Aaron Weah

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Joseph Boakai, Liberia's new president, here on the campaign trail last October, had declared in 2021: “You cannot live in a society, create harmony and reconciliation when most of the people don’t believe that they’re responsible for anything." © Guy Peterson / AFP

In Liberia, there is a conflict about what the conflict was about. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) 2009 final report, however, determined that the history of political violence and Liberia’s destructive civil wars (in 1989-1997 and 1999-2003) are attributable to the origin of the nation-state. Liberia is Africa’s first Black Republic. It was never formally colonised but conceived under problematic circumstances. Despite this pertinent finding, discussions over what led to the civil wars abound. Some maintain that it was caused by inter-ethnic conflict. Conspiracy theorists blamed it on the machination of the Americo-Liberian elites and how they upended indigenous people’s rule in the late 1980s through the plot of a civil war.…  Seguir leyendo »

Liberian President George Weah, who is running for a second term in office, has abandoned the idea of national prosecutions for war crimes committed during the civil war. © Ludovic Marin / Pool / AFP

In 2004, George Weah, then a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, called for the establishment of a war crimes court to prosecute those most responsible for the atrocities of the civil war in Liberia in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Like many Liberians, Weah – a former football superstar – had himself suffered immensely from the violence. Some of his relatives were killed, and others gangraped. His properties, including houses and vehicles, were looted, vandalised; his entire estate in Monrovia was razed to the ground.

Weah’s early support for criminal accountability for civil war-era reverberated in his move into politics and the formation of Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).…  Seguir leyendo »