21 February 2018


Lawmaker wants National Security Act repealed, Source: The New Dawn

Nimba County Representative Samuel Kogar is calling on the House of Representatives to repeal and amend certain portions of the National Security Reform and Intelligence Act of 2011 to provide for the reactivation of the Ministry of National Security. Representative Kogar who co-chairs the House Committee on National Security told reporters at the Capitol Building Tuesday that the function of the Ministry is vital in ensuring that economic crimes are cogently investigated to curtail economic sabotage and improve the economic welfare of the state and its people. He further noted that the need to reactivate the Ministry cannot be overemphasized, saying he is fully aware that the Ministry through the National Reform and Intelligence Act of 2011 was repealed. Read more

Government Unable to Raise USD10M for Census, Source: Daily OBSERVER

The House of Representatives and the Senate have decided to postpone the March 26, 2018 scheduled national census to an undetermined future date because the government cannot raise its share of 50 percent of the USD20 million needed to carry out the national census. The House plenary Tuesday voted for the leadership to meet the Senate to draw-up a Joint Resolution to postpone the census; and at that time, a new date would be announced. Article 29 of the 1986 Constitution states that “The Legislature shall cause a census of the Republic to be undertaken every ten years.” The last census was conducted in 2008, recording the population as 3.5 million. Read more

Senator Cooper Rejects Nuquay’s Nomination – Wants President Weah properly advised, Source: Daily OBSERVER

 A member of the Senate Committee on Transportation has suggested that President George Weah’s legal counsel takes a look at the law and properly advise him on the nomination of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives as director-general of the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA). “I am not against Emmanuel Nuquay getting a job in the Coalition for Democratic Change-led government, but I think we should abide by the law where it states that one must have aviation experience, otherwise you will be putting the country at a disadvantage, and that is not right. The confirmation has gone through and it is left with the President to give Honorable Nuquay another post,” Senator Oscar Cooper said. The Margibi lawmaker  made the statement at the Capitol Building moments after the reading of his letter to the Senate plenary in which he submitted a minority report against the “committee’s confirmation report of Mr. Nuquay as LCAA director-general, in accordance with the Senate Standing Rules 48 section.” Read more

Sirleaf, Boakai Case Postponed, Source: Daily OBSERVER

An argument that was intended to establish whether or not the expulsion of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from the Unity Party (UP) violated her rights, along with other expelled executives, could not take place Tuesday as scheduled due to a request from the party’s legal team questioning the legality of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to handle the matter.

The case was postponed after UP’s lawyer, Albert Sims, filed a motion requesting the court to dismiss the complaint without hearing its merits and demerits, an action that was resisted by Sirleaf’s lead lawyer, Jonathan Massaquoi, thereby compelling the NEC’s dispute hearing officer, Muana Ville, to refrain from hearing the complaint pending the determination of the motion. Ville Tuesday scheduled his ruling into the motion for Friday, February 23.

Madam Sirleaf and other party executives were expelled on January 18 for allegedly violating the party’s constitution when she visibly campaigned for George Weah, then a presidential candidate on the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), during the 2017 presidential elections. Read more

Ex-lawmaker wants LRA, CBL, MFDP summoned, Source: The New Dawn

Grand Bassa County former Representative Gabriel Smith says the Legislature has a cardinal role to play in allaying citizens’ fear about the economy by citing relevant financial institutions to know how much is left in the country’s coffers. Mr. Smith said the Legislature must cite the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) to clearly tell the country how much they have in terms of monies left in the national coffers by the former administration.

Smith speaking Tuesday when he appeared on a local radio talk show in Paynesville said the LRA should tell the public how much revenue it has collected over the period since the departure of the Unity Party-led government, while the CBL should explain how much is being sent out in terms of remittance, and the MFDP must adequately inform the public how much money the administration of President George Weah is starting with to avoid public criticism. Read more

Pro-poor Agenda Gets Boost against Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sources: Daily OBSERVER and FrontPage Africa

The media reports that Liberia’s support in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) received commendation from the WHO Representative in Liberia, Dr. Alex Gasasira during a presentation of medical supplies to the Health Ministry Tuesday in Monrovia. Presenting the items to the chief medical officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, and Karsor Kollie, director of Neglected Tropical Diseases, Dr. Gasasira commended health officials for the successful implementation of programs against the NTDs. He said the WHO is interested in supporting the Liberian government’s pro-poor governance agenda and expressed the hope that the donated items can take care of 2.5 million Liberians, particularly those in poor rural communities. The WHO official said the items, among others, can treat leprosy, river blindness (Onchocerciasis) and Buruli ulcer, and hoped that the use of the medicines can achieve comparable success as in the past. Read more

NTA faces audit, Source: The New Dawn

The new management of the National Transit Authority (NTA) has revealed that the agency’s past administration is undergoing an audit. NTA managing director Herbie McCauley told a news conference in Monrovia Tuesday that the audit is intended to establish the status of the institution, obligation, debts, gains, challenges, and the financial status. Mr. McCauley said the audit started about a week ago, with auditors from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) actively engaging the process. The new NTA managing director noted that the audit is not intended to witch-hunt anyone, but it is best international practice. Read more

Ambassador Brown Presents Africa’s Position on Global Migration Issues, Sources: Daily OBSERVER and FrontPage Africa

Liberia’s permanent representative to the UN, Amb. Lewis Brown has called on the international community not to perceive migration as a threat to human development, but rather as a form of development. Providing Africa’s perspective on the zero draft of the ‘Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,’ Amb. Brown said the continent believes that integration and development are unthinkable without the mobility of people, goods, and services. “Migrants should not be seen as objects. They are real human beings. And they are also agents who can contribute in accelerating socio-economic development in countries of origin and countries of destination,” the Liberian diplomat said.

