Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Kofi Annan Comes to Town

The SG was here yesterday, greeted warmly for the most part by a Liberian public that seems to love him.

A couple of hundred people did march out front of the UN fortress carrying coffins and wearing black t-shirts. They're demanding a war crimes tribunal, not satisfied with the idea of a Truth and Reconciliation process without punishment. I don't pretend to understand people's rage over the crimes of the past, but I do know that it would take many years, cost many millions, and cause many new rifts in society to try and imprison all of the potentially thousands of people who might be indictable for war crimes. To quote one caller I heard on the radio the other day, "Where do we draw the line?"

In related news, I drove by the new Armed Forces of Liberia recruiting station yesterday and saw a group of men inspecting a newspaper that had published the photos of the first 140 recruits for the new army. The idea is to show their faces and allow the public to speak up if there are any known criminals among them. The AFL is meant to top out at 3000 persons.


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