Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
Enacted on May 12, 2005, by the National Transitional Legislative Assembly, the TRC Mandate is the Act That Established the Truth And Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Liberia.
Whereas in 1847, Liberia was declared the first independent Republic in Africa as a beacon of hope, freedom, liberty and justice;
Whereas the nation, since its independence, has been confronted with challenges and socioeconomic and political conflicts, which polarized the nation and culminated in the violence of the late 1970s leading to the military coup in 1980;
Whereas the violence during the 1980s led to even greater violence and armed conflict during the 1990s, decimating and displacing much of the population, internally and externally, ravaging the economy, polarizing the population further and thereby necessitating an intervention by the international community to restore peace and security to Liberia;
Whereas the overwhelming aspiration of the people of Liberia for peace and security resulted in the convening of a number of peace conferences and the adoption of several peace agreements, which eventually culminated in the adoption of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) as a sovereign state instrument in the City of Accra, Republic of Ghana, on August 18, 2003, thus bringing to a formal end the civil strife and wars which have bedeviled the nation;
Inspired by the principles of Chapter II, Article 5(a) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, which provides that the national policies of the Republic shall aim at strengthening the national integration and unity of the people of Liberia, regardless of ethnic, regional or other differences, into one body politic; and the Legislature shall enact laws promoting national unification and the encouragement of all citizens to participate in government";
Considering that the civil conflict was generally characterized by gross violations of human rights and the widespread commission of gruesome and heinous crimes against humanity in further violation of international humanitarian laws and standards;
Convinced that national peace and security, unity and reconciliation are indispensable to the attainment of national development goals and objectives that ensure socioeconomic growth, development and prosperity;
Recognizing that introspection, national healing and reconciliation will be greatly enhanced by a process which seeks to establish the truth through a public dialogue which engages the nation about the nature, causes and effects of the civil conflicts and the impact it has had on the Liberian nation in order to make recommendations which will promote peace, justice and reconciliation;
Recalling that Article XIII of the CPA provides for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to provide a forum that will address issues of impunity, as well as an opportunity for both the victims and perpetrators of human rights violations to share their experiences in order to get a clear picture of the past to facilitate genuine healing and reconciliation;
Recognizing that prior to the enactment of this TRC Act the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia appointed a group of nine (9) commissioners;
Recalling also that the CPA further mandates in Article XIII that in the spirit of national reconciliation, the Commission shall deal with the root causes of the crises in Liberia, including human rights violations
[and] among other things, recommend measures to be taken for the rehabilitation of victims of human rights violations
Reaffirming the commitment of the Liberian people to peace and justice, unity, national healing and reconciliation and the general principles of human and peoples rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also other international conventions and protocols relating to the rights and protections of women and children;
It is enacted by the National Transitional Legislative Assembly of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, in Legislature Assembled:
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9th Street, Beach Side
Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia
- Organization Contacts
The TRC is composed of nine national members, all of whom were selected after a widespread consultative process and nominations from the general public in the fall of 2005, with help from a selection panel chaired by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Since its inauguration in February 2006, Commission members have been engaged in preparatory activities in advance of today's operational launch, including extensive public outreach both within the country and to the Liberian diaspora community spread throughout the world. The TRC hopes to involve those dispersed communities in the truth-telling process.
An aggressive outreach and awareness campaign is currently underway within the country, calling for widespread participation from all members of society. The Commission's chairman, attorney Jerome J. Verdier, also recently toured the United States to encourage Liberians living there to participate in the process, reflecting the TRC's strong commitment to hearing from as many victims and witnesses as possible to determine the truth about Liberia's violent past.