Hundreds of survivors of various massacres during the course of the Liberian civil war are urging government and the international community to establish a war crimes court for the country.
The survivors believe they can get relief or justice from their years of trauma when they face those perpetrators before a tribunal, which according to them, is the best process to healing their wounds.
As part of the peace process reached in Accra, Ghana in 2003 to end the civil conflict Liberian factional leaders opted for transitional justice rather than retributive justice, which led to the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the country.
But the Liberia Massacres Survivors Association (LIMSA) in a statement issued Wednesday in Monrovia said amongst others the establishment of a war crimes court will pave the way to retributive justice.
"The court will bring about mental relief of various massacres which took place during the conflict in Liberia," read the statement signed by Peterson Sonyah, Head of the group.
Sonyah is one of the survivors of the massacre at the St. Peter's Lutheran Church, which occurred in June 1990 when some unknown men suspected to be soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia entered the Holy place.
"Victims and survivors of various massacres in the country are discouraged with the manner in which they have been treated," LIMSA statement noted. It said while it is prudent to foster peace and reconciliation, the court's establishment should not be thrown out of the window or into the dustbin.
"In the absence of the court, the country will continue to remain divided with hatred being practiced among the population at all levels," the group noted.
There have been several calls from both local and international communities for the setting up of a tribunal to try those recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for bearing greater responsibility for atrocities committed during the conflict.
A Liberian lawmaker Baron Brown, recently introduced a bill in the House of Representatives, seeking the establishment of a war crimes court.