Liberia at a Crossroads

Human Rights Challenges for the New Government

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This briefing paper warns that Liberia’s transition from a near-failed state to a democratic country governed by rule of law cannot be considered complete until there is considerably more progress in several key areas. First, Liberia’s judicial system, which remains plagued by striking deficiencies, must be rebuilt with the help of the international community. Second, the process of restructuring and reconstituting Liberia’s national police and army, which have for decades preyed upon the populations they are entrusted to protect, must be completed without delay. Finally, the individuals responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Liberia’s armed conflicts must be kept out of the civil service, police and army and be held accountable for their crimes.

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