Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Amb. Greenfield Gets Liberian Passport

As the State Bid Her Farewell
Love your country more than you love yourselves President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson has honored outgoing U.S. Ambassador, Her Excellency Linda Thomas Greenfield as the first honorary citizens of the Republic of Liberia. The honorary citizenship was conferred upon Ambassador Greenfield during the souvenir program for the farewell reception and investiture ceremony held in her honor at the ministry of foreign affairs. Speaking at the program, President Johnson highlighted the ambassador’s role in helping to build the capacity of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the justice system in the country. She said the Ambassador Greenfield was a critical partner who helps in identifying lapses in the country and provided ways forward. According to the Liberian President, Madam Greenfield did for the Liberian people what deserve commendation. “During your time in Liberia you have many accomplishments. It is not what you have done but what you have shared with us is what really matters,” President Johnson said. In further remarks the Liberian leader said the U.S. Diplomat had come to Liberia when the country was making strides toward where it is today and have stood tall by the Liberians ‘unlike others who would sit in the comfort of their offices.’ She said because of such commitment to the country Madam Greenfield has become Liberia’s first honorary citizen who did not require a visa to the country. Besides the honor of becoming Liberia’s first honorary citizen, the guest of honor was also admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption by President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson. President Sirleaf thanked the Government of the United Stated for their ambassador of the country. The souvenir Program was a glamorous event attended by H.E. Joseph N. Boakai and many high profiled individuals from the Government of Liberia, civil society, international NGOs, the United Nations, the United Nations Mission in Liberia, members of the 53rd National Legislature, Cabinet Ministers, staffers of the United States Embassy, journalists and the Armed Forces of Liberia Band Unit. Ambassador was dressed in a neatly pattern country cloth gown by Chief Zanzan Kawor, on behave of the National Traditional Council of Liberia. He hoped that the next ambassador of the United States to Liberia will be as their predecessor Linda Thomas Greenfield. At least eleven government ministries and agencies presented gifts of appreciation to the outgoing U.S Ambassador for the level of support she had given to each of them. The Ambassador received carvings, customized photos of her and President Johnson, police officer uniform, frame designed with the 16 ethnic group dance masks and a plaque with the map of Liberia and a pigmy hippopotamus in it. In response to the numerous praises and honor bestowed upon her, ambassador Greenfield thanked the gathering and said she intend to return to Liberia some days. She give a brief African-American history on which Liberia has its bases as a people who were not wanted in the Americas and were repatriated to Africa and became pioneers of the Republic of Liberia. The outgoing ambassador used the occasion to call on all Liberians to love their country more than they love themselves. “Love your country more than you love yourselves. It is not a hard thing to do. I have been in the country for about three years and I have seen so much selfishness and less care for the common man,” the critical Ambassador said. She further said the potential of Liberia progressing is so great though the country have gone through many dark years. “Liberia will be a better place. I pray that Liberia prosper and make all Liberians proud of being a Liberian,” madam Greenfeild stated.

3 Media Executives Summoned

For Reports on Alledged ‘Mis-applied’ US$1.2M by Supreme Court At least three media executives have been summoned by Justices of the Supreme Court to give reasons, if any, as to why they should not be held in contempt for publishing articles surrounding the alledged misapplication of some US$ 1.2 Million intended for the purchase of 27 vehicles to be used by circuit court judges around the country. Those summoned to appear before the Supreme Court judges today include: Mr. Jerome Dolieh, Managing Editor of the News Newspaper, Mr. George D. Watkins, Managing Editor of the Daily Graphic Newspaper and Mr. Rodney Sieh, Managing Editor of the Front Page Africa Newspaper which published the allegation on this February 7, 8, and 22 respectively. According to the Writ of Summons for Contempt addressed to the Marshall of the Supreme Court, the News Newspaper in its February 7, 2012 Vol. 23, No. 185 published an article under the headline US$1 Million Dollars Diverted at Temple of Justice, while the Daily Graphics in its February 8, 2012 published another article titled Rotten Supreme Court. The writ which also mentioned the Front Page Africa (wikileaks) which February 22, 2012 publication entitled High Court Scandal- Supreme Court Justices Feast on US$ 1 Million intended for Courts had an attached web article copied from the FPA website entitled Liberia Supreme Court Justices on Fire after US$1.2 Million Feast. Accordign to the attached web article, President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, who allocated the funds, had promised to establish a full-scale investigation into the why the US$1.2 Million for vehicular purchase was not used for its intended purpose. The article alledged that the four associate Justices of the Supreme Court, namely: Philip A.Z. Banks, Francis S. Kporkor sr., Jamesetta Howard Wolokollie and Kabinah M. Ja’neh, received about US$125,000 of the mis-applied funds, while Chief Justice Johnny Lewis refused to take his US$150,000 share of the funds. Despite the refusal of his portion to the alledgedly shared money, as the article puts it, reliable sources told the FPA that the Chief Justice approved the funds for the purchase of vehicles. It is not clear what level of damages the various newspapers’ articles have inflicted on the third brench of government, but it has been speculated that the articles could bring the Judiciary to disrepute. It can be recalled that in 2006 when His Honor Johnny Lewis took over the Supreme Court as Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia, he promised to eliminate corruption in the judicial circle of Liberia. With the recent reports circulating in the media about the diversion and mis-application of entrusted funds given to the Supreme Court to help strenghten the capacity of judges in the country, some critics have begun to argue that corruption has intensified in the justice system. Since the writ was issues, some critics have been saying that the action is intended to silent the media from reporting on frauds in the justice system and the government as a whole.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Media Recounts Electoral Challenges

