Liberia’s War Criminals May Finally Face the Music at Home


Last week, Liberian President George Weah asked the country’s legislature to establish the Extraordinary Criminal Court to try the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity of two civil wars (1989-1996 and 1999-2003). This was widely welcomed.

A consortium of 10 Liberian and international civil society groups advocating for justice hailed Weah’s move as a “major step to bring justice for atrocities” committed during the wars. Adama Dempster at Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia and the Secretariat for the Establishment of a War Crimes Court in Liberia said, “This decision benefits the victims, the country, and the rule of law in Liberia.”

Weah’s endorsement of the long campaign for such a court is powerful and symbolic, but is it enough? It’s been 30 years since the first civil war erupted and 16 years since the second one ended.

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Institute for Security Studies