According to a dispatch from Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Amb. Brown, who currently heads the African Group of Ambassadors to the UN, proposed a full recognition of the positive role of migration in the global economy at the international and national policymaking levels. Read more

Fire on Randall Street Renders Several Homeless, Sources: Daily OBSERVER and The New Dawn

Denizens of the parallel Randall and Mechlin Streets in Monrovia woke up early Tuesday morning to a fire that by 9:00 a.m. had rendered three high-rise buildings condemned, and a fourth partially burned on the top floor. The buildings were occupied by Lebanese-owned businesses including PowerTech, PowerNet, Stop & Shop Supermarket, and Eagle Electrical Corporation – all mostly on the Randall Street side. A charcoal dealer who kept a small storage room adjacent the PowerTech warehouse told the Daily Observer early that morning, she came to collect a consignment of charcoal and noticed smoke from the warehouse and raised alarm, but no one took heed. Read more

150 Documented Ebola Orphans Need Urgent Socioeconomic, Educational Assistance, Source: Daily OBSERVER

A little over 150 documented Ebola orphans in some poor communities in urban and rural Liberia need urgent socioeconomic and educational assistance in order to achieve their dreams. Rev. Saa Blama, national coordinator of the Diompillor America Incorporated Liberia chapter, made the SOS appeal in an interview with the Daily Observer in Monrovia. In the chapter’s update that covered the Ebola crisis from inception to date, Rev. Blama disclosed that between August 9-13, a two-man team headed by Dr. Ivan Camanor delivered several critically needed relief aid, including food, non-food and medical items, to the worst Ebola-affected citizens of Foya District in Lofa County. Read more


I inherited a broke Liberia, says George Weah, Sources: AFP and Daily Nation

Liberia's new President George Weah on Tuesday pledged to fight endemic corruption as he spoke about conditions in his "broke country" on the first day of an official visit to Paris. The former international football star who took office on January 22, is faced with a dire economic situation in Liberia following two civil wars and a deadly Ebola epidemic in 2013-2015.

"I inherited a country that is very broke, depleted by political malfeasance. We have to make sure that the things that happened will not happen again," Weah said. "I ordered a complete audit to make sure that what belongs to the government goes to the government." Weah also spoke at a conference about another top priority, education for young people who represent 60 percent of 4.7 million Liberians. "I believe in education. Yes, I didn't have the opportunity in my early days but after my carrier, I went back to school. Today I can boast of a masters degree," said the new leader, who grew up in a Monrovia slum. Read more

Weah's promised land: Liberia confronts age-old disputes, Sources: AFP, Daily Mail, and The Citizen

Morris Kidir gestures at a wide expanse of dark-green land he says was earmarked for a school or clinic in his northern Liberian village now covered in young oil palm trees. In October last year, he recalls, workers from Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby arrived at the plot and began filling in the only gap left in a forest of palms that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Kidir, an elder in the village of Gbah, Bomi County, is on the front line of a national dispute over land ownership dating back to the mid-19th century that could now define the presidency of George Weah, the ex-football star sworn in for a six-year term last month. "We beg you people to leave this land for us, for development," the frail villager recounts writing in a letter to the firm, one of four oil palm giants operating in Liberia.

This West African country is one of the world's poorest, ranking 177th out of the 188 countries in the UN's Human Development Index. But its rubber, iron ore and more recently palm oil represent rare examples of foreign investment -- and sources of tax revenue. Read more

United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Chief thanks Nigerian peacekeepers for their long service in Liberia, Source: South Africa Today

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Farid Zarif, praised Nigerian peacekeepers for their long service in the country, during an interview with the UN’s Department of Public Information in New York last week. According to SRSG Zarif, UNMIL’s mandate will conclude on 30 March 2018. The mission, that once had more than 16,000 military and police personnel, has been downsizing for several years and now deploys slightly more than 700 uniformed personnel. Last year it transferred all security responsibilities to the Government of Liberia.

“Our last military contingent is that from Nigeria, NICOY, and we are now planning to have it repatriated by the end of January. Because of the lost timelines in the elections, we had to postpone their departure by a month,” Mr. Zarif said. Nigeria also continues to provide a Formed Police Unit, as does China. The only other peacekeeping contingents that now remain are a Ukrainian Aviation Unit and a Pakistani Medical Unit who are supporting the UN presence. Read more


This media summary consists of selected local media articles for the information of UN personnel. The public distribution of this media summary is a courtesy service extended by UNMIL on the understanding that the choice of articles included is exclusive, and the contents do not represent anything other than a selection of articles likely to be of interest to a United Nations readership. The inclusion of articles in this summary does not imply endorsement by UNMIL.