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News Extra

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Gender Issues









Liberians Vote on 19 Propositions

for Constitution Amendment











These are indicative rates based on results of daily surveys of

the foreign exchange market in Monrovia and its environs. The
rates are collected from the Forex Bureaux and the commercials
banks. The rates are not set by the Central Bank of Liberia.


VOL 9 NO.62



Research, Policy and Planning Department,
Central Bank Liberia,
Monrovia, Liberia




Sirleafs Latest Statement, Not Ruling out His Own Presidential Bid
Raises uncertainty Over Vice Presidents political future.

Politics - pg. 7

Monday, April 6, 2015

Page 2 | Frontpage

Rodney D. Sieh, rodney.sieh@frontpageafricaonline.com

or much of her first term and portions of her second,
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf had the luxury of time in
her favor, repeatedly ignoring calls from her critics and
the international community to rid her administration
of bad apples and take steps to curb corruption, viewed as the
Achilles heel in her presidency.
The killer instinct of the Iron lady persona she rode to the
presidency for many had been abandoned although Sirleafs
supporters would argue that she did take steps to set up integrity
institutions and show some perceived rotten apples the door in
the latter stages of her first term.
With a little more than two years remaining before the 2017
elections, Sirleaf last week, sought, in a nation-wide address, to
reassure Liberians that she was still in control but needed the
help of all as her administration limps toward the injury time in
the remaining moments of her presidency.
As your leader, the president declared: I will remain true to
our cherished ideals. I therefore ask for your continued trust and
confidence to help me get these important things done. I ask for
the same unity of purpose across the useful diversities of our
government and our society the diversities which improves
governance and make our society stronger. I ask all of you for the
same spirit of community ownership and collective urgency as we
embark on the road for Post-Ebola Recovery.
The problem for Sirleaf is a familiar refrain for many leaders
facing similar predicament of a democratic twilight toward the
end of their presidency, aptly described as the lame duck era, the
fading light at the end of the tunnel, one dreaded by leaders when
the clock ticks toward the endgame. Herein, although leaders
tend to show an exterior of toughness toward the end of their
terms, yet they are belabored by thoughts of what went wrong
and thoughts emerge of how they would be perceived. Some
even begin to wonder about possible lapses that could lead to
legal entanglements for allies, friends and family members. The
recent conviction of Karin Wade in Senegal is indicative of how it
might end for politically exposed persons in this administration
including the presidents son.
For the foreseeable future, many political observers and
international partners agree that Sirleaf would need to make
adjustments in some key areas in a bid to secure her legacy and
post-presidency standings. The conventional wisdom is that the
president will govern on a business as usual platform, but others
are hopeful she can turn the tide through aggressive tactics to
deal with the countrys many challenges.
Perhaps the most pressing concern is the post-war security
which, since 2003 has been in the hands of the United Nations
Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). But the UN Security Council last
week put Liberia on notice in a draft resolution reaffirming the
councils expectation that the government of Liberia will assume
full responsibility for security from UNMIL by 30 June 2016.
While the council requested Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to
continue to streamline and consolidate the activities of UNMIL
across its civilian, police and military components in light of the

resumed drawdown and anticipated security transition, many

remain nervous about the aftermath of the 2017 presidential
The President and her team need to concentrate on the gaps that
are already left over by UNMIL. As of now, UNMIL has left most
security functions to the government, including border patrol and
most internal security. Also, there are gaps left by the absence
of UNMIL in parts of the country where they maintained and
repaired roads. The Ministry of Public Works has to budget for
road maintenance ordinarily done by UNMIL and with budget
deficits looming over the last two fiscal periods, it would put a
pinch on the government spending priorities. One gaping hole
is presidential travel, where the presidents internal security was
provided by UNMIL, including access to UN helicopters.
Liberia, unlike its neighbors Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone,
has not had a recent successful turnover of power from one
democratically-elected government to the next. The last time
there was a democratic transition in Liberia was the stagemanaged events of 1944 when Edwin J. Barclay turned over the
reins of power to William V. S. Tubman.
The recent elections in Nigeria, political observers say, continue
a trend of opposition upsets in recent time. Diplomatic observers
say General Muhammadu Buhari won because he was viewed as

As the clock ticks on the Unity Party-led Sirleaf

Administration, the enormous expectations of the
electorate that led to her election to the presidency
twice, in 2005 and 2011 are fading into despair
and could result in undermining the democratic
gains by a growing cynicism. Moreover, Sirleafs
backers in the international system are also
beginning to sound warnings, as were recently
demonstrated by the UNMIL SRSG and the
outgoing British Ambassador, both lamenting the
sad state of Liberia due to endemic corruption.

incorruptible unlike Goodluck Jonathan who, critics say, ran a

corrupt regime. Buhari was also viewed as strong on security and
has pledged to take on Boko Haram, an issue, many agree showed
Jonathans weakness.
For many, questions are beginning to arise over whether any of
the listed Liberian politicians with an eye on 2017 are viewed as
incorruptible and strong on security but many including former
Ghanaian president Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, say
Buharis victory is a victory for all anti-corruption people in
Africa. The opposition won in Ghana with Atta Mills defeating
John Kuffuor; in the Ivory Coast Alhassan Ouattarra defeated
Laurent Gbagbo and in Sierra Leone Ernest Ba Koroma defeated
Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. Across Africa, opposition appears to be
gaining grounds in incumbents as seen recently not just in Nigeria

but in Nigeria and Zambia as well.

The difference, political observers say, is that in some cases the
opposition ganged up against the incumbent in contrast to Liberia
where a lot of the opposition parties in the past two elections,
2005 and 2011 joined ranks with the ruling Unity Party against
the Congress for Democratic Change which finished second in the
last two outings.
In fact, critics say, the idea of opposition joining ranks with the
incumbent is a rarity except in Liberia where Liberty Partys
Charles Brumskine, Prince Johnson, Simeon Freeman and Dr.
Togba Nah Tipoteh have all in recent years, lined up behind
Sirleafs UP. Brumskine declined to endorse any party or politician
in 2005, a decision which some political observers say has hurt his
relationship with George Weahs CDC. Thus, many have accused
the opposition of being coalition partners to the incumbent UP
and not really opposition.
Like Nigeria, the 2017 elections in Liberia could come down to
issue of security and who has the ingredients not just to unite
Liberia but steer the post-war nation toward stability postUNMIL.
The post-UNMIL security concerns are seen as crucial to Liberias
political stability. Last weeks draft resolution authorizes the
Secretary-General to implement the third phase of UNMILs
drawdown to arrive at new ceilings of 3,590 military personnel
and 1,515 police personnel during the current mandate period,
which expires 30 September. In terms of UNMILs authorization,
the drawdown represents a 25 percent reduction in peacekeepers
and a 16 percent reduction in police from the levels last authorized
in resolution 2190 (4,811 and 1,795 respectively) adopted on 15
December 2014.
In operational terms the drawdown would be less substantial,
since as of 28 February UNMILs actual deployment was 4,439
military personnel (troops and military observers) and 1,426
police (including formed police units). Thus, the drawdown would
require a 19 percent reduction in deployed military personnel
and no cuts in deployed police personnel.
The draft resolution highlights the Councils concern with border
security, particularly between Liberia and Cte dIvoire. It calls
on the governments of the two countries to continue reinforcing
cooperation, particularly with respect to their common border.
It also calls upon all UN entities in the two countries, including
UNMIL and the UN Operation in Cte dIvoire (UNOCI), to
support the Ivorian and Liberian authorities. The draft resolution
also reaffirms the importance of inter-mission cooperation
arrangements as UNMIL and UNOCI downsize. The potential for
border insecurity to destabilize Liberia or Cte dIvoire has been
mentioned in the reports of the Secretary-General on UNMIL and
UNOCI as well as in the various reports of the experts supporting
the 1521 Liberia and 1572 Cte dIvoire sanctions committees.
Liberia experienced nearly 15 years of intermittent civil wars and
the first democratically elected post war regime led by President
Sirleaf was charged to reconcile a society torn apart on tribal,
religious, political and other lines.
Without reconciliation, the international community and all
Liberians knew it was difficult for the country to maintain its
fragile peace and President Sirleaf made the vow to reconcile the
In the name of putting in place a mechanism to buttress the
efforts aimed at reconciling the Liberian people, all Liberians
stakeholders opted for a Truth and reconciliation Commission
which was charged with the mandate to hold public hearings
and interviews in an attempt to find out the root causes of the
Liberian civil war and make recommendations.
Trapped in the report herself, Sirleafs critics say she has been
a major contributor to the undermining of the report with her
regime yet to implement the recommendations of the commission.
Some key commissioners of the TRC are currently in exile.
Critics say, Sirleaf has failed to offer Cllr. Jerome Verdier, Massa
Washington, John Stewart and other commissioners of the TRC
jobs in her government perhaps because she disagrees with their
The man credited for leading Liberias transition to peace, heading
a complex National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL),
Charles Gyude Bryant was put on trial by the regime of President
Sirleaf under the guise of fighting corruption when today her
regime which has continually being dubbed one of the corrupt in
Africa has no prisoner behind bars for corruption.
Even to his death, Bryant faced obstacles with the regime of
President Sirleaf where he was denied contracts.
President Sirleaf is known not to favor dissent, even though she
has no political prisoner in jail, but her technique of going after
people who disagree with her is glaring as all Liberians who
disagreed with her on national issues were suppressed by her
regime to the core.
Critics also point to differences with Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe, John
Morlu, Frances Johnson Morris Allison, Leymah Gbowee and
other Liberians as a gauging point for some of the complications
stalling reconciliation moves.
The Presidents critics say she may have missed the opportunity

Monday, April 6, 2015


Page 3

to foster reconciliation with level of division which could make

mending fences a difficult proposition.

Liberia is worse off in terms of security than it was during prewar
years and even the short regime of Charles G. Bryant. Local
produce such as plantain, cassava, eddoes and other vegetables
and fruits now have limited supplies on the Liberian market.
Farming activities across the country has declined greatly while
the Ministry of Agriculture is a Monrovia based entity.
Access to farming implements is very difficult for the ordinary
Liberian farmers and getting their produce to the market is
another challenge which has forced many into abandoning
farming activities.
Industry observers say the Ministry of Agriculture, within the
last ten years has failed to put in place concrete and sustainable
programs to empower small holder farmers as evidenced by the
decline in local production where nearly all the food products
are imported from Ivory Coast and Guinea. As a result, Liberia is
one of the most food insecure countries in Africa, with one in five
people food insecure. According to the Comprehensive Food and
Nutrition Survey, some counties like Bomi, the Presidents home
being 70 percent food insecure. The Ministry of Agriculture is
run by bureaucrats sitting in offices in Monrovia. Even with
substantial donor support, yet no real impact in food security has
been achieved over the last ten years of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
The closure of the border exposed the unproductive agriculture
sector of Liberia as prices of food commodities increased during
the entire Ebola outbreak. Pepper and other common food have
been scarce on the Liberian market in the wake of Ebola...
With less than three years left to go, it is difficult to see how EJS
can turn things around in making Liberia to have some level of
food security. Experts say she has to find a solution to the barriers
to agriculture, including funding.
The health sector of Liberia is no doubt one of the weakest; firstly
the majority of the nurses and other healthcare practitioners
are not up to the task. The Medical school at the University of
Liberia does not resemble a high school, a place without good
laboratory and other facilities but yet it is where Liberian doctors
are produced and sent out to offer medical services to the people.
Students graduate from the bachelor program at the University
of Liberia without knowing what a laboratory is and the trend
continues to the medical school, where everything is just reading,
less practical.
At the A.M. Dogliotii College of Medicine, students study in
darkness using candles and practical experiment is lacking
in large part; these students later become doctors to provide
medical treatment to Liberians.
Liberia could perhaps go into the Guinness Book of records if
research is done on how people get diagnosed of sicknesses in
the country.
It will come as a surprise to hear that some of the equipment used
in clinics and other hospitals in Liberia diagnose people differently.
At one clinic a patient is diagnosed of typhoid while at another the
same patient is diagnosed with malaria. Two tests, same patient
with different diagnoses. Critics say President Sirleaf and many
of her officials may be out of touch of the realities facing health
care delivery for the poor because many enjoy the luxury of flying
to the United States, of late, India and other countries for routine
medical checkups and treatment.
Said Sirleaf in her recent address to the nation With
vulnerabilities exposed at the height of the outbreak, we continue
to lift the rebuilding of the health system as a primary concern.
Toward this end, we are implementing a ten-year program of
training of health care professionals, improving and expanding
services at primary and secondary healthcare centers, upgrading
county hospitals and establishing three regional hospitals. We are
emphasizing the repositioning of JFK to meet its envisioned role
as a national referral center.
The ongoing Ebola outbreak exposed the lapses in the sector
which has been in such awful state for years.
In recent days, patients at JFK have been complaining about
service with many being forced to purchase drugs and other
supplies from Lucky Pharmacy, across the street due to the lack
of drugs, despite enormous supplies and contributions from the
international community to the hospital.
In rural Liberia, people continue to die because they cannot get
access to a nearby health facilities and they have to commute by
foot for up to four hours to get to the nearest poorly equipped
health center.
The Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County has been
doing well, but some complaints have arisen in recent months
that it is not affordable to the ordinary Liberian.
Even Sirleaf is on record of agreeing with her critics about the sad
state of the education sector. It remains an open secret: that I am
a critic perhaps too harsh a critic of our educational system,

the President said in an address to the nation last week. The

truth, however, is that while we admit the scarcity of resources
and the fact that rebuilding the educational system after years