Several media practitionals and supporting partners over the weekend gathered at the Baptist Youth Camp off the Robert’s International Airport (RIA) highway for a two-day media retreat held under the theme ‘the Media and the 2011 Elections: Best Pratices and Lessons Learned’ to critique the role of the media in the past elections. The retreat was organized by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) with support from the USAID and IREX in efforts to identified issues of short comings on the part of the media during the 2011 elections and how those issues can be addressed to enhance the performance of the media in future elections in the country. Making solidarity remarks during the first day of the retreat, Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, Managing Director Liberia Observer Corporation, Mr. Norris Tweah, Deputy Minister for Information, Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, and Tilly Reeds Chief of Party IREX commended the media for its credible performance during the elections. Though the orators lauded the media for performing fairly well during the 2011 election, they also noted there were some short-comings in the media that needed to be addressed. According to Deputed Minister Tweah, during the 2011 elections, the media was faced with the challenge of subjectivity and objectivity which led citizens to term some journalists as ‘partisan-journalist.’ He hoped that the retreat was going to draw guidelines that would help journalists to rise above fraud in the implementation of their duty to the people of Liberia. Day-one of the retreat was characterized by the solidarity remarks, plenary sections on various sectors of the Liberian media. During the plenary sections, it was learnt that in 2011 elections, some individuals used the media to tarnish the reputation of others; which some participants at the program said shouldn’t be accepted. Such usage according to some of the participants is usually backed by corruption because those who write maling articles collect money from the individual the story originated from. It was argued that those journalists who collected money from newsmakers were doing so because the media houses to which they belong was not paying them attractive salaries to compensite their daily lives. But such argument was debunked by Peter Quaqua, President of PUL, when he said that nothing should give journalists the audacity to compromise the profession. It was also learnt at the event that many journalists where not pushing too hard to get an accurately balance story, thus seeking refuge in the cliché ‘all efforts to contact party X prove futile.’ According to Prof. James Wolo, Head of UNMIL Media Monitoring Unit, who critique the points raise during the plenary, the media should strive for truthfulness because that what is expected of it.

