MONROVIA: Palm oil giant Sime Darby has received the green light from villagers in western Liberia to clear 5,000 ha of land for a plantation, after a non-governmental organisation have accused it of a land grab. A memorandum, signed at a ceremony in Grand Cape Mount County on Friday, gave villagers’ blessing for the company to develop the land with oil palm and rubber. It was witnessed by Liberian officials, civil society and traditional elders. Environmental lobbyist Friends of the Earth has accusedSime Darby of harming biodiversity and depriving farmers of their livelihoods with its development in the west African country. The company denied the accusation. Sime Darby has signed an agreement with Liberia to develop about 220,000 ha of land for 63 years. However, it has met resistance from some locals who accused the company of not properly informing them of the scale and implications of the project. — Reuters Source: Site
MONROVIA: An infantry platoon-size unit of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) departs the country on tomorrow, Thursday, June 20, to join the Africa International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA). They will be embedded into the Nigerian battalion, with First Lieutenant Nathaniel Waka serving as Commander of the platoon unit. This will be the first time that Liberia is participating in peacekeeping operations in 52 years. In 1961, Liberia provided troops to the United Nations Organization in the Congo, a UN peacekeeping force established under UN Security Council Resolution 143 of July 14, 1960, to respond to the Congo crisis. According to an Executive Mansion release, there will be a formal departure program at the Roberts International Airport where the Commander-in-Chief of the AFL, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will inspect the troops, make a statement and a special presentation before the troops’ departure. Other dignitaries expected to grace the occasion include the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives’ Committees on National Security and Foreign Affairs, the Ambassadors of the United States and Nigeria accredited near Monrovia, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Liberia. A United States C-17 military transport aircraft will airlift the troops to Mali for deployment after the farewell ceremony. Already, the United States Government has provided logistics, personal gear and other equipment to the AFL platoon for the mission. Under the guidance of ECOWAS advisors and mentors, the soldiers commenced training at the Armed Forces Training Command (AFTC) at Camp Sande Ware, in Careysburg, on February 4, and for the next few months adequately trained in major activities presumed peculiar to the military situation in Mali. ECOWAS organized a military mission, AFISMA, to support the Government of […]
Robust Media reports on the issue of poor sanitation in Monrovia and its environs by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E) have claimed the attention of the Liberian Senate. WASH R&E is presently engaged in series of media activities on the filthiness of Monrovia and surrounding communities, as huge pile of garbage can be seen everywhere. The media activities with exclusive focus on sanitation have now become a topical issue on local radio & TV stations and in the local dallies. The on-going WASH Media Focus on Sanitation is considered a national issue and has claimed the attention of Senators at the Liberian Legislature. Members of the Senate view the present condition of the Capital city of Liberia not up to standard as expected and are calling for immediate actions to prevent further garbage spread throughout the city. The Senate, in its plenary Thursday, June 13, 2013, mandated its Committee on Internal Affairs to have Acting Monrovia City Mayor Cllr. Henry Reed-Cooper and Acting Paynesville City Mayor Cyvette Gibson summoned. Both Mayors are expected to give reasons why both major cities are being swallowed by mountains of garbage stockpiles. Observers believe that Monrovia began to look filthy following the resignation of former Acting Monrovia City Mayor, Mary T. Broh who was hugely financially supported by national government and some international partners to keep Monrovia clean and green. Madam Broh was then replaced with former Chief Justice, Cllr. Henry Reed-Cooper who is currently heading the Management Team of the City of Monrovia, but according to the Senators, effort by the current team is not as effective as compared to the former City Mayor. The issue was first raised […]
The Liberian Government has got more problems now perhaps than during the years of violence. The problems are multiple and hugely insurmountable in many respects, and it is glaring that the government does not have answers to all of them. The Unity Party-led government came to power in 2006, three years after the war ended in 2003. Most Liberians had thought that with the election of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president, she would have used her international contacts and influence to solve the problems. Honestly, she made some efforts in attracting the attention of the international community to focus on Liberia. It Is A fact that the current administration inherited some huge problems from past governments, but that does not alter the aphorism that government is continuity; therefore, this government is obliged to address the wishes and aspirations of the people. For Us, We believe that nothing is more critical than the health needs of the Liberian people. Our attention has been drawn to revelation made by Dr. Francis Karteh, head of the Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County, that there are 150 medical doctors in the country to attend to the health needs of 3.5 million people. Dr. Karteh: “As I speak to you, Liberia has 150 medical doctors, and when you divide this number by the population (3.5 million people), it means that you will have one doctor to 30,000 persons, and this is not good for the development of the country.” Analytically, Dr. Karteh’s statement is reminiscent of a worst scenario in which the vast majority of the people do not have proper health care due to the brain drain in the medical profession. It is highly probable that […]
A four day Child Labour Reporting with Legal and National Action Plan Preparatory Analysis on Child Labour in Liberia workshop has ended in Monrovia. The workshop which was organized by the Ministry of Labour with sponsorship from the International Program for the Elimination of Child Labour (IPC) an organ of the International Labour Organization (ILO) brought together over 60 participants from line Ministries and Agencies of government which deal with child issues, Civil Society Organizations and International partners. In their seven (7) counts recommendation to the Government of Liberia, the participants called on the government to domesticate into law ILO Convention 182 which talks about the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. Convention 182 was ratified by the Government of Liberia in 2002 but, is yet to be domesticated. They called for the National Commission on Child Labour to be enacted into law and provided a budget for the commission to enable it carry out effective monitoring of child labour activities throughout the country. The participants also recommended the ratification of ILO Convention 138 which talks about the Minimum age at work; and conduct of a national child survey on all sectors of the Liberia economy to establish level of the practice of child labour in the country. Speaking during the closing ceremony, the Assistant Labour Minister for Labour Standards, Atty. Rosetta N. Jackollie said the Government of Liberia is committed to eliminating child labour at all work places in the country. She said in order to increase the awareness on the elimination of child labour at workplaces around the country; the Ministry of Labour has hired the services of a consultant on Child Labour to work along with the National Commission on […]
