‘Political Events in Liberia Have the Propensity to Shatter Country’s Fragile Peace’- Liberian Delegation to ECOWAS Parliament Warns
ABUJA, Nigeria – The Liberian delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament was warned that the ongoing political events in Liberia have the propensity to derail the country’s already fragile peace.
The parliamentary delegation’s statements were contained in its report at the ECOWAS Parliament’s 2019 First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament currently taking place in Abuja, Nigeria.
In the report, the delegation made reference to the planned June 7 protest that is being organized by the self-styled group, ‘Council of Patriots.’
Excerpt of the report: “Recent political events unfolding in the country have the propensity to further shatter Liberia’ already fragile peace if steps are not taking to arrest the situation. Case in point is a planned demonstration slated for June 7, 2019 by a group named and styled “Council of Patriots” under the theme “SAVE THE STATE” and some members of the opposition block particularly the four (4) major opposition political parties named and styled; Collaborating Political Party (CPP).”
“The four leading opposition parties have endorsed the protest. However, the President has called for dialogue and has invited the leaders of the Council of Patriots to a meeting on tomorrow, 14th May which is National Unification Day and is observed as a national holiday.”
The delegation highlighted that as a result of the planned demonstration, war of words has erupted in Liberia; something which prompted the United States Government to express dismay over the comments from various sides of Liberia’s political divide, making specific reference to the divisive Congau-Native politics.
“Two members of the legislature and the Deputy Information Minister were name in the US Government statement. His Excellency President George M. Weah has suspended the Deputy Information Minister whilst the Legislature is yet to take actions on the two members of the legislature,” the group noted.
The delegation members include Rep. Edwin M. snowe (head of delegation), Senator Prince Yormie Johnson (Nimba county) Rep. Haja Fata Siryon (Bomi District #3) Senator Steven J. H. Zargo (Lofa County) and Rep. Clarence Massaquoi (Lofa District #3).
Every year member states of ECOWAS are required to submit to the ECOWAS Parliament a Country report on key areas including the political and security and refugee situations in the region.
Besides minor instances of security breaches involving criminal activities, the delegation noted that the country faces no imminent threat or danger.
“The National Security apparatus continues to demonstrate gallantry over the state of affairs in providing security for its citizens and foreigners as well. Also, besides sporadic reports of illegal encroachment by illicit farmers, hunters and miners from Ghana, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire, no serious incidence of influx of refugees has been reported during this reporting period, which is clear evidence that the Mano River Basin is intact,” the delegation outlined in the report.
“Recent political events unfolding in the country have the propensity to further shatter Liberia’ already fragile peace if steps are not taking to arrest the situation. Case in point is a planned demonstration slated for June 7, 2019 by a group named and styled “Council of Patriots” under the theme “SAVE THE STATE” and some members of the opposition block particularly the four (4) major opposition political parties named and styled; Collaborating Political Party (CPP).” – Liberia Country Report to ECOWAS Parliament
According to the lawmakers, the only refugee situation that is currently looming in Liberia relates to those Sierra Leoneans who came to the country during the early days of the Liberian civil war in 1991.
They quoted a spokesman of the refugees who alleged in a recent radio interview that the Liberia Immigration Services (LIS) has shown insensitivity to the plight of Sierra Leonean refugees.
The spokesperson alleged that despite been cleared by the UNHCR to go to a third country, they are denied by the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS).
He furthered that despite pronouncements by the past government that Sierra Leonean refugees can be granted citizen status, little has been done to regularize their status, while they continue to be harassed by Liberian security personnel.
The report also highlighted the “Missing Sixteen Billion Liberian Dollars and the 25 Million Mop Up” shenanigans and noted that President Weah has since implemented the recommendations contained in the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) and Kroll reports by commissioning the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct a forensic audit of the mop up exercise and promised that anyone who will be linked to any misapplication of the twenty five million, be it members of his government or not, will face the full weight of the law.