n African Security Review - 'God willing, I will be back' : gauging the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's capacity to deter economic crimes in Liberia : feature

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Liberia's civil conflict spanned over two decades, causing incalculable damage in its wake. In 2005 the Government of Liberia established a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) to address crimes committed during the war, to act as the sole adjudicator of war crimes in Liberia. It is the first TRC in the world with a mandate to prosecute economic crimes. Hence, the success of the TRC greatly affects prospects for peace in Liberia, and approaches to transitional justice the world over. However, several factors seriously threaten the efficacy of the TRC, including a weak legal framework for addressing economic crimes, internal power struggles at the TRC, lack of resources, and exclusion of public participation in the TRC process. The author argues that economic crimes are a principal cause of Liberia's civil conflict, and that post-conflict efforts aimed at addressing these crimes are insufficient. She also discusses the administrative impediments that prevent the TRC from effectively deterring the commission of economic crimes. The author concludes by offering recommendations to the TRC that will strengthen its capacity to execute its mandate.


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