UNMIL Pakistani Corp gets Medals of Honor

Members of the Pakistani Contigent of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), last Wednesday February 22, 2012, received the UN Peacekeeping medals for their efforts to assist Liberians and their positive contributions to the peace and stibility that have being restored to Liberia and the West African sub-region. The Medals of Honor were confered on the Pakistani Contigent at the Samuel K. Doe Sport complex in Paynesville by Mr. Moustapha Soumare, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary General (ASRSG) to Liberia. According to an UNMIL release, ASRSG Soumare told the Pakistanis that by devoting themselves to improving livelihood of several local communities in the country they have earned the respect and love of the Liberian people. “By devoting yourselves to improving livelihood in the local communities, you have earned the respect and love of the Liberian people, young and old. The UN recognizes and appreciates your devotion. Your actions have fostered understanding and promoted peace and stability in liberian and the region,” Mr. Soumaré highlighted during the ceremony before awarding the UN Peacekeeping medals to members of the UNMIL Pakistani Contingent. Mr. Soumaré said since the deployment of UNMIL troops in 2003, Pakistan has established itself as a strong, reliable and dedicated partner in Liberia’s search for peace, stability and development. “UNMIL has also benefitted from Pakistan’s experience and generosity in the number and expertise of troops it has provided to the Mission, including highly qualified senior military officers, with two Force Commanders and one Deputy Force Commander,” Mr. Soumaré noted. The Acting SRSG described the positive response of the Pakistani Government to the Security Council’s request for UNMIL troops to reinforce the sister Mission in Ivory Coast as another demonstration of Pakistan’s long standing commitment to peace and security in the world. Meanwhile, Mr. Soumare used the occasion to re-echoed the a UN Technical Assessment Mission have come to liberia to assess the situation in Liberia and conduct a thorough review of the progress made towards the implementation of UNMIL’s strategic objective of a steady state of security in the counntry and the Liberian security institutions that are independently operational without the peacekeeping mission. According to the Acting SRSG the TAM, having conducted assessment on the UNMIL and Liberian security institutions, will develop recommendations for the future of the UN Mission in Liberia which could call for a drawdown sooner or later. The Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Moustapha Soumaré highlighted that this was not the first Technical Assessment Mission to come to Liberia. He said the technical assessment is customary a event during the UN mission as a specific phase or benchmark is accomplished. Mr. Soumare said the completion of the peaceful elections in the country was a benchmark in the existance of the mission in the country since 2003 and calls for the assessment that will be carry out by the TAM. “I would like to underline that the United Nations is committed to Liberia, and UNMIL will continue to work on the transition while the entire UN family will remain to ‘Deliver as One’ for the Liberian people.”

Sunday, February 12, 2012

“National Security is a Priority”

-Says President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia, President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, has termed National Security a priorty ahead of the yet to come transition of the UN mission in libe (UNMIL). The CIC said six years ago, her government was focused on the restoration and reform of the AFL and the security sector in general; but the next six years would be spend on forstering log-termed security and economic development of the security sector and the country as a whole. President Johnson made this assertion when she delivered the 55th Armed Forces Day massage over the weekend at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) where members of the 53rd legislature, international partners, government officials and families of enlisted men of the AFL had gathered to commemorate the day. The AFL CIC acknowledged insights by UNMIL Force Commander, Major General Muhammad Khalid when he urged the Government of Liberia should ‘speed up building the capacity of the AFL, in preparations for the drawdown of UN forces because the Mission was not intended to stay in Liberia perpetually. The Liberian President pointed out that in order to meet the need of security after the UNMIL has transition, the strenght of the army must be increased. Acknowledging the need to of expanding military bases to have health and recreational centers and schools, President Johnson said her government will support the necessary allocatiion of additional budget to meet the needs of the army. Having stated the increase in force and the welfare of the army as national security priorty, President Johnson called on international partners including the U.S, UNMIL and member states of ECOWAS among others to keep up their support to the AFL to have it improved to become the force of good. She said the AFL has a charged history of honor, duty and loyalty to the state adding that such was significant in keeping a peaceful and democratic nation. Though members of the new AFL can execise their inalienable rights to vote during elections, the presidents told the gathering that soldiers were not politicians. It can be recalled during the early 1970s and late 1980s when the army interfered with politics is the country, Liberia was plunged into a state of total anarchy until 2003 when its civil crisis came to an end with the departure of Ex-president and Warlord Charles G. Taylor. President Johnson cautioned the gallant men and women of the AFL that unlike politicians, they (soldiers) were governed by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which will hold them accountable for their actions. The president sighted the National Defends Act of 2008 which calls for an unequivocal loyalty from every man and woman of the AFL as she reemphasized that soldiers are not politicians. Deliverin the keynote earlier, outgoing U.S ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfeild thanked all other nations and organizations thathave worked with and supported the efforts of the Liberian Government to have the AFL at where it is. She said today the men and women of the AFL are individuals of good moral character, courage, and integrity and a tremendous resource ‘who can, who will and who must’ play a strong role in rebuilding and long-term development of Liberia by leading lives driven by duty, honor, pride and country. H.E. Greenfield: “there can be no return to old ways of self-interest over duty and national interest; no return to a sense of privilege and entitlement over honor, intergity, selfless service and respect; no return to a force that thinks it is above the law and preys on its population rather than serve them.” “This is a new day,” she said, “where the members of the AFL are model law-abiding citizens, expressing their will at the ballot boxes, and holding themselves to the highest standard of good conduct.” Also making remarks at the program held under the theme ‘Armed Forces of Liberia Supports the Foundation for Long-term Security and Economic Development in Liberia, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai reassured the commitment of the AFL to serve the people of Liberia to the best of Professional Standard. He said as the minister of defense, he would work and do everything possible to improve the tives and welfare of Members of the AFL. Aknowledging the role other nations have played in developing the liberian army into what it is today, the defense minister said it was his hope that he coast guard be further improve to protect the maritime of Liberia. He used the occasion to declear that recruitment to upmend the strenght of the AFL will begin as earlier as March AD 2012.

