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Liberia: June 7 Protest Mediation – UN Envoy Due in Friday; ECOWAS Head 1st Week in June

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Monrovia – Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) is due in Monrovia Friday as international stakeholders continue the mediation efforts between the George Weah-led government and organizers of the upcoming June 7 Save the State Protest.


Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]


FrontPageAfrica has learned that Dr. Chambas will depart Liberia Friday after meeting with President Weah and protest organizers under the banner of the Council of Patriots (COP).

FrontPageAfrica can also confirm that Mr. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission will make separate visit in the first week of June, a few days before the June 7 protest.

Multiple sources confirmed to FPA Tuesday that Dr. Chambas will prevail on the Weah-led government to allow the protest to go on keeping with the constitution which guarantees the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

Article 17 of the constitution regarding Freedom of association, Right to join trade unions, Right of petition and Freedom of press states: “All persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good, to instruct their representatives, to petition the Government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations.”
In September 2018, Dr. Chambas succeeded Said Djinnit of Algeria as head of UNOWA.

The Ghanaian-born Chambas has extensive experience after a long and distinguished career in both international and governmental forums, most recently as the African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur since 20 December 2012.

From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Chambas was Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. Prior to that, he served as President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), from 2006 to 2009, and Executive Secretary, from 2002 to 2005.

The Ghanaian-born Chambas has extensive experience after a long and distinguished career in both international and governmental forums, most recently as the African Union-United Nations Joint Special Representative for Darfur and Head of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur since 20 December 2012.

A former Member of Parliament of Ghana, Mr. Chambas served as Deputy Foreign Secretary of Ghana in 1987 and Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Tertiary Education from 1997 to 2000. Between 1991 and 1996, he was involved in ECOWAS mediation efforts in Liberia.

Born in 1950, Mr. Chambas holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Ghana. He also has a master’s degree and a Doctor of Philosophy from Cornell University, as well as a law degree from Case Western Reserve University, both institutions in the United States.

During a meeting with protest organizers on May 14, 2019, President George Manneh Weah told the Council of Patriots that if there’s no way to convince them to end the protest, his administration will ensure that it is guarded peacefully.

During a meeting with President Weah on May 14, 2019 which fell on Unification Day, a national holiday in Liberia, Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon, designated spokesperson for the protest told the President that organizers simple plea was for the government to allow them to assemble. “Our concern is to ask you to kindly permit that you uphold the constitution and guarantee our rights, beginning June 7 during which period we will present our grievances to you and the government for possible redress and this is our concern. At that meeting, President Weah obliged, telling the Council of Patriots that if there’s no way to convince them to end the protest, his administration will ensure that it is guarded peacefully.

During that same meeting, Mr. Yacoub El Hillo, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Liberia said the Unification Day tete-a-tete between President Weah and members of COP should send a clear message to the world that Liberians are using the force of logic to solve our differences and not the logic of force, “because when that was last tried in Liberia, we all know what happened here.”

Added Mr. El Hillo: “We know today that under the leadership of President Weah, any Liberian and all Liberians want to fight for peace and not fight any other war, except perhaps the war of development and prosperity. So it is in this context we commend the spirit with which this event was organized, for the importance you attach to it by the presence of the entire leadership of the Government of Liberia, H.E. the President, H.E. Vice President, the leadership of the legislature and the cabinet, and that is again another reminder that peace is paramount, that peace is a priority.”
Mediation has been intensifying ahead of the June 7 protest with organizers keen go on with the protest.

On Monday, representatives from the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS and the African Union met with protest organizers in Monrovia in a bid to soothe the atmosphere ahead of the protest.

Present in that meeting were COP members – Mo Ali, Henry Costa, Darius Dillon, Wilmot Paye, Theodore Momo, Senators Daniel Naatehn and Sando Johnson, Rufus Neufville, Rev. Sanjee Stepter and Rep. Francis S. Nyumalin, in a meeting that reportedly lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours.

The organizers reportedly presented the stakeholders a laundry list of demands which FPA has learned includes implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, the declaration of the President’s assets and full forensic probe of the missing LD 16 billion and US$25 million intended as a mop up exercise by the Central Bank of Liberia.

During Monday’s meeting, COP reportedly held their ground that there would be no compromise on halting the protest. “The meeting was attended by the AU, ECOWAS and the UN. We met and discuss issues relating to the protest. We maintain that no amount of discussions will change the June 7 peaceful protest. The three bodies asked if they can mediate in a dialogue and we said no problem once said dialogue is not intended to water down the Protest or compromise June 7,” said a source privy to the discussions Monday.

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