, but after one or two goals immediately it was easier.”For Cardiff manager Neil Warnock, the defeat means they are still seeking their first victory of the campaign.They also lost full-back Lee Peltier with a dislocated shoulder, which Warnock expects will keep the defender out for a number of months.Warnock acknowledged the divide in class between the teams and added: “It was a long afternoon. We are finding it difficult at the moment against the top clubs.“But, like I have said before, it’s not going to define our season.“It will knock our chins to the floor for a bit, but the lads have got to get over this and get on with next week.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez celebrates with team-mates after scoring his second goal © AFP / Geoff CADDICKCARDIFF, United Kingdom, Sep 22 – Pep Guardiola insisted it was his players who deserved the spotlight after the Manchester City manager returned to the dug-out to inspire a 5-0 thrashing of Cardiff on Saturday.Guardiola was back on the touchline in the Welsh capital and the champions were back in the old routine after their shock midweek defeat at home by Lyon in the Champions League.last_img read more