For the foreseeable future, many political observers

and international partners agree that Sirleaf would
need to make adjustments in some key areas in a bid
to secure her legacy and post-presidency standings.
The conventional wisdom is that the president will
govern on a business as usual platform, but others
are hopeful she can turn the tide through aggressive
tactics to deal with the countrys many challenges.

of decline cannot simply be a quick-fix. We are determined to

address deficiencies in qualified instructors and inadequacies in
facilities and instructional materials. We intend to achieve this
through consistency in effort, holding all stakeholders including
parents, students, teachers and administrators accountable, as
well as increase resources and support to the educational sector.
Liberias education sector is below par as proven by the output of
students at work places. The University of Liberia is no different
from a high school and public schools around the country are
some of the worse learning facilities to find anywhere in the
The recent performance of students in the University of Liberia
placement examination where all students that sat the exams
failed is another example of a collapse education system.
Professors at the university are amongst the least paid and so
they in return offer the least to students, requesting bribes in
exchange for grades.
With no system in place, garbage in, garbage out, some students
graduate from universities unprepared because they simply pay
money for every grade.
Critics are unsure the remaining two years will be enough for
Sirleaf to leave a legacy in the sector, preceded by a massive brain
drain as a result of the civil war.
Liberians and the world at large will no doubt are tired hearing
about the word corruption in Liberia because the regime of
President Sirleaf will go down in history for giving corruption
different names and dressing the menace in many forms.
From the inauguration in 2006 when Corruption was declared
public enemy number one by President Sirleaf, every year the
Liberian leader has another name for corruption- a systematic
problem, a cancer, a vampire and several other names only to
describe corruption.
In 10 years, it is an open secret that the regime of President Sirleaf
has failed to fight corruption. Ten individuals were recently
indicted and are expected to face trial, a case that will go unto the
next regime.
Unlike Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta who recently ordered
all officials of government accused of corruption by the Kenya
Anti-graft agency to resign their positions and face investigation,
President Sirleaf has failed to take concrete actions in the fight
against corruption.
On the contrary, the Liberian leader instead of allowing officials of
government accused of corruption to face investigation and clear
their names, she has come out strongly in their defense where she
publicly declared that the system is responsible for missing funds
and not individuals.
The president has even spoken angrily of the media for reporting
corruption in her government describing some journalists and
media outlets as blackmailers.
All international organizations including Global Witness,

Transparency International rate Liberia as a corrupt country but

interestingly there is no one convicted of corruption within 10
The president continues to protect her close friends and allies
who are accused of corruption. Her son Robert Sirleaf is still facing
public scrutiny over the use of a Chevron social development fund
which was not deposited in the consolidated account of Liberia.
With Liberias judicial process so slow and time consuming,
President Sirleaf risks going down in history as failing to fight
corruption as two years is too short to make an impact. it is a lost
opportunity for the Liberian leader who came to power on high
international reputation.


While the administration continues to trumpet its remaining
two years as sufficient time to get the job of reconciling a postwar nation on the mends and restoring economic sanity done,
political observers and critics see a herculean task which could
require the reincarnation of the iron lady persona, Sirleaf rode
on in securing the presidency in 2005 as perhaps the only radical
play that could help secure her legacy and cement her place in
presidential history.
For now, the administration continues to be bogged down by
growing criticism that it is making the business environment
difficult and unfriendly for locals and striving entrepreneurs even
as Sirleaf last week sought to allay those fears: The administration
will continue to do its part in making it easier to do business
by reducing the bureaucratic hurdles hereby creating a more
conducive and friendly business environment, by ensuring that
the tax regime is fair and allows businesses to expand. We will
also continue to improve the infrastructure required for business
Despite the presidents pledge, small business owners, especially
Diaspora and local Liberians are taking a hit in the shipment
business with many threatening to abandon business due to the
heavy taxes being demanded by the Liberia Revenue Authority.
A recent independent investigation conducted by FrontPageAfrica
found that some importers are sometimes left with no alternative
but to abandon their consignments at the Port due to the many
alleged illegal financial processes they encounter during
Nyenpu Howison, a striving business owner lamented: The
authorities here supposed to respect whatsoever report that
BIVAC makes from the United States but it is not the case. I dont
care what you do there; [in the USA] you pay all the money and
do BIVAC, when you come here its a different story. They [the
authorities at the Free Port] will see all the papers correct but you
will have to do everything (inspection) over.
Maycekids Boss, another business owner decried the practice,
explaining that losses are incurred in the Bureau Veritas,
otherwise known as BIVAC process because some goods get
missing in the process of inspection while others get damaged
in the process of removing all the importers goods from the
container and reloading it. Sometimes you bring things for other
people and when they spoil you will have to pay for it. So if you
dont want them to do the BIVAC over you just have to pay the
money they will request for, she said.
As the clock ticks on the Unity Party-led Sirleaf Administration,
the enormous expectations of the electorate that led to her
election to the presidency twice, in 2005 and 2011 are fading
into despair and could result in undermining the democratic
gains by a growing cynicism. Moreover, Sirleafs backers in the
international system are also beginning to sound warnings, as
were recently demonstrated by the UNMIL SRSG and the outgoing
British Ambassador, both lamenting the sad state of Liberia due to
endemic corruption.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Page 4 | Frontpage




amended in 1986, no doubt needs revision to be
subjected to changes making it to resemble a 21st
century organic law.
SOME OF THE provisions of the constitution
are outdated and need urgent deliberations to
make the countrys highest law be on par with
constitutions of other countries.
THIS PROMPTED THE setting up of the
Constitution Review Committee (CRC) charged
with the mandate to review and propose changes
to the constitution for the common good of the
entire population.
After years of work, the CRC has now provided the
platform for Liberians to argue, discuss, debate
the issues in the constitution and come out with
something worth governing the Liberian-nation
Kenya took a giant step in rewriting their
constitution and Liberia with a law as old as 29
years should embrace review of its constitution.
AS THE CONSTITUTIONAL review process goes on;
it is good for the debate and discussions on issues
to continue and be done in a civil manner with the
goal of reaching a good deal for the country and
its people.
BUT IT SEEMS LIBERIANS are missing the point,
failing to rally and come out with best, rather
focusing on the interest of individual groupings
not looking at the bigger picture.
THERE ARE A number of serious issues in the
constitution that require urgent attention and
deliberation but in recent days, Liberians are
focused on religious, gender and other issues
other than pushing for changes in the constitution
on issues that affect all irrespective of gender,
religion, sex or identity.
WHETHER A MUSLIMS, Christians, Buddhist, male
female, there are provisions in the constitution at
affect all.
IN MODERN DEMOCRACIES, constant transition is
the best means of affording all the opportunity to
have make decisions, giving the ordinary people
the power to also partake in the governance
process through their votes.
FOR INSTANCE, THE United States of America, the
world most powerful nation with diverse people,
complex issues has presidential tenure of four
years but Liberia is six years-a very long time
for a poor performing regime to take the country
WITH THE HISTORY of most African countries
showing that incumbents have the edge of getting
reelected for a second term of office, giving
president the possibility of 12 years in power is

J. Yanqui Zaza, jyanqui@aol.com, Contributing Writer

owadays, leaders, maybe because of external

influence, are finding it difficult to Take The
Bull By The Horns. Or the influence of money
is coercing leaders to be silent and, or focus on
imaginary issues, rather than confronting the problems. In
the case of President Barack Obama, he was bold with Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concerning the Middle East;
but said nothing about companies siphoning $50 billion
from Africa yearly. Instead, he indicated that election could
solve Africas poverty crisis.
President Obama made bold efforts toward peace in the
Middle East. But towards Africas poverty, he focused
on free election without commenting on the illicit role
of multinational corporations. These companies siphon
billions of dollars out of Africa yearly, according to a survey
conducted by Global Financial Integrity based in the United
States. The survey indicates that multinational companies,
including US companies, account for a 60% of the massive
corruption in Africa. It explained that corrupt activities by
government bureaucrats such as bribery and embezzlement
make up only about 3 %, and the remaining 35% is related
to drugs trafficking and smuggling. If this report is correct,
then free and fair election without deliverables cant defeat
President Obama, thinking that free and fair election could
reduce embezzlement, and by extension, defeat terrorists
such as Boko Haram, did appeal to Nigerians to participate
in the elections that were held on March 28, 2015. If the
choice of ballots over bullets is the solution to poverty, what
has happened to Kenya? Since independence in 1963, Kenya
has survived nearly five decades as a functioning nationstate, with regular elections, its borders intact and without
experiencing war or military rule. However, literacy rate is
53%. Also, while its lawmakers earn $175,000 per annual,
many of its 43 million people live on U.S. $1.46 per day.
Kibera, located in Kenya, is one of the five worst slumps in
the world, and the second in Africa. (C.I.A. Fact Sheet).
On the other hand, elections were limited in Libya and
Zimbabwe and did not allow companies to exploit their
resources as Kenya did. Yet, these two countries led by
autocrats, Muammar Kaddafi and Robert Mugabe, helped
their countries earn the highest rank of literacy (92% and
90% respectively) in Africa. (C.I.A. Fact Sheet). Asia was
another continent where autocrats did enact economic
policy to reduce poverty. After World War II, autocrats
in Asia limited the freedom of their citizens but provided
them with the best education, infrastructure and export-

not a good sign of modern democracy.

EVEN MORE HARMFUL is the tenure of senatorsnine years in office for first term with the likelihood
of another nine years if elected for second term of
office. This indicates that an individual senator is
eligible to serve for life-18 years in power is no small
time to mention.
MEMBERS OF THE House of Representatives also
have the constitutional power to serve for six
years which is another long time in public service,
especially given the poor performance of lawmakers
in Liberia-seeking their personal interest rather
than the people.
THE PRESIDENT OF Liberia is all powerful as
guaranteed by the constitution, having the power to
appoint nearly all officials of government as low as
THERE ARE LOTS of important issues that have to
do with the smooth functioning of the state to be
discussed during the ongoing constitutional review

led growth policies, according to Thomas L. Friedman (NY

Times, 04/1/2015).
Further, it is the failure of democratic leaders to fulfill their
promises that discourages voters about elections, but not the
principles of democracy. Voters are not only disenchanted
because of unfulfilled promises, but they are also embracing
extremists, according to Sarah Chayes (Thieves of State-Why
Corruption Threatens Global Security). When people begin
to think that election wouldnt create an environment for
everyone to get a fair share of the dividends of productivity,
they might end up in the armies of extremists, she added.
But guess what, the theory of abstinence or voters unwilling
to take part in election is part of democracy. If the available
candidates dont match up to the choice of constituents, why
should the constituents take part in an election? In short,
when constituents decide to abstain from an election, it
might be because those voters want different policies than
the policies offered. Equally true, if chief executives believe
that election might not deliver higher profits demanded by
the board of directors, they might relocate from one country
to another country.
This is the dilemma facing each country; higher profits
versus money needed for social programs. Common sense
suggests that when the interest of society and investors
collide, as always the case, it is only influential stakeholders
who can compel one group or another group to yield. This is
the approach Canada and Britain have taken unlike America,
according Nicholas Kristof in his article called Unsettling
Complicity. The two countries have encouraged their
companies to implement a law that requires international
oil companies to disclose money paid to governments so
that the money can be tracked but the oil industry seeks
to sustain an opaque system that allows government
bureaucrats to earn billions.
Instead of joining Canada and Britain to reduce poverty, for
example, U.S. officials have not only enveloped Angola in a
big hug, but they are also silent about American Petroleum
Institutes lobbying effort to water down the disclosure
requirements, Kristof stated. However, let us hope that,
now that U.S officials are aware of the role companies play
in siphoning $50 billions out of Africa yearly, President
Obama will help to end companies stealing Africas fund. In
the case of Liberia, he should call on Chevron, Mittal Steel,
etc. to desist from practices that reduces money for social
programs, including education. This is because without an
educated workforce, poverty increases.

process but separate groups have taken to personal

WOMEN ARE NOT joining men in advocating for
change to the constitution that will be in the supreme
interest of all but rather are focused on issues such
as changing men to Men and women.
WHAT GOOD WILL a constitution that has all the bad
provisions do when the word men is changed to
Men and women or when Christians are protected
over Muslims or the other way round?
ALL THE VARIOUS groupings pushing separate
interest are getting it all wrong, the constitution is
about Liberia and not the interest certain group of
people but rather a national document that should
reflect and protect all.
PROTESTS AND THREATS of war will not help
Liberia as there is a need for all groups with different
interest to put aside the individual advocacies and
push the interest of the entire nation.

