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Thursday, May 23, 2024

U.S. CONGRESSMAN CHRIS SMITH URGES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A WAR CRIMES & ECONOMIC CRIMES COURT IN LIBERIA

Date:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, issued a strong statement emphasizing the urgent need to establish a War Crimes & Economic Crimes Court in Liberia. This court would play a crucial role in addressing the human rights violations and economic crimes that have plagued the country during its civil wars.

Liberia has endured decades of suffering, with its people bearing the brunt of heinous human rights violations and economic crimes. Perpetrators have acted with near-complete impunity, leaving the wounds of the civil wars unhealed. Despite the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendation in 2009 to establish a court for justice, only minimal efforts have been made in Liberia to address these crimes.

During his presidential campaign, Joseph Boakai repeatedly emphasized the necessity of establishing a War Crimes and Economic Crimes Court to bring an end to impunity and facilitate national healing. In his inaugural address, President Boakai reaffirmed his commitment to pursue the establishment of such a court, providing an opportunity for those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity to be held accountable.

The local and international communities, including the United States, have eagerly awaited the establishment of the War Crimes & Economic Crimes Court since President Boakai assumed office. This promise was made to the Liberian people, who yearn for real change, democracy, human rights, and justice.

The U.S. Congress is closely monitoring the progress of establishing this court as a means to promote good governance and healing for the people of Liberia. The United States has been a longstanding supporter of Liberia, providing substantial foreign aid, including over $162 million in 2023 and more than $4 billion over the past two decades.

Justice and accountability are essential for the people of Liberia. The establishment of the promised War Crimes & Economic Crimes Court is a necessary and critical step towards ensuring lasting peace and restoring the people’s confidence in the rule of law and the fair administration of justice in their country.

Congressman Smith urges the swift implementation of the court and calls upon all stakeholders to prioritize justice, reconciliation, and the healing of Liberia. The United States stands ready to support Liberia in this endeavor, as it remains committed to the principles of democracy, human rights, and the pursuit of justice.

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