International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Rethinking Liberia

Whenever we discuss these types of horrible crimes in class, the same question always pops into my mind: what are the peoples thoughts and reactions upon seeing someone like Charles Taylor being held accountable for his action?  The crimes that Taylor was convicted of do not nearly represent all of the crimes he has committed, so doesn’t that anger people?  This article from the Daily Beast reports on what type of personal identity Liberians will have now that one of its most notorious citizens has been convicted of violent crimes.  Or to put it another way, what type of healing process will Liberians have to go through because of their recent and bloody history?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/28/liberia-rethinks-its-past-in-wake-of-charles-taylor-war-crimes-verdict.html

One of the aspects I enjoyed about this article was that it discussed the history of Liberia, not just from the last 30 years.  It was originally founded by ex-slaves as a means to celebrate their recent emancipation, but of course the events following tarnished that sort-of independent and liberating spirit.  The author notes that there is a type of divide between Liberians regarding Taylor’s verdict.  While the verdict is welcome by many, there are some ex-child soldiers who have condemned the decision because they view Taylor as a father-like figure.  So I suppose the question remains: how will Liberians reconcile after such horrible conflicts?

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One response to “Rethinking Liberia

  1. aboampon April 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I think this article, and this concept as a whole, is really interesting. I also think a lot of how native groups of people in the countries effected by the ICC situations, feel comes from the fact that the ICC is an outside body interfering in internal affairs. Although many of these countries have signed the Rome Stature, or invited the ICC to come into their country and investigate affairs, it’s becoming increasingly clear that countries wish they had the infrastructure needed to fix their own problems. It seems that many governments, as well as the people themselves, want their own form of justice in place of the punitive justice that the ICC is offering. This article talks a lot about re-building and writing history, I think this is an important theme. This re-occurring theme reinforces the fact that countries such as Liberia are wishing more and more that they were able to stand on their own two feet and not need the help of the ICC or the global community. It seems that reconciliation will come from being about to take care of matter themselves in the future. Side note, I also thought it was cool the article had a quote from a UMASS Boston Professor.

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