To Correct Rights Record, Liberia Sends Team to U.S.

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In the coming months, Liberians living in the United States begin to tell their stories about atrocities that occurred in their West African nation. The Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission is gathering statements in one of the most ambitious effort ever by such a commission.

And some of the early training to collect those statements is under way now in Minnesota.

The commission is sending people to Minnesota to take statements that rely on the same forms and codes used in Liberia. That way, officials say, information collected in the United States can be sent to Liberia to become part of the country's historic record.

They're trying to uncover human rights violations and hold those responsible to account. Minnesota has the largest population of Liberian ex-patriots. The commission will also gather statements in Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has only a short time to answer its many questions about the decades of human rights abuses in Liberia. The process begins only a few months before former president Charles Taylor goes on trial for war crimes.

Toni Randolph of Minnesota Public Radio reports.

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