THE CRY FOR JUSTICE IN SIERRA LEONE

YOUNG GIRL AMPUTEE1

By KABS KANU :

The Special Court, which started its sittings in Sierra Leone , has generated some misunderstanding , that should not be the case.  

The fact that there are people among those indicted for war crimes who should not have been among the accused, as their supporters contend, should not make us miss the fact that there was need for a war crimes tribunal  in a country where the greatest harm imaginable was perpetuated against innocent people, some of them infants.

Look at this beautiful and sweet baby. How would you have felt if she was your daughter or sister ? The barbaric people who amputated her right hand certainly were not thinking about the strides that man had made in civilization. Ungodly, conscienceless, wicked, vile and unscrupulous they certainly were , to have looked at such an innocent infant and violently hacked off her right hand. It was the culture of impunity at its highest.

As a nation, we must know what happened .We must know why men made in the likeness of God, became so base and devillish that they perpetuated horrors that shocked even the Devil. We must also hold somebody accountable for these satanic acts against innocent people, at least as a deterrent against future perpetuators.

Therefore whatever mistakes are alleged to have been  made when the treaty to set up this court was being signed, with regards to who  should or should not enjoy indemnity , these should not detract from the fact that we needed a court like this war crimes tribunal to bring justice to our country. Justice at times is harsh and hard to bear, but there will never be sustainable peace in Sierra Leone or Liberia if the alleged crimes committed during the war are not made the subject of justice that should deliver a strong message to one and all that the days of impunity are over.

It is very easy to condemn a body like the court  if one did not feel the horrors that became a painful way of life in Sierra Leone. He who feels it knows it. The blood of the countless thousands of innocent victims slaughtered unnecessarily during the war are  crying out from their graves for justice. We cannot afford to turn deaf ears to their cries.

Whatever the mistakes made about the Special court, let us stop behaving as if there was no need for justice in Sierra Leone. The demands for justice are compelling and should be met expeditiously. Cornelius Hamelberg of Leonenet is asking salient questions. Firstly, he asked that if the Special Court should not exist, who should try the likes of Charles Taylor ? He has also intimated that people are condemning the Special Court without suggesting an alternative . We cannot selfishly think only of our own hurts and forget about the excruciating pain that thousands are walking around with in Sierra Leone.

Indeed, whenever we want to open our mouths and make puerile statements that there was no need for a war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone, let us look at the face of the poor, innocent angel pictured above . She was an innocent baby that did no wrong to man or beast; yet she was set upon , her innocent right hand placed on a chopping board and hacked off , for no reason other than the fact that those who have maimed her for life wielded power and control that were abused with impunity.

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