3 weeks ago
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
This picture is from a pretty intense press conference yesterday featuring some of the major players in the Liberian Civil War. All people pictured in this photo appear on the TRC's list of "Perpetrators Recommended for Prosecution" (unlike President Sirleaf, who is on the list of persons recommended to be banned from public office for 30 years).
Despite many of these men being adversaries in the war, they now stand united on one front: that the TRC is illegitimate and politically motivated. And - I think its reasonable to conclude from their statements - that they do not really want to face trial/end up in jail. Also, they state, the TRC recommendations violate the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that brought ceasefire to Liberia.
They make some valid points about the TRC's ineptitude(s). Namely that the TRC did not live up to their mandate to have alleged perpetrators meet their alleged victims,that TRC commissioners have political affiliations and that the TRC focused disproportionately on the actions of 'native boys' and not 'Americo-Liberians'.
That a few used the forum to profess their total innocence of any wrongdoing met dubious responses from local journalists. Monrovia media is chalked full of debate on the issue today.
From left to right in the above photo:
1) not sure
2) (glasses and suit) Jackson Doe, brother to ex-president Samuel Doe. Currently at Transport Ministry
3) George Dweh: Commander in both the MODEL and LURD movements, operating out of the southeast and Guinea respectively. LURD eventually forced Taylor from office in 2003, and Dweh is currently a politician
4)Thomas Yaya Nimely: Head of MODEL, and the apparent spokesman for the group.
5)Lewis Brown: Foreign Minister under Taylor, active member of Taylor's National Patriotic Party (NPP)
6)Sando Johnson: Taylor's first cousin and a former representative of the house.
7) George Dolo: Former field commander for Taylor's NPFL
8) Prince Johnson: Not pictured because he arrived late, when pictures became difficult. Led INPFL, a breakoff of Taylor's NPFL. He appears in a 1990 video where then-president Samuel K. Doe is tortured to death by his bodyguards. He took the seat next to Jackson Doe.
If Sekou Conneh was not in jail, I wonder if he would have attended said conference.