Monday, April 6, 2015




Albert Dicod Gibson Salesian Pontifical University

Liberia is all we have and we cannot allow few people to hijack

that which is dear to all of us. Few questions that I am not getting
answer to: 1) How were the "CRC experts" chosen (criteria). 2) Do
the current constitutions pose a religious problem to our mutual
coexistence? 3) If Liberia were to be declared a "Christian - State",
are we trying to invite denominational conflicts among said group?
4) If we compare the 1847 and the 1985 Constitutions which of these
have promoted cohesion, national unity and national integration? In
my humble opinion, I think some elements are trying to reintroduce
the "Divide and Rule" strategy. But I can assure them that there are
"many good" Liberians than the "evil ones". Let us not craft a divisive
constitution but rather that which includes all Liberians (home and
abroad). Even though I not in favor of divided loyalty, I believe the
question of "dual - citizenship" could be reviewed with the necessary
modification that could be beneficial to Liberia and Liberians. But the
outright rejection of the dual citizenship question is more a political
manipulation and a tactics to prevent the participation of all in the
development of our beloved Country. Lastly those who believe by
declaring a "religious state" then Liberia will be free from corruption
are just delusional. What Liberia needs is a functional system and
structure where the laws could be applied indiscriminately. A nation
that has let's forget it mentality without applying the rule of law is
doomed. My suggestion to this debate: Let us replace the proposition
that calls for "A christian State" to that of "Making Corruption a nonbailable crime" and the Constitutions should spell out the punishment
of corruption. Long live Mama Liberia...
Jah Carson Indianapolis, Indiana
I will like to commend the delegates of the recently ended
"constitutional review conference" for their hard work in their efforts
to amend the Liberian Constitution. Constitutional Amendment is a
huge commitment that affects not only today's geneartion but, future
While it remains true that everyone cannot get what he/she desires in
a democracy, it is important to step out of our comfort zone and place
ourselves in the position of the the the minority-in this case, dual
citizenship for LIBERIANS in the Diaspora. Liberians who are being
denied their birthrights to come home and serve their country;a home
they dream of returning to. Liberians who, as rightly said by Varney
Kezele, labor very hard overseas to support families and friends in
Liberia, as well as the Liberian economy.
It is sad to know lot of Liberians, back home, live with the illusion
that Liberians in the Diaspora are the enemies of the country when,
the true enemies of the country are the so called naive politicians and
policy makers. The masses will also be shock to know that the same
group of so called politicians are the ones purchasing, homes, cars,
and sending their children to private colleges and universities here
in the United States. This is apart from money they have in private
banks around the world. What about trips to hospitals overseas for
treatment of they and their family members? Wake up folks!!!
You are being subjected to an impoverished life by these so called
politicians who are leading the best of lives, while you are being
brained washed to fear and hate LIBERAINS in the Diaspora.
The case of Cockrum is too weak a case to convict thousands of saneminded and educated group of your citizens. Liberians who are ready
to move this country to level far beyond other developing countries
in Africa.
It is important that the issue of Dual Citizenship be given serious
consideration in this round of Constituion Amendment to foster the
future growth and empowerment of Liberia.
Emmanuel Cooper
Voting on proposals at the constitutional review conference for
probable constitutional amendments is the initial phase of the steps
to amending the current Constitution of Liberia. The dominant
delegates seem to impose their point of views at the constitutional
review conference. However, the Liberian Legislature will also
have a major role in determining which proposals or propositions
should be presented to the voting populace for their approval at a
referendum. Therefore, Liberians must be proactively involved to
defeat at the polls any proposals or propositions for amendments
to the Constitution that tend to undermine the incessant peace,
economic development and prosperity of the post war torn nation.


The comments expressed here are those of our online readers and
bloggers and do no represent the views of FrontPageAfrica


The Reader's Page

Page 5

Send your letters and comments to:




The Editor,

e haven't even gone anywhere

with this constitutional review,
yet we are already having religious
tensions. This is why I don't favor
religion within politics. It has no place within it,
for it is about one group being represented, while
the others are forgotten. I don't see religion as
being selfish, but this is what is being portrayed
and has been portrayed by those who practice it.
I too want to speak on this religious tension and
the on-going constitutional review. We cannot
allow for one group to have their selfish ways.
And we cannot allow for this constitution that will
determine our future become messy.

It's illogical of the Liberian people to call for the

return of Liberian to a "Christian state," which in
fact it never was. To say a state is based on one
religion, or recognizes one religion poses a threat
to our state well-being. Christian is a matter of
personal being, not the structure of a state. They
can practice their religion, and let others practice
theirs. But that doesn't mean that our constitution
should say that
Liberia is a "Christian state." My question is that if
Liberia is considered a "Christian state," what will
that entitle? That everyone worship the religion,
act within the confinement of the religion,
Christians holidays, etc. Muslims calling for a
national holiday makes no sense.
If they wish, they can create a Muslim organization
and they can agree on a national holiday for
themselves. But for the constitution to say that
we have a Muslim national holiday will subject
everyone to celebrate or recognize it if they are
not Muslim. Religion, not individual beliefs, is the
cause of
many issues. There is a misconception about
religion. It is man-made, and is an artificial of what

was and is to be. Religion itself is an institution

created to bring people together, and as an
institution, it corrupts, and we can see it here. If
these people call themselves Christian, why are
they so concern about
Liberian being a "Christian state?" Does it
then becomes about your personal belief and
relationship with God, or what the state says
about it. There is potential for problems if we
favor one "religion" over another, or if we even
include religion in our revised constitution. Let
people practice
their religion, but let the state have nothing to do
with it. I think it makes no sense at all that Liberians
are calling for the presidential candidate to hold a
"Master's Degree." If Liberians were smart enough,
they would elect based on the person credibility,
and whatever degree he or she holds.
I'm getting the impression that Liberians think
"Degree" makes a good president.

Are they now going to vote based on what degree

one holds? Let's say the constitution doesn't say
anything about the presidential candidate holding
a "Master's Degree," however, two candidates are
running, one holds a degree, and another holds no
degree. One has experience with government, and
one has no idea about government, nor have
interest in it. Are they saying they are still going
to vote for him just because he holds a "degree?"
A call by Liberians I found disturbing is the raising
of potential presidential candidate age to 45. I
oppose raising the age needed to run for president.
It ought to stay 35. If they are so concerned that
someone that young is running, nothing had
stopped them and shouldnt stop them from voting
for an older person. Perhaps I cannot blame the
Liberian people for these outrage calls, they have
been lacking education for long.
Mark Jallayu


Rodney D. Sieh, Managing Editor, 0886-738-666;

077-936-138, editor@FrontPageAfricaonline.com;
Wade C. L. Williams, News Desk Chief, wade.
williams@frontpageafricaonline.com; 0880664793
Danesius Marteh, Sports Editor, danesius.marteh@
frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886236528
James-Emmanuel D. Cole, Jr, Graphics Designer
& Layout Editor, echange4life@gmail.com;
0886 211 390, 0777 027 030
Henry Karmo, henry.karmo@frontpageafricaonline.
Al-varney Rogers al.rogers@frontpageafricaonline.
com, 0886-304498

Sports Reporter, A. Macaulay Sombai,macaulay.sombai@

FrontpageAfricaonline.com, 077217428
Grand Bassa, Alpha Daffae Senkpeni, 0777432042
frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886-484666
Sinoe County, Leroy N.S Kanmoh, leroy.kanmoh@
Kadi Coleman Porte, 0886-304-178/ 0777832753, advertise@

Page 6 | Frontpage

20.2 of the Criminal
that gives right to a
defendant to waive jury trial,
Criminal Court C Judge Peter
Gbeneweleh has endorsed
the right of former Forestry
Development Authority (FDA)
boss, Moses Wogbeh and five
other defendants to waive jury.
Wogbeh and the rest of the
defendants through their
lawyers Wednesday, told the
court to allow them go through
trial without jury, a plea that
angered state prosecutors who
preferred jury trial.
Judge Gbeneweleh said in his
ruling late Wednesday, that
under the law, a defendant
has two options while on trial
either to choose jury trial or
The right for the defendants
to waive jury trial is the right
exercised under the Criminal
Procedure Law Section 20.2,
said Judge Gbeneweleh when
he ruled to grant the five
defendants the right to waive
jury trial.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Former FDA Boss Wogbehs Fate in Judges Hands

other defendants are charged

criminal conspiracy, forgery,
counterfeiting, obtaining and
issuing deceptive writings,
obstruction of government
function by public servant,
charges all five have pleaded
not guilty to.
The court records stated
that their indictment has
been drawn out of the illegal
issuance of 56 Private Use
Permits to several logging
companies, contrary to the
Community Rights Law of
According to the court records
the illegal issuance of the 56
Private Use Permits resulted to
the government loss of US$6 in
Those indicted along with
the former dismissed FDA
boss are: John Kantor former

Kennedy L. Yangian kennedylyangian@frontpageafricaonline.com

The ruling means that the

dismissed FDA boss and the
rest of the defendants, who
have earlier pleaded not guilty
to the charges, will be tried
under the instruction of the

Judge, who will play a dual role

as both a judge and jury defacto.
However, Judge Gbeneweleh
has scheduled the case for
Monday, April 6, 2015, at

9:00 am, where the state is

expected to present its first
material witness, as well as
documentary evidence needed
to convict the defendants.
The former FDA boss and five


Monroviaollowing the Supreme

ordering the lower
court to proceed with
the trial of former Inspector
General of the Liberia National
Police defendant Beatrice
Munah Sieh Brown, has
requested the lower court to
grant her permission to travel
to the United States for medical
In a letter, a copy of which is in
possession of FrontPageAfrica
the former police boss stated:
I am B. Munah Sieh Browne,
one of those indicted and under
bond in the LACC corruption
case, I am appealing to your
honorable court to please grant
me permission to travel to
the United states for medical
She continued: I usually go
for three weeks, but due to
the Ebola epidemic, I might
be quarantined in the states, I
am therefore requesting your
honorable court to please grant
me six weeks permission. If
granted I will leave by the end
of March and be back in the
second week in May 2015.
The request of the indicted
police boss follows a mandate
by the full bench of the
Supreme Court, setting aside
the lower courts ruling in
favor of defendant Brown.
The high court stated in its
ruling that the trial judge
abused the discretion of law
by granting the motion for new
trial filed by the former police
boss legal counsels.
In its decision the Supreme
Court stated That the trial
judge, by granting the motion
for a new trial, abused his
discretion under the law,
especially having extensively
transverse the trial proceedings
and admitted that the verdict
of the jury was supported by
The high court further declared
But however he proceeded in
the face thereof, to overturn

Technical Manager (FDA),

Forestry (FDA), Cllr. Benedict
Sargbeh former in-house legal
counsel of the FDA.
Others are: Augustus Johnson
former GIS Manager and
Expert FDA, Torwan Yantay,
former acting GIS Manager
FDA, David Blayee former
Surveyor Grand Bassa County,
Ministry of Lands &Mines and
Maxwell Gwee former director
of Cartography Ministry of
At the trial on Wednesday,
the state prosecutor dropped
charges against defendant
Torwan Yantay. Yantay who
will now will serve as state
witness while FDA former inhouse legal counsel Benedict
Sargbeh requested the court
for severance, which was
granted by the court.