New Milestone Reached against Anti-Graft

As GAC Certificate 65 CFEs
Cllr. Francis Johnson Allison, Head of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) has termed the certification of 65 Certified Fraud Examiners (CFEs) a milestone reached in the fight against corruption Liberia since the fomulation of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the LACC. Delivering the keynote at the program which saw 65 employees of the GAC and the Ministry of Finance certificated in fraud examinations, Cllr. Allison warned of the honorees of the traps that awaits them in their career as waste and abuse auditors. She cautioned the honorees that hatred will arise from individuals who may not favor audits for reasons best known to them by they (CFEs) must remain professional in the execution of their duties. The LACC boss hinted the CFEs have undergone three months capacity-building training in the area of audit from October to December of 2011 that corrupt individals will try to defame their integrity by offering them bribes. She told the beneficiaries of the GAC’s Proffessional and human resource capacity development policy that in the field of audits, integrity matters. Cllr. Allison lauded the GAC for the successful conduct of audits which have aided in the struggle of anti-graft and the CFEs capacity building program which have advance another 65 young Liberians who will boost the fight against corruption in the Liberian society. The LACC boss however expressed dissatisfaction over the exclusion of staffers from the LACC who are also working to minimize the occurance of fraud, waste and abuse in the country. The certificate program organized by the GAC brought together 47 staffers of the GAC and 18 of the MOF and facilitated by the Executive Director Jane Mugo, of the Kenyan Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) was geared toward the opening of the Liberian chapter of the ACFE. ACFE was founded by individuals who recognized that the prevention and deterrence of fraud can only be realized through forging strong public and private sector relationship. Also speaking at the program, Mr. Winsley S. Nanka, Acting Auditor General of the GAC told the honorees that their completion of the certificate program makes them automatically eligible to become a member of the ACFE which is umbrella organization of all CFEs. The acting GC advised the CFEs that integrity was better than personnal gains that individuals seek: ‘it is better for you to die poor with your integrity in tack, then to get wealth by doing things that will bring your integrity under question.’ Making remarks to the Honorees, Mr. Charles Egu, comptroller of the USAID, told the beneficiaries that the issurance of cerficates by the ACFE and the GAC was a manifestation of the amount of trust that had been invested in the CFEs. He acknowledged them that undergoing the training and getting certificated was the easy part of the auditing profession but the hardest part will be for each of the individual CFEs to stay in line with the code of ethics of the proffession.

‘Speed up Building Military Capacity’

