Liberia: Another International Disgrace

UP demands dismissals of designated officials

Former ruling Unity Party (UP) has termed as another international disgrace the sanctions imposed by the U.S. Government on three Liberian government officials, demanding their dismissals.

Last week the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset (OFAC) announced specialized sanctions against Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, National Port Managing Director Bill Twehway and Liberia’s Solicitor General Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus.

“The August 15, 2022, sanctions announcement by the U.S. Government through its Ambassador is yet another national and international dishonorable action, vilification and disgrace brought upon the nation by the workings of a rogue regime,” the UP claimed.

Over the weekend, the opposition party accused the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) – led government of being insensitive to the plight of the Liberian people.

According to the UP, it remains unequivocal in its support and commendation of the action taken by the U.S. Government, and the lukewarm response of suspension taken by President George Manneh Weah towards the three alleged criminal government officials.

Reading the press statement, Unity Party political leader Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai called on President Weah to dismiss with immediate effect the sanctioned and disgraced government officials and turn them over for prosecution.

Giving reason for his call for dismissal, the former Liberian Vice President said he strongly refutes the mere suspension announced by President Weah.

Amb. Boakai contended that the suspension is weak and will become another of the same diabolical tactics of never-ending investigations they have seen by this criminal and infested government over the past five years.

He described the suspension of the three officials by President Weah as a style of sweeping things under the carpet.

Boakai added that this is the government’s usual habit, noting that it’s the reason they are asking for stronger actions to be taken by President Weah.

“There [is a] long list of such unsolved criminal acts still under investigation over the past five years, with no credible results,” said Amb. Boakai.

He cited the missing 16 billion Liberian dollars; the 20 million U.S. dollars for suspicious mopping exercises; mysterious death of auditors; secret killings; and 16 million U.S. dollars COVID-19 food distribution.

Additionally, former Vice President Boakai listed the misapplication of 24 million U.S. dollars from the Road Funds; the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC’s) indictments of the National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairman and the Minister of Agriculture, among others.

He said the latest round of sanctions imposed on Liberian government officials by the U.S. while very troubling, are no surprise to the Liberian people.

According to him, Liberians have for over five years been suffering and have become poorer because of endemic corruption and the predatory nature of the Weah administration.

He alleged that since President Weah took office, he and his officials of government have made a campaign of using their power to loot public coffers for their personal benefits at the expense of the people of this country.

Amb. Boakai indicated that these sanctions are the latest in an unending list of evidence pointing to how a group of individuals in the government hold the country in a stranglehold and created for Liberia a reputation that undermines its standing in the international community.

He noted that the threat and the potential consequences of these sanctions go beyond the corridors of power in Washington D.C.

Boakai stated that they reverberate in the capitals of countries in the sub-region and the world and undercut the investment climate to woo serious people to do business in the country.

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