Liberia ― Human Rights Council ― Accountability ― Apr. 2010

From 1979 until 2003, the Liberian people survived a bloody coup d’etat, years of military rule, and two violent civil wars. Out of a pre–war population of 3,000,000 people, an estimated 250,000 were killed and as many as 1,500,000 displaced.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (“LTRC”) was established by legislative act in 2005 to “promote national peace, security, unity and reconciliation” and to make it possible to hold perpetrators accountable for the gross human rights violations and violations of international law that occurred in Liberia between January 1979 and October 2003.

The LTRC was the first TRC to involve a diaspora population in the truth-seeking process. At the request of the LTRC, The Advocates for Human Rights coordinated the work of the TRC in the diaspora. The Advocates documented more than 1600 statements from Liberians in the United States, the United Kingdom, and in the Buduburam Refugee Settlement in Ghana, West Africa. A public hearing was held in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States to gather public testimony from Liberians in the U.S. diaspora. As a result of the work, A House with Two Rooms: The Final Report of the Liberia TRC Diaspora Project was published in 2009.

Based on its work with the Liberian diaspora, The Advocates submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council making specific recommendations for accountability in Liberia.