Glenna Gordon and Jina Moore look at Liberia's efforts to restore law and justice -- for victims of sexual violence, for communities in conflict and for the nation as a whole. Gordon and Moore travel to Liberia's new Sexual and Gender Based Violence courts to find out how the country is tackling an epidemic of rape crimes and to rural Liberia, to investigate growing land disputes that threaten Liberia's hard-earned, fragile peace. The project focuses on local voices, experiences and ideas to understand the new Liberia.
Jina Moore, for the Pulitzer Center
When Charles Taylor's on the stand, Monrovia buzzes. The former Liberian president and accused warlord is standing trial at The Hague, in the Netherlands, in a kind of satellite courtroom for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Don't worry; the geography of it all, and the relevance, also confuses some Liberians. Here's a short video introducing the ataye center where I did some reporting on the question of how Liberians feel about the Charles Taylor trial.
Six years after a civil war that killed 250,000 and displaced hundreds of thousands more, justice is at the top of Liberia's list of needs. But in this small West African country of 3.5 million, the problem isn't a lack of courtrooms or trained lawyers. Liberia is wanting for the actual laws themselves. The country's legal code doesn't exist in print except for a few mismatched volumes here and there, sequestered in incomplete sets in libraries in the capital, Monrovia.
Reproduced with permission from The Christian Science Monitor.
The local ataye center is a small, leisurely oasis on an otherwise bustling commercial street in Liberia's capital of Monrovia. Here, men sip bitter green tea, play checkers and Scrabble, and debate the day's politics.