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Liberia truth commission established to investigate human rights abuses

[JURIST] Liberian and UN officials on Monday inaugurated a Truth and Reconciliation Commission [UN Mission in Liberia news release, PDF] to investigate human rights abuses during the country's war-torn rule from 1979-2003. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf [BBC profile] presided over the swearing-in of the nine commission members, and she called the commission an opportunity to "bring forth a unifying narrative." The commission, modeled after a similar one used by South Africa [SA Commission website] following years of apartheid rule, does not have authority to try any suspects. It has been charged with documenting abuses during previous governments of Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor [PBS profile] and making recommendations for restitution.

Liberia [JURIST news archive] was required to form the commission by the peace agreement reached in 2003, and it was later approved by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act in June 2005. It will be jointly funded by Liberia and the UN. Former President Charles Taylor has been indicted [text] by the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone [official website; JURIST news archive], but he remains in asylum [JURIST report] in Nigeria. AP has more.

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