Photo: Ex Liberia’s TRC Chairman Jerome J. Verdier, Sr Addresses U.S. Symposium that Calls for the Implementation of Liberia’s ‘Truth’ Recommendations – New York
NEW YORK—The former chairman of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Counselor Jerome J. Verdier. Sr has written to the newly elected Liberian president, George Manneh Weah. In his letter, the renowned Liberian human rights lawyers lauded the incoming Liberian leader while simultaneously drawing his attention to the need for justice and respect for human rights, especially as it relates to the Liberian conflict.
In 2003, Liberia concluded a prolong civil crisis with the signing of a Peace Accord in Accra, Ghana. That Agreement called for the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
According to the TRC’s chairman, while officials of the outgoing Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf government and the international community had enthusiastically endorsed and financed the establishment of the TRC, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and some perpetrators of gross human rights violations in her outgoing government became averse to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.
Since the publication of the TRC’s Final Report in December 2009, officials of the outgoing government who played key roles–-financially and militarily– in financing the war continue to argue against the implementation of the recommendations, particularly those related to accountability. Below is Counselor Verdier’s letter.
H.E. Ambassador George M. Weah
The REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA
GREETINGS, YOUR EXCELLENCY!
May I avail myself of the opportunity to extend you heartfelt congratulations for your election to Office as PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA.
Yours is a historic and momentous victory culminating into a revolution summarizing and concluding over a century struggle of the Liberian people for justice and equality.
You are the first democratically elected indigenous President of this nation, breaking the stronghold of the minority on the political life of the nation, perhaps dethroning the hegemony forever!
Your election has brought to light the vision of the venerable D Tweh and the struggles of many others in Liberia for “rice and rights” and the abiding aspirations of the many you represent for younger, dynamic leadership in our beloved Country – Generational Change!
Sir, your momentous victory also imposes serious responsibilities on your leadership to empower your people, seek economic and social equality for them, and the protection and defense of their human and social economic rights.
With this responsibility, Your Excellency, also is imposed the obligation to redress issues of justice and accountability in addition to the Reports of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and curbing corruption in the public sector as reflected in the Reports of the General Auditing Commission (GAC), its public interest objectives and goals, thus repairing Liberia’s damaged credibility at home and abroad regarding corruption.
Once again, Sir, please accept my congratulations for Your election and best wishes for a vibrant and successful leadership in Liberia.
May GOD Almighty bless Liberia and bless you in all your works as Head of State and President of Liberia.
Jerome J Verdier, Sr
COUNSELLOR – AT- LAW