Abuja Agreement 1995

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights should set up an extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary enforcement mission to Liberia to investigate human rights violations and present a report with recommendations. These investigations should be supported by forensic experts to comply with UN standards set out in the principles of effective prevention and investigation of extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions. In addition to other preliminary investigations, the UN investigations into the 1993 Harbel massacre and UNMIL`s findings on the 1995 Yosi massacre should be closely monitored. On 19 June 1994, a ULIMO group led by Commander Keita killed six people from the village of Bangoroma, including a father and son, both Momoh Sata, for daring to ask him to recover their stolen property. The group also set fire to the home of local chef Lamini Betty. Leaders of all armed factions, members of the Council of State or not, should make it clear to those under their command that they are totally opposed to the torture and murder of prisoners and non-combatants. Amnesty International urges the leaders of the armed factions to ensure a strict chain of command through their armed forces and to hold to account all members of their forces who commit or tolerate human rights violations and to ensure that anyone suspected of committing abuses is removed from a leadership post or where they may commit abuses. ECOWAS should ensure that all ECOMOG national contingents have rules of engagement and rules on the use of firearms and other weapons in line with international standards for the use of force by law enforcement and minimum standards for human behaviour in armed conflict. All armed forces should adhere to minimum standards of human conduct, in accordance with Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, including treating civilians and combatants captured humanely and preventing unlawful executions or torture.

Amnesty International calls on all members of the international community to do everything in their power and use their influence to end the pattern of widespread human rights violations in Liberia. The United Nations should exert its influence on the transitional government and ECOWAS to ensure that there is no formal involvement or collusion in the event of human rights violations. The transitional government should order investigations into human rights violations. These investigations should be supported by forensic experts to comply with UN standards set out in the principles of effective prevention and investigation of extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions. Liberia`s neighbouring countries have a special role to play in ensuring that those responsible for human rights violations are not provided with refuge and in protecting those fleeing human rights violations. Amnesty International calls on the transitional government to assert its authority over armed groups and the AFL to ensure that they do not commit human rights violations, such as torture and extrajudicial executions. Amnesty International calls on all parties to the Liberian conflict to take immediate action to eliminate and prevent torture and illegitimate killings. ECOWAS should hold ECOMOG forces to account in Liberia by establishing a sufficient disciplinary mechanism to investigate allegations that ECOMOG soldiers have agreed with warring factions in the commission of abuses and act immediately against all soldiers found to be abused.

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