Indicted Ex-Police Boss Eyes US Travel

Bettie Johnson /betty.johnson@frontpageafricaonline.com

the said verdict and grant a

new trial for reason that the
empanelled jury had failed to
follow his instructions; when
said failure which did not go
to the merits of the case, could
have been remedied by judge
issuing further instructions to
the jury to return to the jury
room and remedy the verdict.
The high court further stated
that the trial judge should have
granted the motion of relief
from judgment, considering
that the ground upon which the
judge granted the motion for a
new trial and vacated the verdict
of the jury, does not support his
ruling, but undermines the ends
of substantiate justice.
From the facts and nature
of the case; the lower court
judge indeed abused his
discretion, and to avoid this
matter being disposed of in
piecemeal; this court hereby
issues the peremptory writ
of mandamus, the mandate
The mandate further stated
that the lower court unanimous
verdict returned against the
defendant be reinstated and an
appeal be taken.
The case involved the Liberia
Anti- Corruption Commission
represented by its executive
chairperson and all of its
authorized agents VS. Beatrice

Munah Sieh, former Inspector

General of the Liberia National
Police, Harris Manneh Dunn,
former Deputy Commissioner
for administration, Liberia
ultimate investment & holding
company, Kaymah N.Zeon,
Neno Garlo, physical auditors
of the Ministry of Finance as
The defendants were charged
and indicted for Economic
Sabotage, Theft of property
and Criminal Facilitation in
t can be recalled that the lower
court set aside a unanimous
guilty verdict against the
defendants, but it was set aside
by the presiding judge.
Judge Yusif Kaba granted a
motion for new trial something
the plaintiff described as
reversal error and lacks law
and facts.
The plaintiff said it was also
a revisable error for the judge
to set aside the guilty verdict,
after admitting that the
evidence produced by them
was sufficient to support the
The judge ignored the
testimonies of the witnesses
of the defendants and they
substantially testified that the
police uniforms and accessories

were delivered to our rebuttal

witness and she acknowledge

receipt of them, but said she
executed the order of the
auditors to place the items in
the police warehouse, where it
was stolen, the plaintiff said.
The letter from defendant
Brown was previously denied
by the judge requesting the
legal counsel for the former
police boss to write the court.
The letter was later approved
by the presiding judge of
Criminal Court C Judge Peter
Gbeneweleh stating: Ok, Mr.
Clerk, please write granting the
excuse by my directive.
Legal pundits say granting
of a sick leave to indictee
Sieh raises eyebrows because
the court is not clear if the
indictee will return for further
adjudication of the case.
Many people who have been
indicted prayed the court to
grant them sick leave but they
dont return till after an amount
of time, said Cllr. Abudullai
It will be like a complete
insult to the Supreme Court, if
defendant Brown doesnt return
to Liberia. I am concerned, if
the court can grant her leave
for illness, than others will
come for theirs too and the
entire case will be swept under
the carpet, the lawyer said.


Health official describes HIV, TB

Sinoe County:
he Sinoe County,
Acting County Health
Officer (CHO) Mr.
Samson Q. Wiah has
called for joint efforts from
government, civil society,
international partners to fight
HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) in
the country.
Mr. Wiah said, it is about time
that Liberians see HIV and
AIDS and TB as unprecedented
elements which are seeking to
destroy human existence.
Both diseases have can kill.
They can be prevented and
treated, but with collective
efforts we can beat them. So
I call on you my people come
let us respond to HIV and TB
together Acting CHO of Sinoe
Speaking at a two day dialogue
organized by The Secretariat
Mechanism (LCM) of the Global
Fund HIV, TB and MalariaSinoe Team; the team he said,
is seeking to identify HIV and
TB priority.
You will be interacting and
providing your suggestions.
You will be reviewing the TB
and HIV NSPs so that you can
select key priorities that you
want for Global Fund to focus
on that the government will

include in the two programs

concept notes, he further said.
For his part, Mr. Warren
Cooper, Special Assistant to
Sinoe County Superintendent
also welcomed participants.
He thanked the (participants)
schedules to attend the wellmeaning country dialogue in
which he said their suggestions
will be highly appreciated for
inclusion in both HIV and TB
concept notes.
He challenged all participants
to put in their best so as to
make sound suggestions in
prioritizing key activities for
the two programs in Liberia.
The dialogue brought together
over 23 persons including
leaders of various civil society
and muslins, and community
leaders including elders and
chives in the County.
The dialogue was being
organized by the LCM in
collaboration with the National
AIDS Commission, National
AIDS and STIs Control Program
and the National Leprosy and
Tuberculosis Control program
of Liberia with support from
the UN System and partners.
organizers, the initiative is

Monday, April 6, 2015


Rob Sirleafs Latest Statement, Not Ruling out His Own Presidential
Bid Raises uncertainty Over Vice Presidents political future.
Rodney D. Sieh, rodney.sieh@frontpageafricaonline.com


obert Sirleafs first
hint at a possible
2017 play has many
political observers
against individuals involved
in the alleged trafficking
of some Liberian girls who
were promised better living
conditions and made to travel
to Lebanon in search of greener
pasture only to be subjected to
many forms of abuse.
After years in Lebanon against
their will the Government
of Liberia recently said it
repatriation of the girls to
Liberia but their whereabouts
remain unknown.
Authorities at the Liberian
National Police, the Ministries
of Labor and Justice have all
disclosed that the girls are
being kept in a secret location
because they are victims of
Sources have confided in
FPA that the government
is preparing an indictment
against individuals involved
with the transporting of the
girls to Lebanon on charges of
The law provides that a person
is guilty of the offense of
trafficking in human beings
and migrant smuggling, also
a predicate offense to money
financing when they subject a
person to slavery.
A representative of the

raising eyebrows just months

after his tough Montserrado
County senatorial elections
loss to football legend George

Robert, a son of President Ellen

Johnson Sirleaf and a former
former chairman of the board
of the national oil company

is quoted by the Associated

Press as saying that a decision
on his political future would
rest on the Liberian people.
"Whether that path involves

me, it doesn't involve me, the ...
decision maker is the Liberian
people," he said.
President Sirleaf, whose term
ends in 2017 has so far been
coy about her transition and
succession plans drawing
dissenting conundrum among
some aides in her inner circle.
Sirleaf has inconsistent about
her post presidency and a role
for Boakai.
In a 2011 FrontPageAfrica
interview, Sirleaf suggested
that both she and Boakai
would leave the stage after her
term is over in 2017.
Said Sirleaf: Joe Boakai and I
have stuck together. We stuck
together for the first term,
were sticking together again
for the second term. We hope
that God will give us the second
term and he and I will retire
together. We will both leave
public office and turn it over to
the young people and go and
rest ourselves. He will be with
me right to the end.
Then in a stopover in Greenville,
Sinoe County, suggested her
long-time aide, Mary Broh as a
possible replacement in 2017,
declaring: Madam Broh is
hardworking and I prefer for
her to replace me as President
of Liberia.
Criticisms have been aplenty
about Boakais own readiness
to assume the mantle of
suggesting that the humble
vice president has been too
passive and not asserting
himself to the role.
Boakai sought to allay those
fears to his supporters and
sympathizers by drawing
a comparison to former
president William R. Tolbert,
when he told FrontPageAfrica
in a 2012 interview: I know
that we live in different times
but I know that Tolbert was
that type. But again, I look at
the period in which we live
when Tubman and Tolbert

Page 7

were President and Vice

President, there wasnt much
of a distinction between
them because there was such
a time when there wasnt
any reason to argue about
Tubmans budget, it was like
a dictatorship. Then when you
had the Tolbert regime, Tolbert
demonstrated that he was not
just the vice president type,
that he was a visionary and he
had his own ideas. He brought
that to light but also I believe
that some of the relics of the
past were still there.
Boakai also did not rule out his
own interest when he told state
radio LBS last in 2013 that it
was not unusual for someone
in his position to harbor some
The uncertainty over a
succession and transition has
reportedly sparked a strain
between the president and
the vice presidents camp,
according to multiple sources
speaking to FrontPageAfrica
on condition of anonymity
For Robert Sirleaf, there is
no illusion about the post.
"I think a lot of people
worldwide like the title, but
don't truly understand the job
description," he said, adding
that the next president "better
focus on the job description
and not just the title."
As the countdown to President
eyebrows will no doubt
continue to be raise over her
post-presidency particularly
how she intends to lay out her
transition and succession play.
For Boakai whose future
coming months could trigger
more speculations about his
foreseeable future. Whether it
involves sailing into the sunset
with President Sirleaf or laying
the groundwork for a shot at a
leading man role, remains to
be seen.



Indictment Hangs Over Lebanese as Government weighs charges against alleged traffickers

Lebanon recently said one of

the remaining 42 victims was
picked up by armed military
men in the middle of the night
from her home and taken to
an unknown destination and
some of the remaining girls
were transported to volatile
and inaccessible locations.

The law also provides that

an individual is guilty of
trafficking when they subject
another person to forced labor.
FPA investigation established
that when the girls were taken
to Lebanon, they were being
marketed to their masters
for around 3,000 to 3,500 us

dollars each.
It has also been established
that they were used as sex
slaves; and subjected to force
labour, and other forms of
Some of the girls revealed that
they were physically assaulted
whenever they refused to have

sexual intercourse with their

The girls further narrated
that their passports and other
traveling documents were
seized; and they were denied
access to communicate with
the outside world, and had
to work without receiving

compensation for their labor,

all such treatment which are
elements of human trafficking.
Individuals involved in the
transporting of the girls
are said to have abuse their
vulnerability as one source said
the girls were taken under false
pretense by deception which is
an element of trafficking.
The law describes abuse of
position as Abuse of a position
of vulnerability shall mean
such abuse that the person
believes he or she has no
reasonable alternative but to
submit to the labor or service
demanded of the person, and
included but it not limited
to taking advantage of the
vulnerabilities resulting from
the person having entered the
country illegally or without
pregnancy, any physical or
mental disease or disability of
the person, including addiction
to the use of any substance,
or reduced capacity to for
judgment by virtue of being a
could also be charged with
exploitation according our
Exploitation is described as
keeping a person in a state of
servitude, including sexual

Page 8 | Frontpage

Mary Broh Slams Poor Sanitary Condition at MICAT


ne of Liberias
Director General of
the General Services Agency
Madam Mary Broh Thursday
refused to adhere to Ebola
preventive measures to wash
her hands at the Ministry
of Information, Culture and
Tourism slamming the Ministry
for maintaining a dirty bucket
at the entrance.
entry public buildings is a
nationwide measure against
Ebola but Broh who had gone
to MICAT to address a regular
press briefing shock the public
on live press briefing when
she responded by a reporter
question about her refusal to
wash hands before entry by
referring to the bucket used for
washing hands at MICAT as

n Ebola jab is being

given to people
living in the West
African areas hit
most by the virus after human
trials in unaffected countries
proved successful.
Scientists hope immunisation is
possible with just one injection
after highly promising results
in the first 138 healthy adults
who were vaccinated with
various doses.
The vaccine, developed in
Canada, is based on an animal
virus called vesicular stomatitis
virus (VSV) that is combined
with a portion of the protein
covering of the Ebola virus.
When administered, it induces
an immune response against the
Ebola virus.
The researchers whose findings
are published in the New England
Journal of Medicine said one jab
protects against a disease which
has killed more than more than
10,460 people in a year across
six countries including Liberia,
Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria,
the US and Mali.
Dr Michael Ramharter, of
the Medical Research Unit at
Albert Schweitzer Hospital,
Lambarene, Gabon, said the
Ebola antigen is inserted into the
vaccine as a Trojan horse to get
the body to develop an immune
response against the virus.
He explained: An Ebola

Al-Varney Rogers alvarney.rogersfrontpageafricaonline.com 0886304498

The GSA said her decision

not to follow the protocol was
based on what she termed poor
sanitary condition of the hand
washing buckets at the entry
describing it as filthy.

I dont care who you are, I

observe straight sanitation
rules, and Im not going to
touch a dirty faucet, Im not
going to touch it, I have my
hand sanitizer I hope I can give

you some sanitizers that the

U.S Military left behind, Broh
Broh splendid presentation
on the government fleet
management during the Ebola

Monday, April 6, 2015

crisis may now be downplayed
by the media due to her respond
to a question about her refusal
to adhere to the normal Ebola
protocol of hand washing
before entering the Ministry
of Information which took the
center stage.
The manner the question
was answered by Broh for
refusing to follow the washing
hand protocol sparked out
altercation between the GSA
boss and journalists covering
the briefing.
Broh pointed out to one of the
journalist that the question
appears to be personal adding
that Journalist does not
understand sanitation compare
to her.
Do you know more about
sanitation pass me because I
know where you are going,
you always want to be personal
with me, sanitation and hygiene
is my fountain, Broh added.
The GSA Boss said that she
wasnt resisting the Ebola
protocol saying she did her
temperature check but the
bucket was dirty.
I got there [entrance] I use
my hand sanitizers, I went to
the young lady and she did my
temperature, I wasnt resisting

anything but I follow straight

sanitation rules and there was
nothing wrong with that, if
you want sanitizers I can give
five to ten boxes, Some of you
have got that from me, she
The altercation almost put
to halt the press briefing, as
Commerce Minister was next
in line to address the briefing
after the GSA Boss, had to wait
for over five minutes as Deputy
Minister Robert Kpadeh tried
to put the exchange under
The GSA Boss is on record for
openly rejecting things that are
publicly used on grounds that
they do not meet the sanitary
Appearing before the senate
plenary, madam Broh refused
to kiss the Bible, a regular
practice at the Senate before
explaining the incident that
occurred between Broh and
Senator John Ballout chief of
Office Staff.
Broh refused to the kiss
the bible on grounds that
the bible was dirty. Her
assertion fueled anger amongst
lawmakers who termed her
action as disrespectful to that
August body.



