MONROVIA, Liberia -- Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), modeled after South Africa's approach to moving beyond the violence and repression of apartheid, moved into its final stages last week. At a final conference on the outskirts of Monrovia, 400 representatives from around the country and the Liberian diaspora met to discuss findings from the thousands of hearings conducted so far, and to determine the path ahead.
That, many agree, will not be an easy task.
The commission was established in 2005 to address the legacy of the civil war that ravaged the country from 1989 to 2003. The roots of that conflict trace back to age-old animosities between Americo-Liberians, the descendants of freed slaves from the U.S., and indigenous Liberians from the numerous tribal groups that historically lived in the region. Tensions reached their peak in the late-1970s and 1980s, until Charles Taylor's 1989 rebellion sparked a civil war.