Ambassador McCarthy, who made the disclosure on Thursday, October 20, 2022 when he spoke on ELBC, further disclosed that his country stands ready to support a decision taken by Liberians, through their leaders, to set-up the court.
But Ambassador McCarthy was quick to point out that such support is only possible if Liberians are intentional about ending the culture of impunity.
According to him, impunity, becoming a norm, worries the United States Government about the future of Liberia.
He said while Liberia lags behind in establishing war crime court, his country is currently supporting accountability and justice for war victims.
Among other things, he added that the mechanism to begin prosecuting war criminals must come from Liberia in order to generate the necessary support from international partners.
It can be recalled that in recent years the momentum for a War Crimes & Economic Crimes Court for Liberia to help redress the wounds of the country’s civil war has increased, but its creation is far from certain despite the recommendations of the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in
2009 and continuous pressure from grassroots groups throughout Liberia.
President George Manneh Weah has equivocated with regard to the court’s creation, backsliding from earlier support during his campaign for president.
For the past few decades, Liberia’s people have suffered untold human rights violations while perpetrators acted with near-complete impunity during the country’s multiple civil wars. Between 1989 and 2003, 250,000 Liberians died from the fighting, and thousands more were conscripted as child soldiers, raped, suffered loss of limb, and other traumatic experiences. Since that time, not a single war crimes trial has occurred in Liberia as part of the country’s judicial process.