Scientists hope immunization is possible with just one injection after highly promising
results in the first 138 healthy adults who were vaccinated with various doses

glycoprotein from the Ebola

strain in Zaire is being inserted
into the VSV live vaccine. While
VSV only causes mild symptoms
in humans, the protein acts as an
Ebola antigen and triggers the
formation of antibodies against
the disease in the immune

Dr Ramharter said these
antibodies hide, almost like a
Trojan horse, in the body in
order to successfully fight the
Ebola virus if the individual
becomes infected.
He added: Just one vaccine has

conferred one hundred per cent

protection against Ebola in the
initial trials on primates.
Dr Ramharter said the first phase
I clinical trial is now complete
and the results are highly
He said: The vaccine response

is very reliable, the vaccine itself

is safe and its tolerability is
The most significant side effect
was found to be temporary joint
pain and inflammation reported
among a small group of test
subjects, particularly in the

European centres.
In the phase II studies that are
now beginning, the vaccine will
be used in patients living in
the areas currently most badly
affected by Ebola, especially
Guinea and Sierra Leone, but
also in Liberia.
The first case of Ebola was
reported in West Africa around
15 months ago. According to
estimates, around 25,000 people
have been infected by the virus,
with more than 10,000 of them
having died since as a result.
The race is on to find ways
to prevent and cure the Ebola
virus as there are no proven
treatments or vaccines to prevent
individuals becoming infected.
But progress is now being made
on an unprecedented scale with
trials which would normally take
years and decades being fast
tracked on a timescale of weeks
and months.
The aim is to use the lowest dose
of vaccine possible that provides
protection. Vaccines train the
immune systems of healthy
people to fight off any future



26-year-old Liberian,
Leo G. Dolo could
be deported from
Italy if he refuses
to provide documents to
authenticate the legality that
led to his entry in that European
country, FrontPage Africa has
Dolo is among score of
Liberians in Italy who are
undergoing probe by that
countrys immigration agency
over their entries there. Dolo,

a one-time famous taxi driver

who commuted between Bong
and Lofa, is one Liberian who
continues to rue the effect of the
civil war.
Dolos parents died Prior to
Dolos departure from Liberia,
he had endured trauma after
losing both parents and his two
siblings in the infamous tribal
war in Lofa County on October
29, 2015.
Not only did the incident leave
a scar on the life of Dolo,

it dampened his chances of

making business as his money,
properties were all destroyed.
Two years later, Dolo was
among many Liberians who
sought an opportunity to go
to neighboring Ghana for
Education. According to Dolo,
acquiring education would
help him and his remaining
siblings. After years in Ghana,
the 26-year-old Liberia took
the challenge to go and attend

school in Italy in a bid to qualify

him before returning to Liberia.
But FrontPage Africa gathered
that Dolos dream has a
stumbling block: he doesnt have
the document to authenticate
his entry to Italy. In a mobile
phone interview from Italy,
Dolo wants the government
grant him the opportunity to
acquire his education, as he
poses no threat to that countrys

Monday, April 6, 2015


Page 9


P.O. BOX 165




The Mt. Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project is being implemented
by the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) through a dedicated Project
Implementation Unit (PIU). The project began in May 2012 and is being
carried out on a fast-track basis. Though the Ebola crisis forced the project to
suspend on-site construction works in August 2014, the project procurement
and manufacturing continued on schedule, and the project management team
remobilized in late February. Restart of construction works is planned for the
near term, and the project environmental and social safeguards activities have

The social safeguards responsibilities include compensating all persons who

will be affected by the project through loss of land or assets (structures or
trees/crops), provided they were recorded before the compensation cut-off
date. The compensation and the affected populations are defined in the projects
Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs). The compensation process has already
begun in the main project area for the people affected by the future reservoir.
All compensation and RAP activities are being led by the Project Implementation
Unit using funds that have already been secured in a dedicated account.

The Government is now ready to begin the process of verification and

compensation for all persons within the right of ways of the transmission
lines for the project, which run between the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant in
Harrisburg, Montserrado County, and the LEC substations in Bushrod Island and

In February 2014, the MLME announced the start of surveys along the rights of
way of the two transmission lines. These rights of way follow the routes of the
pre-war lines that were in operation up to 1990, with a few exceptions. The
intention of the announcement was to re-establish the Government rights of

The power lines run along the Harrisburg, Pipe Line, White Planes, and Caldwell
Roads. All residents living in areas where the towers will be placed and within
the corridor where the lines will be strung were notified and their assets
(structures, trees, and crops) were recorded by LEC. Residents were informed
that any trees taller than 4 meters would need to be permanently removed, and
that temporary vegetation clearing would be carried out during construction.

The survey began February 24, 2014, which was the same date established
as the cut-off date for the Resettlement Action Plan. This means that any
structure or asset established or developed after February 24, 2014, would
not be eligible for compensation. However, the project follows the World Bank
policy on involuntary resettlement, meaning that no person affected by the
project, regardless of their status, will be left worse off or impoverished by the
project. Therefore, all persons whose livelihood or assets will be affected and
which were recorded during the February 2014 survey will be compensated for
those assets.
Furthermore, all persons whose legal ownership of the land can be verified by
the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME) by way of a legitimate deed,
and whose land occurs within the right of way, will be compensated for the land.
In order to effect the compensation for land and built structures, the project
team, with the support of the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) and the MLME,
needs to carry out a process of verification.

Beginning on April 13, 2015, the PIU, MLME, and MPW will be visiting residents
along the corridors of both lines to issue citations calling for property deeds.
All persons with valid deeds for their land must present them to the MLME
for verification and property valuation before they can be compensated. Any
persons who have structures within the right of way must also present their
deeds for verification and property valuation. Any structures within the right
of way will be marked by MPW and must be removed when instructed by MPW.
Compensation has already been assessed for all affected properties and the
estimated sum of money has been put into a dedicated account for this purpose.

Persons not claiming legal ownership of the land and possessing only trees or
crops do NOT need to come forward as these assets have already been recorded
by the PIU. Following the citation for deeds, the PIU social safeguards team will
be visiting each affected person to explain the amount of compensation that
has been estimated for the trees and crops. Any structure built or tree planted
after the initial survey and cut-off date in February of last year will NOT be
compensated for that structure.
The Government asks that all persons living or making their businesses within
the rights of way of the Mt. Coffee transmission lines cooperate fully with this
exercise to do their part in ensuring the project stays on schedule.

The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) was established by

an Act of Legislature in September 2013 for the purposes of
assessing and collecting national revenues as specified in the
Revenue Code of Liberia and other related laws; administering,
accounting, auditing, enforcing revenue collection laws and
regulations; and educating taxpayers to facilitate tax and
customs compliance.

The Liberia Revenue Authority now seeks to recruit competent,

hardworking, and committed Liberians with integrity for the
below positions:

HR Officer- Planning and Budgeting

HR Officer-Capacity Development
HR Officer- Performance Management
HR Officer Compliance and Records
HR Officer-Recruitment
HR Officer- Compensation
HR Officer-Welfare
HR Officer-Records
Senior Collector-Freeport of Monrovia
Deputy Collector-Freeport of Monrovia
Chief Examiner-Freeport of Monrovia
Chief Assessor- Freeport of Monrovia
Chief Wharfinger-Freeport of Monrovia
Senior Collector- RIA
Deputy Collector-RIA
Chief Assessor-RIA
Chief Examiner RIA
Driver(15 Positions)

Applicants will be selected through a highly competitive

evaluation process.
Detail of the requirements can be obtained at:


Liberia Revenue Authority Social Media Pages( Facebook
,Twitter and LinkedIn )

Applicants are required to electronically submit their

applications and CV ONLY to hrjobs@lra.gov.lr . Absolutely, no
hardcopies will be accepted.
Kindly attention your application to:
The Assistant Commissioner of Human Resources Division
Department of Administrative Affairs
Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA)
3rd Floor, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning
Broad and Mechlin Streets, Monrovia
The deadline for application is on or before Friday, April 10,
2015, 2015 at 5:00 pm
The LRA strongly encourages qualified females to apply.

A.Trokon Tarr
Communications, Public Affairs and Protocol/LRA

Monday, April 6, 2015

Page 10 | Frontpage

Slash and burn

Fuel subsidies
Does the steep drop in oil prices provide a rare opportunity to
reform fuel subsidies?

Slash and burn

Adam Green

s oil prices plunge, Africas hydrocarbon producers have hit

troubled waters, with their revenues and currencies sinking.
Yet the drop is largely good news for net oil importers, which
include most of the continents economies.
Even emerging oil producers are reaping benefits. Stocks rose by
22% in Tanzania, 18% in Uganda and 9.4% in Kenya last year as lower fuel import costs kept inflation down, according to Bloomberg.
Over the last ten months, the price of oil has fallen steeply, with
major implications for the global economy. Between June and December 2014, oil fell by over 40%, from $112 a barrel to less than
$70. Several events have triggered the tumbling oil prices. Oil demand is declining in rich OECD countries and Chinese consumption
growth has slowed as the
economy matures. US enerA rude drop
Brent crude oil prices
gy supply has increased due
$ per barrel
to the shale gas revolution,
and oil production has been
surprisingly strong in Iraq
despite political breakdown.
But should African gov40
ernments simply view the
falling prices as a tempo20
rary bonus? Or is it an
Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan
opportunity to tackle their
costly fuel subsidies? These
Source: US Energy Information Administration
handouts are a huge burden
April / May 2015

Higher transport costs affect peoples livelihoods, pushing up the

cost of moving their goods to markets and of moving themselves to
work. Low-income citizens in Africa have to be mobile due to the
fragmented nature of labour markets and the shortage of stable, formal, single-location jobs. Increased fuel costs also drive inflation,
which disproportionately affects the poor: they rarely have the protection that wealthier citizens
have, such as investments in
property, savings products or Removing subsidies while oil
other assets.
prices are low will be less painful:
But governments must be
it gives governments the prospect
aware of the opportunity
cost of subsidies. Every dol- of adopting measures to offset
lar spent subsidising fuel is a increased costs when the oil price
dollar not spent on schools, climbs again.
hospitals and infrastructure.
Indeed, transport in sub-Saharan Africa would not be nearly so costly if it were not for the poor
state of the roads. In that context, could the current slump in oil
prices present a fortuitous chance for governments to implement
fuel subsidy reforms without hitting the poor so hard?
Removing subsidies while oil prices are low will be less painful:
it gives governments the prospect of adopting measures to offset
increased costs when the oil price climbs again. If countries want
to remove or reduce fuel subsidies, a dramatic drop in oil prices is
probably the ideal context to make those reforms.
A handful of African governments had been pursuing this goal in
the lead up to the oil price fall, due partly to pressure from donors,
ratings agencies and the IMF. In the first half of last year, Cameroon, Egypt and Ghana reduced or removed fuel subsidies (Ghanas
had previously been removed, before being re-introduced). Around
the same time, Libya sought to implement a smart card system to
crack down on large-scale smuggling of its subsidised fuel into neighbouring countries where it was being sold at profit, according to Reuters. Under this system, citizens can only buy a specific amount of
subsidised fuel and will pay the normal price for all amounts above
this limit.

Slash and burn

April / May 2015

Burning investments
Pre-tax fuel subsidies, 2011

Slash and burn

% of GDP


Middle East and north Africa

Central/eastern Europe and Commonwealth
Sub-Saharan Africa
Developing Asia
La8n America/Caribbean
Advanced economies
Source: IMF

for governments. According to IMF estimates, the fiscal cost of fuel

subsidies amounted to 1.4% of Africas GDP in 2012. In 2011, subSaharan Africas pre-tax energy subsidies overall amounted to 1.6%
of GDP, compared to 0.9% in emerging Asia (though far below the
Middle East and north Africa region, at 8.6%). Total energy subsidies exceeded 4% of GDP in Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe,
according to a 2013 IMF report.
Despite their cost, these subsidies are not effective. On balance,
they benefit the rich who consume more fuel than the poor. One IMF
study argues that over 80% of petrol subsidy benefits accrue to the
richest 40% of households. In Sudan, the poorest 20% of the population receive around 3% of fuel subsidies, while the richest 20% receive over 50%.
While the wealthy may benefit more from these subventions, removing them is unpopular because it can still hurt the poor. Transport, for instance, is one of the main cost-of-living burdens for many
people in emerging markets. Protests against subsidy elimination
in Nigeria in early 2012 paralysed the economy and forced the government to back-pedal. Fuel price demonstrations also rocked Cameroon in 2008 and Mozambique two years later. Egypts economic
recovery talks with the IMF during 2013 and the first half of 2014
centred on the thorny issue of energy subsidies. Governments are
naturally wary of angering their citizens.
The reasons for social unrest are understandable.


