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Liberia truth commission on hold due to lack of funds

[JURIST] Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) [UN Mission in Liberia news release, PDF] has had to put its operations on hold due to lack of funds, according to its acting chairman. The TRC is charged with investigating and documenting crimes that occurred during Liberia's 14- year civil war [Globalsecurity.org backgrounder]. Despite urgings from the UN to accelerate its operations, the TRC had to recall recently dispatched workers [JURIST reports] when it could not pay their wages. One official estimated that it would need US$2 million to finish the three-month fact-finding mission it has scheduled, and several key financial pledges have not materialized. Main donors include the Liberian government, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) [official website] and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa [official website].

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission formally began its work [JURIST report] in June after being inaugurated [JURIST report] in February. According to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf [BBC profile], the commission is intended to heal the war-torn country and uncover the truth about the civil war. It has nonetheless been criticized by human rights groups [JURIST report] who advocate the establishment of a war crimes court in Liberia that would have prosecutorial powers. AFP has more.

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