Liberia Parliament Approves Creation Of War Crimes Tribunal

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Twenty years after the bloodiest conflict in the West African country’s history, Liberia’s parliament voted to approve the creation of a war crimes court.

Liberia suffered two civil wars between 1989 and 2023 in which serious atrocities including massacres, rape, and the use of child soldiers were committed.

A truth and reconciliation committee recommended the establishment of a special tribunal to try those accused of committing crimes but no action was taken.

The proposal to create the court was fronted by new President Joseph Boakai and was backed by 42 legislators out of 72. To be implemented, the resolution must be approved by the Senate.

No date has been set for the Senate vote.

The two civil wars killed an estimated 250,000 people.

Previous Liberian leaders have steered away from establishing the court for what activists say is a desire to shield themselves or their loyalists from prosecution.

There is no universal support for the proposal. Some oppose the creation of the court, saying that it risks reopening old wounds.