But many other countries have not acted and the subsidies remain widespread. For those considering reforms, what lessons have
been learnt over recent years about the best approaches?
First, clear communication and public consultation is fundamental. The public can understand and support reforms as long as they
trust the government to carry them out properly, and are informed
about why the change is necessary. Tanzania, for instance, has set up
a specialised regulatory entity that helps the public understand the
need for fuel subsidy reforms and reports back on the functioning of
the market, according to a 2013 IMF report.
Second, the poor can be protected from the fallout of energy subsidy reforms. In its electricity reforms, Kenya provided households
using less than 50 kilowatt-hours per month a lifeline power tariff
that was below cost of production. Conditional cash transfers are
another option. If not too burdensome administratively, countries
can keep some subsidies in place for public transport, as in Niger
and Ghana.
Ghana has also been a leader in pursuing parallel programmes
in which public investments are made to counteract the subsidy removal. Back in 2004, the Ghanaian government raised fuel prices by
50%, but this was coupled with an anti-poverty programme that included the elimination of primary and secondary school fees, funding for primary health programmes, rural electrification and the
urban transport network. Not everyone was happy, of course, least
of all the trade unions. But Ghanas process was far more constructive than Nigerias in which public communication was minimal
and significant amounts of the proceeds from the removed subsidy
went missing.
If it is well-designed, gradual and includes offset mechanisms to
protect the poorest, subsidy reform can put African economies on
a sounder fiscal footing. It can free up much-needed resources for
the direct public investments that are needed to support long-term,
sustainable growth.


Monday, April 6, 2015


Invitation for Bids (IFB)


IFB No. MOE/PROJ/NCB/002/014/2015
1.The Ministry of Education has received additional budgetary support from the
Government of Liberia and intends to apply part of it fund eligible payments under
the contract for the Supply of Office Equipment.
2. The Ministry of Education now invites sealed bids from eligible and qualified
bidders for the Supply of Office Equipment as stated below:




Laptop Computer



Network Printer

30 Pieces
30 Pieces

30 Pieces

3. Bidding will be conducted through the National Competitive Bidding (NCB)

procedure specified in the Public Procurement and Concessions Act (PPCA) and
approved by the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCA), and is
open to all qualified eligible bidders.
4. Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information from the
Procurement Unit on the 1st Floor of the Ministry of Education located on
3rd Street, Sinkor, and inspect the Bidding documents from Thursday, March
12, 2015 to Wednesday, April 8, 2015 beginning at 9:00 AM TO 4:00 PM.

5. Qualification requirements include technical and financial capacity as detailed

Technical Capacity

The Bidder shall furnish documentary evidence to demonstrate that is meets the
following experience requirement(s).

Completion of contracts of similar nature and value for at least 3 years
(include copies)

Current Tax Clearance and Business Registration Certificates

Bid Security of 2% of your told bid price from a reputable bank

Past performance and list of Clients to whom you have supplied similar
See Bid Data Sheet in the bidding documents for additional information.

6. A complete set of bidding documents in English may be purchased by interested

bidders for a nonrefundable fee of USD 50.00 from the Finance Division and shall
obtained an official receipt from the Finance Division and upon displaying same to
the Procurement Unit you will be issue a full set of bidding documents.
7. Bids must be delivered in a sealed envelope into the bid box within the
Procurement Unit on the 1st Floor, Room #034 of the Ministry of Education
located on 3rd Street, Sinkor not later than 10:00 AM. Thursday, April 9,
2015. Late Bids will be rejected.

8. Bids will be opened in the presence of the Bidders representatives who choose
to attend on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 10:00 AM on the 2nd Floor, Room
#055 of the Ministry of Education Conference Room, 3rd Street, Sinkor. Bids
shall be valid for a period of 120 days after the deadline of Bids submission. All
bids must be accompanied by a Bid Security worth 2% of your total bid price
from a reputable bank. Please note that electronic bids are not acceptable.
9. All Bids must be addressed to:

Procurement Unit
1st Floor, Room # 034
Ministry of Education
3rd Street, Sinkor
Monrovia, Liberia


Head of Procurement Unit

Head of Procurement Entity

Page 11

Page 12 | Frontpage

Gbarnga, Bong County nder tight security

presence, delegates
at the constitutional
review conference
possible amendments in the
current Liberian constitution.
Despite a two day protest by
Muslims against the restoration
of Liberia to a Christian nation,
delegates at the conference voted
overwhelmingly in favor of the
recommendations culled from
series of nationwide town hall
discussions almost a year ago.
It was a show of unity from
the Christian delegates at
the conference who, prior
to Thursdays process, had
reportedly converged at a local
church in Gbarnga to rally
solidarity. And indeed it paid off
as the entire hall predominately
voted in favor of a preposition
many say could restore the pride
of Liberia. They sang this is a
day that the long has made; we
will rejoice and be glad in it in
reaction to
A minority of Muslims delegates
who were present in the hall
shunned the entire voting
process and some who spoke to
FrontPage Africa said to vote
against Liberia being a secular
state was a calculative ploy to
promote tribal divide. Ahmed
Jabateh, a resident of Bomi
County who is a Muslim, told
reporters that Christians have
capitalized on their numerical
advantage to influence key
decisions at the conference,
particularly the controversial
recommendation to Christianize
Acting Bong Supt. sad by
nation vote
Reacting on the development,
acting Bong Superintendent
Anthony Sheriff said he is
saddened by the massive
decision to restore Liberia to
a Christian nation. Sheriff, a
Muslim, said he had opted for
a decision endorsing Liberia
as a secular state rather than a
Christian nation. He said such
decision would have given them
a new relief of hope as citizens of
the Liberia. The decision taken
Thursday is counterproductive to
the development drive of post-

Monday, April 6, 2015

Liberians Vote on 19 Propositions for Constitution Amendment

Selma Lomax, selma.lomax@frontpageafricaonline.com

been prosecuted by the Liberian

government but her dual
citizenship status made things
Another delegate Pewee Kezeele
from Lofa County agreed:
Capital flight and the Cockrum
scenario exposed the flaws in
the dual citizens act. Liberia
is recovering from more than a
decade of civil war and is about
time that we put an end to dual
citizenship. It hasnt done our
country any good.

war Liberia. It could make us to

not have a voice particularly in a
country we find ourselves where
marginalization against Islam
is at its peak in some areas, he
He however warned his kinsmen
to remain calm and pray on
the indulgence of the national
legislature not to endorse the bill
when submitted.
Activist hail decision
Obediah Weahweah, a political
analyst and a Christian, hailed
his kinsmen for the decision
to unite their ideas at the
conference. Weah-weah said the
unanimous decision to make
Liberia a Christian state will
go a long way in the countrys
history. This is something
that worth commendations. I
would like to congratulate my
Christian brothers and sisters
for the decision taken Thursday.
All of those decisions including
the reduction in the tenures of
the president from six to four
and the senator from nine to six
signals that Liberia is on the right

trajectory, Weahweah added.

Reduction for tenures of
President, Representative and
Delegates also voted in favor of
the reduction in the tenures of
the president and representatives
from six to four years, while
the tenure of senator was voted
to be reduced from nine to six
years. Delegates in separate
Africa said their decisions were
in conformity with international
best practice. Others said a
reduction in the tenures of the
president, representative and
senator would put their leaders
under pressure to perform. The
delegates said Liberian leaders
have accustomed themselves
on delivering during the last
years of their tenures. Giving a
six year or a nine year mandate
to our leaders has not yielded
any positive results over the
years. Our leaders have got the
mentality of performing the
last years of their tenures and
reducing it significantly will

make them to deliver on their

On the tenure of the nine years
tenure of senator, some delegates
said it was yet a clever attempt by
certain group of people to remain
in power while majority suffer.
Peter Smith, a youth activist in
Gbarnga told FrontPage Africa
its another attempt to prevent
certain people from tasting the
wealth of the country. A senator
who has a 3-year-old child now
and an ordinary Liberian who
has a 3-year-old child now is a
different thing. The senators
child nine years after will still
be in luxury and the child of the
ordinary Liberia will be living in
poverty, he added.
Recommendations defeated
Recommendations on the dual
citizens act received keen
progressed during Thursdays
session. The hall of the Gbarnga
became increasingly tensed
as representatives of diaspora

South Africa Commences The Issuance Of Visas In Liberia

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
the South African Embassy, the
Republic of South Africa has
announced it has now brought
in the necessary equipment to
begin the issuance of South
African visas at its Embassy
near Monrovia.
The disclosure was made
Friday, April 2, 2015 in the
Conference Room of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
when the South African Envoy
to Liberia, H.E. Masilo Esau
Mabeta, paid a courtesy call
on Foreign Minister Augustine

Kpehe Ngafuan.
According to a Foreign Ministry
release, visa applications will
be received and processed
from Monday through Friday
between 8:00 am to 12:00 p.m.
Making the disclosure at
the Foreign Ministry Friday
his embassy is aware of the
many Liberians who had
been constrained to travel to
neighboring states in order to
travel to South Africa.
The South African Ambassador
regretted the difficulty that had
been faced by Liberians as a
consequence of the inability of
the South African Embassy to
issue visas in Monrovia, which

Liberians struggled to win votes

in their favor.
The process to lure delegates
to vote in favor or against
was reminiscent of a political
election in Liberia. Money was
seen exchanging hands. But
against dual citizens got the nod
as 276 voted against while 176
voted in favor, and 76 abstained.
Some delegates cited capital
flight for their decisions. They
capital flight was retarding the
growth and development of
Liberia. They observed that
their recommendations when
enacted into law by the national
legislature would pave the way
for what they described as rapid
development in Liberia.
Some delegates spoken to also
cited the case involving Madam
Ellen Cockrum, the former head
of the Roberts International
Airport. Beatrice Bedell, a
delegate from Margibi County
told FrontPage Africa: The case
with Ellen Cockrum made me
to vote against dual citizenship.
If Madam Cockrum didnt have
dual citizenship she would have

he attributed largely to technical

challenges faced by the South
African Embassy.
For his part, Foreign Minister
Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan
thanked the South African
government for delivering
on its promise by accepting
Liberia's request to commence
the issuance of South African
visas in Liberia, adding that the
move will bring to an end the
difficulties faced by Liberians
wishing to travel to South
Minister Ngafuan then on
behalf of President Ellen
Johnson Sirleaf and the
Government and People of
Liberia expressed to President
Jacob Zuma and the people of
South Africa sincere gratitude
and thanks for establishing a
visa outlet in Monrovia. The
Liberian Foreign Minister
also hoped that the diplomatic
relations between Liberia and
South Africa will continue to
grow from strength to strength
in all areas of cooperation.


Commenting on the matter,

representatives of Diaspora
Liberians termed the decision
as frustrating and want the
national legislature to quash
the recommendations. Varney
Kezele, a Liberian who says
he has stayed in Australia for
over ten years told FrontPage
Africa their presence exile
has contributed immensely to
Liberias growth contrary to
mounting speculations.
He said: Capital flight? So
disappointing to say. Go to
Western Union and check the
records to see how much we
spend on our families back
home. We have done immense
Reacting to the Cockrum
corruption saga, Kezelee said is
only one in as many corruption
cases permeating the Liberian
society and being ignored
by President Ellen JohnsonSirleaf. Continuing, he added:
We agreed the Cockrum case
is just one case, but you how
many corruption cases are being
reported about in Liberia without
any actions?
Liberians also voted against
suggestions that the elections of
the Chairman of the National
Election Commission (NEC) and
Chief Justice of Liberia should
not be elected but be appointed
by the president of Liberia.

Minister Ngafuan encouraged

EU member states and other
diplomatic missions resident
in Monrovia to follow the
lead of South Africa and
bring to an end the enormous
inconvenience and difficulties
faced by Liberians who must
travel to a second country just
to obtain visa before travelling
to their final destinations. This,
the Foreign Minister noted is
putting serious financial burden
on the Liberian people.
Minister disclosed that the
Government of Liberia is
working with all of its bilateral
partners with resident missions
in Liberia, especially countries
from the European Union to
consider the establishment
of visa issuance outlets in
Monrovia. "These conversations
are in advanced stages and we
hope that a breakthrough can be
made soon", Minister Ngafuan


Monday, April 6, 2015


UN Adopts Resolution on UNMIL Drawdown

New Yorkhe United Nations

Security Council on
Thursday reaffirmed
its expectation that
the Government of Liberia
will assume complete security
responsibilities from the United
Nations Mission in Liberia
(UNMIL) no later than June
30, 2016 and also reaffirmed
its intention to consider
the continued and future
reconfiguration of UNMIL
Taking the decision Thursday, 02
April 2015, the UNSC requested
the Secretary-General to continue
to streamline the activities of
UNMIL across its civilian, police
and military components to fully
reflect the downsizing of the
police and military components
and narrowing of the mandate
decided in resolution 2190
(2014) and this resolution and
further requests the SecretaryGeneral to consolidate the
civilian, police and military
presence of UNMIL in line with
the security transition.
The UNSC resolution states that
acting under Chapter VII of the

Charter of the United Nations, it

endorsed the Secretary-Generals
recommendation in the update of
16 March 2015 on the drawdown
of UNMIL wherein he uniformed
with resolution 2190 (2014),
authorizes the Secretary-General
to implement the third phase of

the phased drawdown to arrive at

a new military ceiling of 3,590
The UNSC has also instructed
the UN Secretary General to
reduce the police ceiling to 1,515
personnel, with both ceilings to
be reached by September 2015,
as stated in the UNSC Resolution

2215 adopted on Thursday.

