Liberia: Medina Wesseh, Manor River Union Secretary General Reportedly Reneging To Turn Over To Pres. Weah’s New Appointee

Monrovia — FrontPageAfrica has gathered that Medina Wesseh, the Secretary General of the Mano River Union, has put up an adamant posture in the wake of President Weah’s call for her to turn over office to the newly appointed Secretary General, Mariah G. Harrison.

FrontPageAfrica has seen a communication from the Minister of Finance, Samuel Tweah to Mrs. Wesseh informing her of President Weah’s appointment of Mrs. Harrison after consultation his counterparts in the MRU Region.

The communication reads:

Ambassador Wesseh:

With compliments, I am pleased to formally inform you of the decision, on September 7, 2022, by His Excellency, Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, to name Mrs. Maria G. Harrison to succeed you as Secretary-General of the Mano River Union (MRU).

Subsequent to that decision, His Excellency met with his Sierra Leonean and Ivorian counterparts on September 22, 2022, and briefed them on his nomination of a new Secretary General (SG) for the MRU. Based on these consultations, MRU member countries have endorsed the nomination of the new SG, and interpose no objections.

Accordingly, and within the spirit of MRU solidarity, I urge you to finalize the necessary modalities to enable Mrs. Harrison to assume office as soon as possible. Since this is only a replacement, I would propose that a formal turnover ceremony be held between October 11 and 15, 2022.

Meanwhile, on behalf of the Government of Liberia, I would like thank you for the invaluable services rendered over the past five years, which have further enhanced cooperation and integration within the MRU. I extend to you best wishes in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Samuel D. Tweah, Jr.

MINISTER

FrontPageAfrica could not get comments from Amb. Wesseh. However, FrontPageAfrica gathered that Amb. Wesseh has been reneging to yield to the President’s mandate.

Min. Tweah confirmed this when he was contacted by FrontPageAfrica. He said,

“I have officially written her and I have called her severally but she has not responded. I am now raising the issue with my colleagues in the region. I understand there are transition formalities in such turnover processes but usually, the outgoing official works with the Government to perfect those processes, not at cross-purposes with the Government, which Mrs. Wesseh appears to be doing. I would encourage her to professionally and respectfully turn over since her tenure has long since expired.”

Amb. Wesseh has held the position since 2017.

The Mano River Union (MRU) is an international association initially established between Liberia and Sierra Leone by the 3 October 1973 Mano River Declaration. It is named for the Mano River which begins in the Guinea highlands and forms a border between Liberia and Sierra Leone. On 25 October 1980, Guinea joined the union.

The goal of the Union was to “accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural advancement of our two countries … by active collaboration and mutual assistance in matters of common interest in economic, social, technical, scientific and administrative fields”. However, due to internal conflicts within the two original MRU countries (the Sierra Leone Civil War [1991-2002] and the First [1989-1997] and Second Liberian Civil Wars [1999-2003]), these objectives could not be achieved. The staff numbered 600 in 1986, but was down to 300 in 1993, then to 120, and 48 in 2000.

On 20 May 2004, the Union was reactivated at a summit of the three leaders of the Mano River Union states: Presidents Lansana Conté of Guinea and Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone and Chairman Gyude Bryant of Liberia. On 15 May 2008, Cote d’Ivoire agreed to join the union.

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