President Sirleaf Urges TRC to Identify Structural Flaws That Have Impeded Liberia’s Progress

Tuesday, 31st July 2007
President Sirleaf and TRC Commissioners
President Sirleaf and TRC Commissioners
Photo Credit: James Garessen, II/Executive Mansion

Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says there is a need to identify those structural flaws that have impeded Liberia’s progress over the years. Such an exercise the President said, would help government in shaping its policies that would put the country on an irreversible course. The President said Liberia has an opportunity to get the country on the right path that will fundamentally alter the course successive government would follow.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the President was speaking on Tuesday during a visit to the offices of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

During a meeting with the Chairman and members of the Commission, the President said it was important for the TRC to go beyond recent events in the country’s history and address the root causes of events dating back to the  founding years. President Johnson Sirleaf attributed some of the problems which have affected the country to ‘social cleavages’ that resulted in crisis of identify and participation. The President said unless such issues are addressed, the country would have missed an opportunity to address the serious structural flaws that could lead the country to conflict.

The Liberian leader said, government remains supportive of the decision which set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the 2003 Accra Peace Conference and would continue to provide budgetary support to enhance the work of the Commission. The President, however, added that “those who want to pursue justice beyond the process of contrition and forgiveness, our government should support the process through the guidance of the Commission.”

TRC Chairman, Cllr Jerome Verdier thanked the President for the visit, noting that the success of the Commission is crucial to the attainment of the total restoration of peace in the country. Cllr. Verdier observed that the divisions among Liberians run very deep, and pointed out that it was only through the TRC process that the divisions could be bridged.
Monday’s visit to the TRC Sinkor offices by the President was the first since the Commission opened its offices last year.