Let Justice Prevail!
By David Nyanti
March 31, 2004
Amnesty International wrote President Obasanjo to turn over Charles
Taylor to the court in Sierra Leone to face war crimes for the atrocities
committed during the civil war. In my opinion, many Liberians would
like Charles Taylor persecuted if in fact he abated in the Sierra Lone
civil war and the quid pro quo for diamonds. The gruesome pictures of
women and children with their arms and legs amputated (innocent civilians)
suffered at the hands of those heartless people, such crimes need to
be investigated and those responsible must be brought to justice to
deter future occurrences. In its letter to President Obasanjo, Amnesty
International had it right. "There can be no durable peace in West
Africa unless those who have committed serious violations of International
laws are brought to justice".
On the contrary, the civil war in Liberia and that of Sierra Leone has some similarities. Atrocities in both countries occurred with the participation of an external country. Charles Taylor was involved in the civil conflict in Sierra Leone, while Lasanna Conte, President of Guinea abated LURD to topple the Taylor's regime. At the peak of the Liberia civil war, Amnesty International reported that the Republic of Guinea was directly involved in supporting LURD. Crimes against humanity committed by the warring faction LURD were just as bad as those in Sierra Leone. Children arms and legs were cut off, pregnant women abdomens were split opened and their babies were taken out and killed. Women and little girls were raped. Children were captured from their villages, taken away from their parents and given the death machine, an A-K47 to fight. All of these atrocities were done to my people, our people with the help of Guinea.
I agree with the Catholic Archbishop Michael Francis that a war crimes court should be established in Liberia to bring those responsible for war crimes against the Liberian people to justice. However, instead of justice, jobs were rewarded to them for the crimes they committed against humanity. Furthermore, I also believe that the atrocities that were committed in Sierra Leone abated by Charles Taylor are no different from those atrocities that were committed in Liberia abated by Lasanna Conte.
Consequently, "there can be no durable peace in West Africa unless those who have committed serious violations of International laws are brought to justice" Amnesty International, March 8, 2004.