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Sierra Leone’s War Victims Plan to sue Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Outgoing Liberian president, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

NEW YORK – Victims of the Sierra Leonean war have condemned outgoing Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as “wicked, destructive and evil,” warning that they are planning to sue the outgoing Liberian leader for her role in organizing the twin rebel organizations that destroyed their lives and country.

The victims say they are ready to sue President Sirleaf at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the African Union Court and the ECOWAS Court.  The group says they are asking for pro bono international lawyers to help them pursue their case against the outgoing Liberian president and the deposed president of Burkina Faso so that they can be compensated to live an affordable life.  According to the group’s leadership, they are seeking $20 million dollars from both President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Burkina Faso’s president Blaise Compaoré

Victims of Sierra Leone’s conflict allegedly funded by Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, says victim groups

According to Salamatu Corker and Brima Kabba, two leaders of the group, President Sirleaf was the chief organizer of the formation process of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia’s rebel which was the parent organization of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group that invaded and caused havoc in Sierra Leone, killing and maiming thousands of people, including women and children.

The Sierra Leonean victims group say the outgoing Liberian leader raised funds and supported ex-warlords Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh, leaders of the NPFL rebels and the RUF rebels, respectively. The group accused President Sirleaf of fully funding and facilitating the recruitment and training for the NPFL, the RUF as well as several other regional groups including a Gambian rebel sect headed by one “General” Kukoi Samba Sanyang.

The Sierra Leonean victims group say they have credible proof that the late RUF leader Foday Sankoh and a RUF’s leading commander, General Sam “Mosquito” Bockarie were trained in Libya and Burkina Faso through the contacts and financial support of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by the funds she raised using an American registered nonprofit organization known as the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL).

Salamatu Corkor, a child victim of an allegedly funded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Sierra Leone’s war

They victim group says Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf donated the first check of $10,000 United States dollars that launched the NPFL and RUF rebel groups. The money was delivered by the late Harry Greaves to Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh to purchase food and ammunitions as well as facilitate their initial transportation activities throughout West Africa.

Meanwhile, the group is condemning international institutions including the Norwegian-based Nobel Foundation, the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS, and Harvard University’s JFK School of Government among others, that have forgotten about the victims of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s funded Sierra Leone’s war and are instead rewarding the very President Sirleaf with “Useless” awards and honors.

In responding to an inquiry from Globe Afrique’s research and analysis team as to why the group is now accusing President Sirleaf, Salamatu Corker said, they are now doing so for two main reasons: “First, we are angry that the outgoing Liberian president, Madam Sirleaf, has ignored our pains and suffering by offering an olive branch to ex-Liberian warlord Charles Taylor currently jailed in the UK for his role in the Sierra Leone’s civil conflict that killed over 150,000 people, maimed the hands, lips and limbs of several thousand of people as well as destroyed our country. Second, we feel empowered to take international legal action against the outgoing Liberian leader because she is now leaving state power.”

For his part, Brima Kabba said, “There is no way we could have had any voice when we sue the Liberian leader while serving as a sitting president. But now, we can do so because she is becoming a private citizen of Liberia in few months. Besides, she heartless in supporting a return of Taylor to power indirectly.”

NPFL rebel leader Charles Taylor, center left in tie, and RUf rebel leader Foday Sankoh, center right in suit. Both are said to have been financed by Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, according to Sierra Leone’s war victim group

Adding, “We are surprised that this woman wants to fight for Taylor to come back to West Africa, or be released from prison, or even think that she can support the wife of a man (Taylor) who has caused the death and ruined the lives of many children in Sierra Leone. If Liberians are reckless and have no brains to listen to this wicked woman and support Taylor’s family in gaining state power after the suffering he (Taylor) and Sirleaf have caused the sub region, we in Sierra Leone are not. Therefore, we will show Madam Sirleaf that she cannot bring her tricks and deception to Sierra Leone.”

Gambian allegedly funded by Madam Sirleaf as part of the sub region mission

The group maintains that their attention is drawn to several local and international news reports that President Sirleaf and Charles Taylor have reached some passive understanding / agreement to support a presidential ticket in Liberia that will make Taylor have additional influence after she (Sirleaf) leaves office since she is unable to release him from prison due to international prison on her.

Questioned by Globe Afrique if the group has any real proof about the allegations against the outgoing Liberian leader, Salamatu Corker said, they have individuals that are alive that can prove the involvement of Madam Sirleaf in organizing the NPFL and the RUF as well as in being the main funder from the start.

They group named Charles Taylor, Prince Johnson, Thomas Jucontee Woewiyu and others as individuals with knowledge that Madam Sirleaf raised significant amount of money via a US registered nonprofit organization called the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL).

Brima Kabba said Madam Sirleaf used the ACDL to also reach out to the late Libyan leader Muhammar Khaddaffi to facilitate the training of Charles Taylor’s NPFL and Foday Sankoh’s RUF rebel forces as well as in the procurement of arms and ammunitions.

The group said they have nothing personal against President Sirleaf but they are surprised that she would disregard their sorrows, pains and life-long suffering to form an alliance with Taylor.

President Sirleaf is accused of financially and politically supporting Charles Taylor’s wife and ex-football legend George Weah for the Liberian presidency . Election is due October 10, 2017.  Left to right, Weah, Mrs. Taylor, Charles Taylor, and president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

According to the group, they plan to also pursue legal action against former Burkina Faso’s president Blaise Compaoré for financing the training of the RUF. The group said they will be seeking financial compensation from the ousted Burkina Faso’s leader and the outgoing Liberian leader to support rehabilitation and economic activities in Sierra Leone for victims.

Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and “General” Prince Johnson, of NPFL and INPFL

According to Ms. Corker, the victims of Sierra Leone, especially the women victims, feel betrayed by Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Adding, “Why will this woman not just leave state power and go seek repentance from God for all the evil deeds she carried out in West Africa. Instead, she is adding insults to injury by supporting Charles Taylor’s family and “anointed candidate” in obtaining state power.”

Meanwhile, Globe Afrique’s research and analysis team cannot validate the claims of the Sierra Leonean’ victim group against the outgoing Liberian leader. However, more research continues and Globe Afrique plans to reach out to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s office for a rebuttal or clarification as well as to General Prince Johnson and others to find out if the allegations that Madam Johnson funded the NPFL and the RUF is true..

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Blama G. Konuwah

Blama G. Konuwah resides in Vancouver, Canada. He is a public issues analyst and senior contributor to Globe Afrique.

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