The UN Security Council
Calls on the Governments
of Liberia and Cte dIvoire
to continue reinforcing their
cooperation, particularly with
respect to the border area, and
in this regard, calls upon all
United Nations entities in Cte



he West African nations

of Sierra Leone and
Liberia both appear to
be on a steady path to
ending the epidemic the wild

card is Guinea, where Ebola

hasn't burned as hot but remains
stubbornly entrenched.
In the year since the first cases
were identified in Guinea, Ebola

has infected more than 25,000

people, the vast majority in West
Africa. Of those, around 10,500
have died.
Liberia's last Ebola patient died

March 27; it is now counting

down the 42 days it must wait to
be declared free of Ebola.

Sierra Leone recorded no new
infections Wednesday for the

Page 13

dIvoire and Liberia, including

all relevant components of the
United Nations Operation in
Cte dIvoire (UNOCI) and
UNMIL, within their respective
mandates, capabilities and areas
of deployment, as well as the two
United Nations Country Teams,
where relevant and appropriate,
to support the Ivoirian and
Liberian authorities;
The UNSC reaffirmed the
importance of inter-mission
cooperation arrangements as
UNMIL and UNOCI downsize,
as well as the inter-mission
cooperation framework set out
in resolution 1609 (2005) and
recalls the relevant provisions
of resolution 2162 (2014) in this
The world body also commended
the Government of Liberia for
responding effectively to the
Ebola outbreak in Liberia. The
council also recognized the
resilience of the people and
Government of Liberia, and its
security institutions, especially
the Armed Forces of Liberia and
the Liberia National Police in the
fight against the deadly Ebola
It also welcomed the efforts of
Member States, bilateral partners

and multilateral organizations,

including the United Nations,
African Union (AU) and
Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS) that
gave support the Government
of Liberia in its response to
the Ebola outbreak and further
praised the contributions of
the international community,
including the Peacebuilding
Commission, to assist Liberia in
its comprehensive development
commitment in the post-Ebola
recovery period and strongly
forward in this regard.
2066 (2012), of the SecretaryGenerals recommendation to
decrease the military strength of
UNMIL in three phases between
August 2012 and July 2015,
situation in Liberia and the sub
region, in particular resolutions
1509 (2003), 2066 (2012),
2116 (2013), 2176 (2014), 2177
(2014) and 2190 (2014), stated
the UN Security Council.

second time; on average, it has

logged a handful each day in
recent days. There are currently
62 patients in treatment in Sierra
Leone, and a recent nationwide
lockdown indicated there aren't
hordes of hidden Ebola cases.
"The battle to get to zero cases
is truly on," Ernest Bai Koroma,
Sierra Leone's president, said in
a radio address Thursday.
FILE - In this file photo dated
Friday, March. 27, 2015, a
usually busy street is deserted as
It's more difficult to discern a
trend in Guinea the World
Health Organization has called
the picture there mixed after
noting signs of improvement last
added 10 new beds to its Ebola
treatment center in the capital,
Conakry, last week to handle
more patients. About half of the
Donka center's 50 beds were
full as of Tuesday, according to
Raphael Delhalle, the group's
field coordinator.
The outbreak in Guinea has
followed an undulating pattern
for months and is likely to
continue, Delhalle said.
Even though Ebola has spread

longest in Guinea, the country

has registered by far the fewest
cases. That's primarily because
Ebola has yet to explode in a
major Guinean city, as it did in
the capitals of Sierra Leone and
Liberia, said Dr. Dan Jernigan
of the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
implemented new measures to
fight the outbreak, including
mandating safe burials in hot
spots and shutting any health
center that finds an Ebola case.
Ebola is spread through bodily
fluids of the sick and dead;
burials and clinics are two major
sources of infection.
One measure of whether an
outbreak is being brought
under control is how many new
infections are in people known
to have had contact with the sick.
That figure is only at about 50
percent in Guinea, WHO said
WHO said about two-thirds
of new cases in Sierra Leone
arose in known contacts, a drop
from the previous week. Fifteen
percent of Ebola cases are still
being confirmed only after death.


s Liberians mark
one year since the
case of Ebola in
their country, a communitybased public-health education
campaign is helping to bring the
virus under control and setting
the stage for Liberias recovery.
Led by the global humanitarian
organization Mercy Corps,
the massive campaign has
successfully reached 2 million
people in the past six months
practices and behaviors to
reduce Ebola transmission.
The organization will also be
providing cash transfers and
agricultural supplies such as

seeds and tools to families whose

livelihoods suffered during the
The epidemic has been
overcome in large part through
the collective adoption of
prevention measures that reduce
the spread of the virus, says
Penelope Anderson, country
director for Mercy Corps in
Liberia. We established a
network of trusted partners,
health trainers and over 15,000
community educators to bring
lifesaving anti-Ebola messages
to almost half of the countrys
population, including people
living in some of Liberias most
remote areas.
Community educators use house
visits, village meetings and mass

media to educate people on

effective hygiene practices and
protocols for dealing with those
who are sick or have died. A
second mobilization campaign,
begun in February, is supporting
the reintegration of survivors,
health workers and others who
have been to Ebola treatment
units and now face considerable
discrimination at home. Recent
surveys show that stigma has
begun to drop.
Weve accomplished a lot
already, but were not out of
the woods yet, says Anderson.
Ebola can flare up quickly and
spread fast, so we continue to
caution people to keep their guard
up and protect themselves, their
families and their communities

against this virus.

The Ebola Community Action
Platform (ECAP), led by Mercy
Corps and funded by USAID, is
Liberias largest consortium of
organizations conducting antiEbola campaigns, with more
than 70 local and international
Since the work began, almost 20
percent more people correctly
recognize that they should not
directly touch anyone sick with
Ebola a behavior critical to
prevent the spread of the disease.
Mercy Corps has worked in
Liberia since 2002, supporting
its economic recovery and social
transition following years of
civil war.

Page 14 | Frontpage




Zimbabwe, Joyce
Mujuru, has been
expelled from the ruling
party, Zanu-PF.
The party said she had
plotted to remove President
Robert Mugabe from office
and brought the party into
She had been been seen as a
likely successor to President
Mugabe but was sacked at
the end of last year.
corruption and plotting to kill
the president - allegations she
Mr Mugabe, 91, will have
been in power for 35 years
when Zimbabwe marks its
independence from the UK
later this month.



Port Harcourt (Nigeria) (AFP) unmen

two communities in
Nigeria's southern oil
state of Rivers, killing
at least nine people and injuring
two others a week ahead of a
gubernatorial election, police
said Saturday.
"It was about 19:30 hours (1830
GMT) of yesterday (Friday).
Some unknown armed men
invaded Obrikom and Obor
communities and went on a
shooting spree," state police
spokesman Ahmad Muhammad
said in a statement.
Muhammad said an initial death
toll of six had risen to nine.
The assailants also set ablaze
the house of a local politician,
Vincent Ogbagu, who is a state
parliament candidate in the
April 11 election, he said.
Police were looking for the
assailants, Muhammad said.
Elections for state governor and
parliament are scheduled to take
place on April 11 in about 30
Nigerian states, including Rivers
and Lagos.
neighbouring communities in
Rivers, one of Nigeria's most
restive states.




ow would you react

if, when you were 17,
you were thrust into
the middle of a civil
war, with your father a leader
of a rebel army? Does everyone
have evil inside of them, just
waiting for the right (or wrong)
circumstances to bring it forth?
Those are the underlying
questions behind one of the
most remarkable biographies
that has appeared in recent
years. Johnny Dwyer, a freelance
journalist based in New York,
has pieced together the strange,
terrifying story of Chucky
Taylor, American teenager
turned Liberian warlord.
In the mid-1970s in Boston,
named Bernice Emmanuel,
met a Liberian grad student,
Charles Taylor, who attended
Chamberlayne Junior College
(now Mount Ida College in
Newton). They moved in
together in Dorchester, and
in February 1977 their son,
Chucky, was born. Charles
worked in a plastics factory in
Somerville and then at Sears.
The relationship foundered, and
by 1980 they separated.
Bernice then married a
welder named Roy Belfast,
and when Chucky was 10 the
family moved from Boston to
a working-class subdivision
outside of Orlando. On the
surface Chucky looked like a
typical American kid, listening
to hip-hop in his bedroom. But
his home life wasnt entirely
stable Bernice, after her
marriage to Belfast started
falling apart, got married
again after Belfast moved out,
without divorcing him. Chucky,
adrift in a turbulent situation,
became a troubled teen: gangs,

A True Story by Johnny Dwyer

shoplifting, drugs, a suicide

In the summer of 1992, when
Chucky was 15, he and Bernice
traveled to West Africa so he
could see his father for the first
time since he was a toddler. It
was a bizarre family reunion.
Charles Taylor, after many twists
and turns, was now leading a
Liberian rebel army.
They spent a few weeks
together. Two years later, fleeing
the United States with felony
charges pending (aggravated
assault with a firearm after a
violent mugging), 17-year-old
Chucky permanently moved
in with his father. As Charles

advanced from warlord to the

elected president of Liberia
in 1997, Chucky abandoned
school (he briefly attended
three different schools, two in
Liberia and one in Ghana but
never finished 11th grade)
and assumed the position
of commander of a secret
paramilitary unit with this
fathers blessing and direction.
In this period, Chucky also
became a family man in
Monrovia. He had courted
and married his high school
they had a child together.
Simultaneously, he ran a
training camp and prison in




meeting that took place

behind closed doors
between intelligence
figures in the town of
Torgau, Saxony (Germany) last
month, reportedly revealed that
the Russian President Vladimir
Putin will view any attempt from
NATOs side to return Crimea to
Ukraine or to step up its presence
in the Baltics as declaration of
war and threatened a spectrum
of responses from nuclear to
non-military to retain his
control in the region.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Uhuru Kenyatta has
vowed to respond
"in the severest ways
possible" to the al-Shabab
militant attack on Garissa
university in which 148 people
In an address to the nation,
Mr Kenyatta said the Islamist
group posed an "existential
threat" to Kenya.
He also said the government
would take steps to crack
down on those who planned
and financed terrorist attacks.

Mr Kenyatta also declared

three days of mourning for the
Almost all the dead were
students. Another people 79
were injured.
Four militant gunmen were
killed, and officials say they
are holding five people for
questioning - one of whom
is believed to be a university
security guard.
Buses are transporting more
than 600 students and about
50 staff who survived the
attacks to their home areas,

Garissa governor Nathif Jama

Adam told Reuters news
Mr Kenyatta vowed to "fight
terrorism to the end" and
said the militants would not
succeed in their aim of creating
an Islamic caliphate in Kenya.
"I want you to know that our
security forces are pursuing
the remaining accomplices.
We will bring all of them to
justice," he said.
Relatives have been viewing
the bodies of victims of the

central Liberia where atrocities

targeting both alleged criminals
as well as recruits were
common. This was horrific stuff:
electric shocks, cutting off toes,
forced drinking of urine, rape,
prolonged isolation in holes
in the ground, and summary
government fell in 2003,
Chucky fled to Trinidad. Three
years later he tried to enter
the United States and was
arrested at the Miami airport.
After a two-month trial in
Florida, he became the first
American ever convicted of
the war crime of torture and
was sentenced to 97 years in
jail. (His father got 50 years
for crimes against humanity
by a special international court
in Sierra Leone, becoming
the first former head of state
to be convicted thusly since
Nuremberg.) Chuckys trial was
a supremely ironic moment:
At the same time that the
Department of Justice had
legalized torture in the war
on terror it was obtaining a
conviction for torture against
Chucky Taylor.
Cross-hatching this biography
are the darker shadows of
American foreign policy. If
on one hand Liberia, with its
child soldiers and oppressive
humidity (the air, as Dwyer
writes, was thick and sweet
with decaying vegetation and
generator exhaust) is a world
apart, on the other hand it is
intimately connected to the
United States. Americans created
Liberia, initially as a colony for
freed slaves. Whether the sins
of omission or commission
that Dwyer uncovers in the

attack at a funeral home in

Nairobi Security forces have
been guarding the funeral
home Red Cross workers are
helping relatives fin
"Our forefathers bled and died
for this nation, and we will do
everything to defend our way
of life."
He called on political and
religious leaders to "speak
in a united voice" and give
"weightiest consideration" to
national security.
The task of combating terrorism
had been complicated by the
fact that "the planners and
financiers of this brutality
are deeply embedded in our
communities", Mr Kenyatta
"We will not allow them to
continue their lives as normal,"
he said.
The president's address came
as the relatives of victims
queued at a morgue in the
capital Nairobi to identify their
loved ones.
Emmanuel Igunza, BBC World
Service, Nairobi
At the Nairobi mortuary where
bodies of the dead students
were taken, a woman I met had
travelled from eastern Kenya,
frustrated by the lack of news
about her son. She had last
spoken to him just as gunmen
stormed the university. His
phone then went dead.

