Liberia’s Truth And Reconciliation Commission: Reviving Its Recommendations?

After 14 years of civil war that flouted six peace agreements, Liberians representing the warring parties along with civil society groups,
and political parties signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in
Accra, Ghana, on 18 August 2003. The CPA called for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission and an inclusive two-year interim national government.

The interim government consisted of members of the Charles Taylor regime, representatives of the two rebel factions – the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) and Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) – and representatives of civilian opposition and civil society organisations. In keeping with provisions in the 2003 CPA, the transitional government passed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act in May 2005, which called for the creation of a commission
mainly modelled on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The TRC (also referred to as the commission) began its hearings in January 2008. It faced the arduous task of moving the peace process forward to establish the truth about the civil war by providing a platform to discuss issues of impunity and promote national reconciliation and cohesion.

The Commission Consisted of nine commissioners, five men and four women. Efforts were made to mainstream gender in the work of the commission given women played a significant role during, and were notable victims of, the conflict. The TRC mandate was restricted to events that happened between January 1979 to October 2003.

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