Fatih University, Department of International Relations
Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations vol:9 issue:1 pages:181-191
After 14 years of civil war and violence followed by the momentous and rather unusual elections of 2005, in which a woman defeated a footballer for the presidency, Liberia has seen over six years of state reconstruction and relative peace. Two recent announcements have, however, served as a warning to the extent of progress. The most recent is President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s declaration that she will, despite previous statements to the contrary, stand for re-election in 2011 due to shortcomings in progress. The announcement preceding Johnson- Sirleaf’s was made in the form of the report of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). It recommended that Johnson-Sirleaf, and indeed many others accused of involvement in the war, should be barred from public office for the next 30 years, and still more should stand trial on charges of war crimes. Four important questions arise. First, what was the mandate and findings of the TRC? Second, how has Liberia and the wider international community reacted to the final report? Third, has the TRC fulfilled its mandate and contributed to a process of reconciliation? Finally, and in a much broader sense, where does the TRC stand relative to the much wider liberal peace model?