Liberian Senate to Engage U.S. Embassy for Clarity on Statement Following Sen. Johnson’s Election as Chair on Defense and Security Committee

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MONROVIA – The Liberian Senate has acknowledged the U.S. Embassy’s concerns on the election of the Senator Prince Y. Johnson as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, but says it would engage the Embassy for further clarity on their concerns so as to find amicable solution.

In a statement released over the weekend, the Senate also recognized the concern over maintaining and Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County who has been sanctioned by the US Treasury for alleged bribery and corruption as chair of the committee on Judiciary, Claims and petition.

“The Liberian Senate wishes to assure the US Embassy, other bilateral partners, multilateral partners, other members of the International community, local and international organizations and institutions and the Citizens that in no way support the commission of war crimes, human rights abuse, bribery, corruption, other domestic and international crimes and impunity,” the Senate stated.

The Liberian Senate noted that in furtherance of the prolonged and historic relationship between Liberia and the United States, it would without delay seek the opportunity, through its Embassy accredited to seek clarity on its concerns expressed in the press statement, provide the necessary information on the matter and find a way to address these concerns.”

The Senate also expressed appreciation to the United States of America for the numerous contributions to Liberia’s developmental endeavor, the sustenance of peace and nurturing the tenets of democracy in the country.

Background

Last Wednesday, the United States Embassy questioned the seriousness of the Liberian Senate following the election of former warlord Prince Johnson as the chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.

In a sharp reaction to his new ascendency, the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia in a statement stated that while U.S. government is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Ministry of National Defense and Armed Forces of Liberia which will continue — they can have no relationship with Senator Johnson. 

The U.S. Embassy: “Senator Johnson’s gross human rights violations during Liberia’s civil wars are well-documented; his continued efforts to protect himself from accountability, enrich his own coffers and sow division are also well known.  That the Liberian Senate would see fit to elevate him to a leadership role – particularly in the area in which he has done this country the most harm — creates doubts as to the seriousness of the Senate as a steward of Liberia’s defense and security.”    

Among those allegedly killed by Johnson – or his forces were: Fred Blay, former minister of Labor in Samuel Doe’s government, Larry Borteh, a former member of the People’s Redemption Council, Michael Doe, a former employee of Hotel Africa, who, according to eyewitnesses, was thrown from a high upper floor to the ground at the hotel.

Eric Scott, a former Liberian Diplomat at the Liberian embassy in Washington and husband of Mrs. Debbie Scott, the proprietor of the School of Prime System (SPS), Tilma Momolue Gardiner, former Senior Security officer for president William V.S. Tubman and Acting Director of Police during the Administration of William Tolbert.

The list of Mr. Johnson’s victims also include musical icons Tecumseh Roberts, Gedeh Rooster and Robert Toe.

Madam Angeline Watta Allison, wife of former Defense Minister Gray D. Allison, was slapped during interrogation and later killed by Mr. Johnson.

Sam Tody, a former Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), also Commissioner of Customs was also among the victims of Johnson and his INPFL.

Mr. Johnson’s INPFL was also responsible for the execution of J. Gbarflen Davies, Jr. Who once worked for the Liberian National Police.

In spite of all his links to some of the most brutal killings of the civil war, Mr. Johnson remains adamant and defiant.

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