Liberian media has lifted the block-out on activities surrounding President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her chief bodyguard Othello Warrick. The decision was taken by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) following a unanimous decision to end the 18 days media block-out. In a statement, which contained a caveat, the union said “No manner of threats by Warrick and his EPS will cause us to waver in our resolve to uphold the public interest and remain the voice of the voiceless.” For 18 days, the Liberian media has had a block-out imposed on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and lately the government mouthpiece, the Ministry of Information, for defending terroristic statement made against the Liberian media by Othello Warrick, head of the Executive Protective Service (EPS). Mr. Warrick is on record to have issued terror threat against Liberian journalists at an occasion marking World Press Freedom day on May 3, 2013 in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The day was declared by the United Nations to remind member states about the need for a free, independent and pluralistic media. But it was also observed to pay tribute to journalists and media workers who were killed in the performance of their trade. Warrick described media practitioners as terrorists and threatened to move on them, if they question the integrity of President Sirleaf. “Be Careful in questioning the integrity of Liberians. Be careful because you have your pen and we have our guns. If you incriminate the character or integrity of Liberia, like myself, we will come after you,” Warrick declared at the occasion. However, following Warrick’s threat, the government refused to condemn his reckless description of media practitioners and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf remained silent for days. In the statement issued yesterday, […]
Since the formation of Liberia’s republican governance system, public service has largely been regarded by most Liberians as shortcut to prosperity. When an official leaves public life without owning huge properties and colossal bank accounts, he’s regarded a stupid person. This quick-wealth mentality of Liberians toward public service not only sustains the culture of loot, plunder and thievery by a few persons but also leaves a majority of citizens in squalor and underpins the country’s political and social upheavals. To tackle these consequential effects of corruption in the public service, the postwar government of Liberia has made it nearly obligatory for all officials to declare their assets before accession to public office—something scores of them have already done. But a probe of the declarations unveils something startling: many officials failed to comply, some provided half-baked information, and even though others complied honestly. The Analyst looks at a report published this week by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission. The LACC says out of the 63 officials of Government from 7 ministries, agencies and public corporations who had declaresod their assets to the Commission, it has booked several persons for misrepresentations and unexplained wealth accumulation while others could not be verified for various reasons and some officials failed to cooperate. The Commission also announced that it could not complete the verification of assets of some officials. In a report published in Monrovia, the LACC sais while its verification exercise portends tremendous opportunities for success in the fight against corruption, there were difficulties due to the unscrupulous behaviors of some officials in the asset declaration process. The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) is the cardinal Government of Liberia (GoL) Agency charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting acts of […]
Most governments, even repressive ones, at least give lip service to supporting freedom of the press–especially on World Press Freedom Day, May 3. But in Liberia this month, Othello Daniel Warrick, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s chief security aide, shocked local journalists by threatening them and calling them “terrorists” at a public event to mark the occasion, according to news reports and local media groups. Warrick’s threats set off a firestorm of protest which has yet to subside. Although he has since backpedaled and some government officials have spoken up to reaffirm their commitment to press freedom, the media are imposing a blackout on coverage of the presidency, which they insist they will uphold until Sirleaf herself speaks out. Warrick–the head of Liberia’s presidential guard, the Executive Protection Service (EPS), which oversees Sirleaf’s personal security–was a scheduled guest speaker at a May 3 event titled “Media-Security Relations: An Imperative for Consolidating Peace in Liberia” in west-central Grand Bassa County. But instead of emphasizing peace when he took the podium, he threatened the gathering of over 100 media practitioners assembled, saying the EPS has the right to arrest them without warrant and he would “go after” any journalist who publishes articles critical of him or the presidency, news reports said. “Any press member that surpasses his/her responsibility to get involved in presidential intelligence; trust me, we will restrict you,” Warrick said. “Be careful, because you have your pen and we have our guns. And if you incriminate the character or integrity of Liberians, like myself, we will come after you… the EPS has the right to arrest you without warrant.”
US and Liberia have signed a joint statement affirming commitment to work together to address the challenges in Liberia and boosts the two countries’ bilateral relations. In his closing remark on US-Liberia Partnership Dialogue in Washington DC, Under Secretary Wendy Sherman says both countries are committed to hold the next session of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue in Monrovia, Liberia within the next year.
The inaugural session of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue was held in Washington, D.C. on May 7, 2013, with the signing of a joint statement, following a day-long deliberation involving senior government officials of both countries. Held at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Liberia and the United States reached another historical milestone in the relationship between both countries with the signing of a joint statement at the end of the U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue. The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, signed on behalf of Liberia, while Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Political Affairs, signed on behalf of the Government of the United States.