Home NewsLiberia House of Rep. Votes for War and Economic Crimes Establishment

House of Rep. Votes for War and Economic Crimes Establishment

by Maximilian K. Kasseh jr

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-The House of Representatives has voted for the establishment of a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia.

The House believes that the move will ensure perpetrators of war crimes are held accountable for their actions.

ELBC Legislative Reporter said:” Forty-one lawmakers voted in favor of the Court’s establishment, including House Speaker Fonati Koffa and Representative Yekeh Kolubah.”

Earlier, Speaker Koffa assured a visiting US Delegation of the National Legislature’s commitment to push for justice for victims of the Liberian Civil War.

The Delegation, led by US Ambassador-at-Large, Beth Van Schaach, is in Liberia to assess the prospects of establishing a war crimes court.

Meanwhile, the House’s resolution on the establishment of the Court has been sent to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.

At the same time, former Senate Pro Tempore, Albert Chie, said:” The constitutional and legal prohibitions may not permit the establishment of the criminal tribunal for crimes in Liberia.”

In his communication, Senator Chie said:” Domestic crimes committed  during the period of the civil crisis can only be adjudged and litigated in domestic criminal courts, and cannot be a subject of an international criminal tribunal.”

Senator Chie added that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations called for the President of Liberia to offer an apology on behalf of the State, as such, President Boakai should do so.

He named the setting up of the Reparation Trust Fund, a continuation of the palava hut, and the implementation of activities that will bring economic benefits to the victims as some of the recommendations of the TRC.

The Grand Kru County Senator called on Plenary to communicate to the President to set up the Trust Fund and mandate the requisite budgetary appropriations in the 2024 National Budget to facilitate the implementation of the TRC recommendations.

In another development, the Liberian Senate has mandated the Inter-Ministerial Mineral Concession Committee to review the mineral development of Western Cluster Company.

It followed a report from the Senate Joint Committee on Concessions, Investment, Mines, Energy, and Natural Resources on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

According to the Committee’s report, Western Cluster, a mining company operating in Western Liberia, is in flagrant violation of the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).

The report said that the Company has failed to construct the port in Bomboja, Grand Cape Mount County, pay social development funds from 2022 to 2024, and maintain more than ten persons in its employ as mentioned in the MDA.

The report also reviewed that the Company has no housing and education plans, as well as health and insurance benefits as mentioned in the MDA.

Meanwhile, the Plenary has mandated the Inter-Ministerial Mineral Concession Committee to immediately review Western Cluster’s Mineral Development Agreement, and ensure that the Company pays back fourteen-point-five million US Dollars waived by the Liberian Government during the negotiation process of the Memorandum of Understanding.

By: Sampson David/Emmanuel Kollie



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