At least 250,000 innocent lives were lost during the war and several properties worth billions of United States Dollars stolen or damaged.
Speaking Thursday, September 19, 2019 when he appeared on the Truth Breakfast Show, the Defense Minister stated that there is no need by citizens for revolt should the court is to be established in Liberia.
Minister Ziankhan, who spoke on wide range of national issues during his appearance on the show, asserted that he could not go into the technical details for security reasons.
However, he maintained that Liberians and or international communitywould not call for the court to be established here without setting-up the requisite infrastructure that would mitigate any would-be encounters.
“War crime court establishment is inevitable” he said.
In response to question of potential security implication, he indicated: “You think the people of Liberia or international community will call for court and just ok, and let it happen the next day?, no, there are lots that will be looked at. Judges will be appointed; we will look at the security aspect. Infrastructure will have to be built whether it will be jail or court, all those will be looked at.”
The Defense Minister’s statement comes on the heel of a recent letter written by President George Manneh Weah to seek advice from the Liberian Legislature over the possibility of establishing a war and economic crime court in the country.
In a communication to the Liberian Legislature, which was confirmed to this paper by the Executive Mansion, President Weah asked members of that august body to advise him regarding the implementation of the TRC recommendations.
“As President of the Republic of Liberia, I am committed to a holistic implementation of the National Consensus (recommendations of the dialogue) and do hereby call on the National Legislature to advise and provide guidance on all legislative and other necessary measures towards the implementation of the TRC report, including the establishment of war and economic crime courts,” said the communication forwarded to this paper.
“Accountability of past human rights violations are essential ingredients for sustainable peace and achievement of inclusive development,” the letter stated.
Accordingly, the Minister, also a former Chief of Staff of the Liberian Army under the regime of immediate former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, pointed out that calls for the establishment of the court did not come from the blue sky, rather, was Liberians’ decision-referencing recent recommendations from the National Economic Dialogue, which was overwhelming endorsed by Liberians of all walks of life.
Those recommendations were not only endorsed by stakeholders alone, but the Liberian leader as well.
While expressing his personal view on the issue, Ziankhan noted that the a war and economic crime court is a must, stressing that if he were to be some of the potential witnesses, he would have braced it for once –since it is a consensus debate.
“If I [were] a potential witness, I would have braced it because it is an inevitable venture. We don’t have to keep dodging this,” opined the Minister.