State Departments actions in

Monrovia in the past decades, the
persistent underdevelopment
that prepared such a fertile
ground for the Ebola virus that
recently ravaged the country,
or the telling fact that in the
summer of 2001 two Al Qaeda
operatives reportedly visited
Chucky Taylors militia base
the story of one wayward
Floridian does not exist in a
Dwyer first wrote about Chucky
Taylor for a Rolling Stone article
published in September 2008,
and he has done a tremendous
job amplifying the story
with additional research and
reporting State Department
cables, interviews with militia
members and torture survivors
and sorting out murky
tales like Chucky mixing with
international arms dealers.
overwhelms Dwyer. Acronyms
pop up without attribution (a
glossary would have helped);
phrases and descriptions get
repeated; and opaque, contextless quotes from Taylors trial
preface each chapter. Dwyer
also doesnt plumb the depths
of Chuckys behavior enough
to come up with more than
laden with DSM-IV-talk, about
whether he was a psychopath.
But perhaps it was just an
unknowable combination of
nature and nurture, bad luck
and bad timing, that turned
the American teenager into a
James Zug is a Globe
Wilmington, Del. He can be
reached at jzug@earthlink.net.
APRIL 04, 2015

"I can only hope that just

maybe he is alive and hiding
somewhere. But as a mother, I
can feel and tell he won't come
back to me alive," she said.
Anxious parents and relatives
were privately being shown
pictures of the victims. Some
broke down after the fate of
their loved ones became clear.
A Red Cross official told me
the process was slow, as they
first had to reconstruct bodies
because of severe and, in
some cases, multiple gunshot
wounds. Others had been
The bodies were flown to
Nairobi for identification, as
local mortuaries have been
unable to cope, and many of
the students killed came from
other parts of the country.
The bodies of the four gunmen
who died remain in Garissa,
where they were put on public
display on Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, a 19-yearold girl was found unhurt in
a cupboard on the university
campus, where she had hid for
two days.
Security officials had to bring
in a teacher to convince her
that it was safe to come out,
the BBC's Andrew Harding
reports. She told reporters that
she drank body lotion when
she felt hungry.

Monday, April 6, 2015


rsenal tightened their
grip on a place in the
Premier League's top
four while inflicting
Champions League aspirations
with a convincing victory at
Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners set the platform
for a vital three points with
a devastating burst of three
goals in the last eight minutes
of the first half from Hector
Bellerin, Mesut Ozil and Alexis
Raheem Sterling - starting up
front for Liverpool after the
midweek interview with the
BBC that cast further doubt on
his long-term Anfield future
- battled hard and won a late
penalty from which Jordan
Henderson pulled a goal back.
In reality, however, this was
little other than an afternoon
of unrelenting misery for an
abject Liverpool, who had Emre
Can sent off for two bookable
offences before Olivier Giroud
delivered the final blow with a
spectacular fourth for Arsenal
in the closing seconds.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
will feel a place in next
season's Champions League
is now within his grasp but
Liverpool's hopes are fading
as they followed up the 2-1
home defeat by Manchester
United by being convincingly
The win puts Arsenal nine
points ahead of Liverpool
with seven games left, while

manager Brendan Rodgers'

side also trail Manchester
United by five points before
Saturday's meeting with Aston
Villa at Old Trafford.
Sterling was a man in the
spotlight after his outspoken
explanation of his contract
impasse at Anfield - and
while he fought as hard as any
Liverpool player to fashion
something in a losing cause,
he was powerless to influence
Liverpool were without captain
Steven Gerrard and Martin
Skrtel, who were serving
three-match suspensions for
stamping in last month's match
against Manchester United.
The decision to draft veteran
Kolo Toure into defence, while
he was certainly not solely
to blame, contributed to a
calamitous first 45 minutes at

the back for the visitors.

Arsenal away-day blues for the
Liverpool have won just one of
their past 19 away games in all
competitions against Arsenal
(W1 D7 L11).
goalkeeper Simon Mignolet
when he was caught in
swarmed all over Liverpool
in the early moments - but
once they settled down it was
suddenly the Gunners who
looked under pressure.
Indeed, it was Liverpool
who should have gone ahead
after 18 minutes when
Philippe Coutinho sent Lazar
Markovic through on goal
but he mysteriously passed
on responsibility to Sterling,
matters made worse by the
failure to find his intended

There was little indication
of the mayhem to come as
the game moved towards the
interval - but Arsenal delivered
three heavy hits to Liverpool in
the final eight minutes of the
Bellerin's finish for the first,
cutting in from the the right
before a precise left-foot finish
into the bottom corner, was
exemplary but the defending
of Liverpool's Alberto Moreno
was nothing short of shambolic
as he virtually ushered his
opponent into a dangerous
Arsenal's second came three
minutes later as Ozil curled a
delightful 25-yard free-kick
beyond Mignolet and the third
arrived on the stroke of halftime when Sanchez scored
with a thunderous shot from

the edge of the area - although

it passed suspiciously close
to Liverpool's keeper before
going in.
Rodgers introduced Daniel
Sturridge for Markovic at
the start of the second half
in the hope he would act as
the catalyst for an unlikely
comeback but it was Arsenal
who came close to a fourth as it
required a fine reflex save from
Mignolet to divert Giroud's
header over the top.
Liverpool were offered some
hope with 14 minutes left
when they were awarded a
penalty for Bellerin's foul on
Sterling. Henderson's penalty
was not exactly convincing
but it did the job as it sneaked
past Arsenal goalkeeper David



obert Lewandowski
netted the only
goal against his
former club as
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the
Robert Lewandowski proved
the scourge of former club
Borussia Dortmund with the
only goal in Bayern Munich's
1-0 Bundesliga victory.
The Poland international left
Signal Iduna Park to join the
reigning champion at the end of
last season, and it was his 36thminute header that separated
the two sides on Saturday.
Lewandowski had failed to
make much of an impact
when he returned to Dortmund
with Bayern in the Super Cup
back in August - a game that
his former side won 2-0. But
he showed his customary
predatory instincts to convert
the rebound after Roman
Thomas Muller's initial effort,
giving Bayern a measure of
The Polish striker refused to
celebrate his match-winner as a
mark of respect to his old team.
That goal was his second in
as many league games against

Dortmund this season. After

his equalizer in the 2-1 win in
November, as he provided a
victory that maintains Bayern's
10-point lead over Wolfsburg
at the Bundesliga summit.
Pep Guardiola's side was
buoyed by Philipp Lahm's first
start since November following
an ankle injury, and he played

69 minutes before being

replaced by Thiago Alcantara,
making his first appearance for
almost a year after a serious
knee problem.
Defeat leaves Dortmund 10th
in the table, five points adrift of
a Europa League place, while
for Bayern it was a welcome
return to winning ways after

the 2-0 loss to Borussia

Monchengladbach prior to the
international break.
were high in intensity, with
Bastian Schweinsteiger and
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
both cautioned in the first 20
minutes as the tackles flew in.
Muller, recalled to the Bayern

side as one of four changes

from the loss to Gladbach,
had the only notable chance in
that period but his lofted effort
drifted wide of the target.
The Germany attacker then
played a big part in the winner,
as Bayern edged in front nine
minutes before the interval.
Lewandowski played a pass
into Muller, whose shot was
parried by Weidenfeller before
Lewandowski beat Marcel
Schmelzer to the ball and
headed into the unguarded net.
Dortmund improved after the
break and ought to have been
level on the hour mark.
Marco Reus was the beneficiary
of a fortunate ricochet as the
ball ran kindly into his path,
but with just Manuel Neuer
to beat, he showed a lack of
composure and fired wildly
into the side netting.
Two minutes from the end,
Dortmund troubled Neuer for
the first time. Reus hit a free
kick from 25 yards, but the
Germany goalkeeper produced
a superb one-handed save low
to his right to preserve his clean
sheet and ensure Lewandowski
his place in the headlines.

Page 15




Champions League
hopes look more
solid than ever
as they brushed aside the
Villans at Old Trafford, the
Spanish midfielder scoring at
the end of each half
Manchester United put eight
points between themselves
and Liverpool as they saw off
Aston Villa 3-1 on Saturday,
Ander Herrera scoring twice.
Their top-four ambitions
boosted by Arsenal's win
against the Reds earlier
in the day, the Red Devils
consolidated their position
with a largely comfortable
victory at Old Trafford.



Valencia in the
table, though their
rivals will reclaim third place
if they beat Villarreal on
Antoine Griezmann and
Saul both scored as Atletico
Madrid moved into third
place with a polished 2-0
victory away to Cordoba.
Griezmann got the visitors
off to a fine start with a
well-taken finish after five
minutes and his tireless
work rate proved a nuisance




hen the supreme

moment came
the stuff of
basketball fantasy Duke's
program experienced a sheepish
pause. Right at the bottom of the
ladder, with scissors in hand,
it became clear that there was
one thing all these acclaimed
freshmen had yet to learn.
Basketball nets. How exactly
did you cut one down? Like,
in technical terms. Was there
etiquette? Who got the last cut?
Who got the first? How much
nylon should you take? And,
really, who goes that high on a
ladder with scissors?
Tyus Jones waves to the crowd
after cutting down a piece of
the net after defeating Gonzaga.


VOL 9 NO.62

overnment has suspended

the April 7 elections of
immediate effect.
The Ministry of Youth & Sports took
the decision on April 2 following
a March 31 letter written by LBA
president Rufus Anderson informing
the ministry of its plans to hold
elections on April 7.
But Deputy Sports Minister Henry B.
Yonton, who has been playing the role
of General Abdulsalami Abubakar in
the leadership saga, has now decided
to refer the matter to Fiba-Africa,
basketballs governing body in Africa.
We acknowledge with thanks the
receipt of your letter informing the
ministry of activities planned and
leading to the upcoming elections of
the Liberia Basketball Association as
detailed in paragraphs four and six of
your communication.
While we note the contents of
your letter with a speed of urgency;
disagreement between the basketball
association leadership and aggrieved
stakeholders, we are enthralled to
remind you of several panic-stricken
efforts initiated by the ministry at
different levels to provide a level
playing field to accommodate all of
the concerned parties leading to the
February 19, 2015 congress.
However, owing to the continuous
contestation between the leadership
of the Liberia Basketball Association
(LBA) and the aggrieved parties
regarding legitimacy, the ministry
has reached a decision to herewith
seek the intervention of the African
basketball governing bodyFiba
Africa offices in Abidjan, [Ivory Coast]
and Cairo, [Egypt] to aid in resolving
this matter.
In view of the foregoing, the ministry
therefore requests that you adjourned
all processes pertaining to the holding
of elections and advice further that you
stay clear-off, all basketball activities
until further consultation with the
Fiba Africa is concluded.
Whilst we seek a process of
consultations with the African
basketball governing body, Fiba Africa,
it is our hope that the contending
parties will exercise the desirable
energies in resolving this conflict and




Sports ministry puts LBAs April 7 elections on ice; takes matter to parent body
Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com

ensure that an enabling space is

provided to restore full basketball
activities in the country, which has
been paralyzed for the last eight
months due to the Ebola outbreak,
Yonton wrote on 1 April.
The government has, on three
occasions, postponed the holding
of elections in order to please
seven aggrieved stakeholders,
who appear unwilling to go to
a democratic process, and have
employed all sorts of tactics such
as wielding the entrance and exit
gates at the Sports Commission,
where the LBA has its offices, on
Broad Street.
When the aggrieved stakeholders
thought the LBA leadership
wouldnt have lived-up to a seven

count resolution following a fourhour meeting in Yontons office, the

aggrieved party violently disrupted
the electoral process at the Baptist
Seminary on February 21.
And Calvin Diggs, a member of
the aggrieved party, called on
the ministry to set-up an interim
leadership in an interview with
the Daily Observer newspaper on
March 16.
But Anderson, who has named
Samukai, Calvin Diggs, Ali Sylla,
Isaac Cole, Edwin Fahnbulleh,
Aklayail Andrews and Eric
Williams as those stalling the
development of the game, said the
constitution calls for elections and
not an interim arrangement.



CALL: 0775 149 376, 0775 149 161