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After the Charles Taylor Verdict, What hopes for our war victims?

After the Charles Taylor Verdict, What hopes for our war victims?

Former Liberian war lord, Charles Taylor has been convicted for crimes against humanity, contrary to the International Humanitarian Laws (IHL), and also found guilty for aiding and abetting the eleven year civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone.

The aftermath of Taylor’s trial is now being reduced to the popular slogan on the lips of many Sierra Leoneans, what justice has been dispensed? To the gullible minds of the poor suffering war victims, justice has being ushered, but what awaits their faith –the faith  of those victims who suffered the brunt of the eleven year civil war, remains SEM’s concern.

Now that the trials are over, what next is on the agenda to integrate those victims of Taylor and co’s brutal regime?  We want to know the standpoint of the government in ensuring that those affected persons are well catered for in society.  We understand that the government did establish a War Victim’s Fund which gives mandates for the needs of war victims to be addressed; but up till this extent, we are yet to know how many victims are knowledgeable over this fund. The victims have long been suffering in silence and the established fund is not benefitting them, neither does it do anything to assuage their suffering.

Inasmuch as Taylor’s verdict is perceived as justice dispensed for which he is going to be sentenced, justice would be dispensed more if those victimized in the civil strife are compensated. We understand that Taylor is a wealthy man why can’t the Special Court for Sierra Leone extract some of his wealth and use it to boost the war victims fund in Sierra Leone?

Today we have our brethren parading the streets of Freetown and the provinces with scars, and some carrying bullets in their skin, with no medical care for them due to the lack of money to take care of their bills. A lot more are still constrained for accommodation as they had their houses burnt down during the war fueled by Charles Taylor and co.

The situation of the war victims is sympathetic and deserves society’s attention. Some among the war victims were members of the armed forces who gallantly fought in line with defending the mandate principles of securing the territorial integrity of the land area called Sierra Leone, we have other categories of soldiers who got killed in action while on active service. They too are Sierra Leoneans they deserve better than they now have.

The war victims fund should be popularized so that their needs are going to be catered for. It behooves everybody to reflect a few seconds, if it were you or me who was placed or rendered disabled as a result of the war, what our predicaments would be.  Think about it.  However, inasmuch as we are raising a champion crusade for the said war victims’ fund, they need responsible hands to manage and expend such funds judiciously.

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