AfBA Prexy Urges Liberia To Set Up Tribunal For War Crimes
The President of the African Bar Association (AfBA), Hannibal Uwaifo, has called on the Liberian government to liaise with the appropriate international, continental and regional bodies to set up a tribunal to try cases of those who murdered innocent people and plundered “this beautiful land.”“We are also glad to know that some of the actors in the brutal civil war or armed conflict that led to the deaths of thousands have been brought to justice,” Mr. Uwaifo said, adding: “They must all face justice in a transparent and recognized legal and judicial process. This is the only way to rest the past and face the future.”
The AfBA President made the call Monday at the opening of the African Bar Association 2019 Annual Conference being held at the Ministerial Complex in the Monrovia suburb of Congo Town.
The conference runs from October 21-24.
Advocate Uwaifo indicated that the African Bar Association has respected members as judges, lawyers and experts in all fields and is available to help the Republic of Liberia in this direction.
He observed that Africa is at a crossroads and that the duty of lawyers in positioning and repositioning the African continent cannot be overemphasized, noting that the role of the Bar Association and individual lawyers is needed now more than ever before.
“We must use the instrumentality of the law to take Africa to the Promised Land; to fight disobedience of court order, harassment of judges and appointment of cronies to man judicial positions, persecution of opposition voices and bad governance,” the AfBA president pointed out.
He noted that “Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, the DRC and Rwanda top the chart for the harassment, detention and disappearance of opposition figures,” noting that “All these have to stop.”
“The African Bar strongly condemns violations of any type across the continent and calls on all lawyers to rise up in defense of our citizens, using all lawful means to challenge these evils.”
He lamented that while many parts of the continent are currently experiencing peace, others are “fighting terrorism or armed conflicts of severe nature; terrorism anywhere is a serious evil and we condemn all acts of terror, especially against women, children and the vulnerable and for all those who plunged their countries into horrific chaos due to economic greed and hunger for their political goals.”
“We call on governments to bring all the actors to account for their deeds. Liberia where we all are today, once a proud country, was some time ago a theatre of the absurd; we commend the government and people of Liberia for the relative peace here today and that all organs in the democracy Liberia enjoys are all working,” he opined.
He, however, pointed out that a number of issues still need to be tackled and noted that corruption in the conduct of public and private businesses is still rife and may even be rising at frightening dimensions.
“Corruption is a violation of the rule of law; breeds socio-economic and political hardships and is mostly responsible for the armed conflicts that still dot the African landscape from Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda, through to Rwanda, Cameroon, Malawi, CAR, DRC, Togo, Angola, and so on.
“Violent violations of human rights and the rule of law are still being recorded at an alarming scale,” the AfBA president lamented.