Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mass graves found in Liberia.

The Associated press is reporting that Liberian Officials have confirmed the presence in Liberia of mass graves which are believed to hold the remains of people massacred during the civil war. A team headed by Jerome Verdier, chairman of Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the national commission investigating human rights violations during the country's 2 decades of civil war visited the four villages where the graves are located. Among the villages "some of the survivors narrated horrible and gruesome stories of the atrocities committed against them by various warring factions during the Liberian conflict.Verdier said villagers told his team they wanted the bodies exhumed and reburied. He said while that was not his commission's role, it would try to help villagers who want to give proper burials to those massacred. The smallest grave the commission visited held 78 bodies; the largest contained as many as 500, according to Verdier.

Liberia's truth commission, patterned after a similar commission established in 1995 to examine human rights abuses in South Africa, offers victims an opportunity to air their grievances and create a historical record.

It cannot conduct criminal trials, but can recommend that some people be prosecuted.
Some 250,000 Liberians are believed to have been killed in the fighting between 1990 and 2003, when former President Charles Taylor bowed to international pressure and went into exile. He is now imprisoned in The Hague, Netherlands, awaiting trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Kerper Dwanyen elected President of the organization of Liberians in Minnesota.

Kerper A. Dwanyen President Elect

After weeks of mud slinging and allegations of gross human rights violations during the Liberian civil war against some of, or at least one of the candidate running for the presidency of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota, Liberians in Minnesota elected Kerper Dwanyen as their new leader. Dwanyen who onced headed the Nimba Redemption Council, during Liberia’s civil war, was accused by some of his opponent as a rebel who was involved in atrocities against innocent civilians. But at approximately 2:15 a.m Monday, when the last ballot was counted, it was clear Dwanyen had been elected president with 793 votes. The incumbent, Martha Sinoe, came in a distant second with 436 votes, followed by Wynfred Russell (257) and Jackson George (229).
Let us hope that now the new leadership of the organization will really get to the business of working for Liberians who called Minnesota home. The first thing the new leadership should address is the constant negative news about the Liberian community in Minnesota, at almost all Liberian gatherings, there are always reports of fights and drugs, this is really sad, and if something is not done about this problem, all of us stand to have our good names ruin by these thugs.