- Says UNMIL Force Commander Maj. Gen. Khalid UNMIL Force Commander, Major General Muhammad Khalid, have urged the Government of Liberia to expedite building up the capacity of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) ably serve and protect the country after the departial of the UN mission. Maj. Gen. Khalid made this remark at symposium ahead of the Armed Forces Day’s celebration when he answer to the question what are two things he would suggest the GOL do in preparation for the drawdown of the UN mission which have been aiding in keeping peace. Though he did not state when the UN mission was to be concluded in the country, Maj. Gen. Khalid said over the past six years the GOL has been slow in beefing up the AFL to be able to take over the roles that the mission is playing in the country. “UNMIL will not be here forever. Over the past six years the Government of Liberia has been slow in building up the capacity of the military after the mission is gone. I would suggest that this tenure of government should work to see the military being develop a lot faster,” Maj. Gen. Khalid said. The Force Commander also served as the keynote speaker at the symposium which was held under the theme: enhancing military capacities and professionalism; prospect and challenges facing the Armed Forces of Liberia in a democratic Liberia. During his keynote presentation, Maj. Gen. Khalid spoke on the following: the historical influence of AFL in democracy of Liberia, functional concept of military professionalism in a democratic environment, challenges militating against military professionalism in a democratic Liberia and the emerging roles for the AFL in democracy. On the historical influence of the AFL, the UNMIL Force commander recalled the incursion of the state defence forces into politics by the late Liberia president Samuel K. Doe in the early 1980. “In this period, military professionalism was exacerbated by considerable politicization which invariably ushered the AFL into the realms of national politics. The Doe Government initially sought to correct the entrenched enmity between different ethnic groups but ended up polarizing the military along ethnic lines. The regime was characterized by the exclusion of majority ethnic groups from mainstream Liberian politics. This had a ripple effect on the AFL resulting in ethnic sentiments. This signaled the beginning of the collapse of professionalism within AFL,” Maj. Gen. Khalid said. He further recounted of the sidelining of the AFL by the Taylor-led government that ruled from 1997-2003 which established personal outfits like ATU and consequently destroyed the functionality of the AFL which prompted the subsequent transformation of the force. “The fundamental and cultural differences in the norms that govern political leaders and military personnel,” the Force Commannder added, “often create tension between both parties in a democratic setting.” He noted ‘while politicians thrive on ambiguity and uncertainty, and achieve success when they are able to master such conditions, soldiers, by contrast seek clarity of mission and certainty of condition. The reason being that in war the lack of either can result in bad decisions with devastating consequences. As such, the military may encounter certain abnormalities militating against its achievement of a constituted mandate within a democracy. However, military professionalism imbues the tenets of self-control on the part of the soldier thereby restraining him from transgressing democratic norms and ethos. It makes the soldier self conscious of the fact that he is bound by 2 distinct but complementing laws.’ He acknowledged that some of the emerging challenges that are confronting the AFL in a democracy are similar to those experienced by militaries emerging out of war world over. Some of the challenges he highlighted include the lack of sound doctrinal base insufficient funding, lack of awareness on the roles of the military, inadequate mechanism for civil-military relations, reduction in military structure and the lack of media awareness or cooperation amongst others. He said to improve the capability of the AFL, there was a need to re-assess ongoing training, research and development and the initiation of what he termed as C4I. Maj. Gen. Khalid: “With global growing dependency on Information technology, AFL will have to initiate a C4I System, command, control, communication, computers and Information system within the Institution. This system will not only evade any threat in web espionage but will make the AFL compatible to any future induction of military hardware and software.”

PYJ Pledged Support AFL

Having sat at the symposium held in advance of the 55th Armed Forces Day Celebration slated for 11th February, Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, chairman of the 53rd legislature committee on nation defence pledged unweavering support to the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) in terms of defending budgetary request to august body by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The militarily inclined Nimba Lawmaker urged the Defence Minister designate, Brownie Samukai, to find out the needs of the nation’s defence force and use allotted budget to solve problems that needed to be addressed to keep its members committed. He added that if there was a need for additional budget, the MOD should make that need known to the National Legislature and he along with his defence committee counterparts will defend it to the letter and have it passed. According to Senator Johnson, one thing that he came to learn while in military service was that no one ‘messes with a soldier money, food or woman;’ this statement pledge drawed appaulses from members of the AFL who attended the program. Also speaking at the symposium, Former Defense Minister, Daniel Chea, who give a brief history of the AFL observed that historians in Liberia have not done enough in cataloging facts about the existance of the army and the role the force have played over the past years. He said it will be a good that records of the force are kept to give the future generation an insight of the how the military have served the people of Liberia since its formulation in early 1957 with the constitutional responsibility to preserve the Liberian way of life and defend the borders. Mr. Chea lauded the pledge made to the Defense Ministry by the Senator Johnson and urged the minister designate to make use of the support being given him by the lawmaker to build a strong and proffessional army. During the taylor-led government when he served as the minister of defense, Mr. Chea said he did not have such support from the legislature to forge forward with the improvement of the AFL. In response to the pledge made by the Nimba Sanator, Defense Minister Samukai said he appreciated the support that the lawmaker have pledge but told the men and women of the AFL present not to be overly zealous because the House have shun him before.

50 Rounded up in Crack-team Raids

-Vlagba residents call for stronger measures
As a sign of commitment to ensuring a ‘crime free society,’ the crack-team of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Support Unit (PSU) raided about two suspected criminal hideouts yesterday arresting 50 suspected criminals in central Monrovia. Some of the areas raided by the LNP includes Vlagba (Center Street) and the old government hospital on Ashmun Street where several forms of drugs substances haave been sold. According to police spokesman, Commissioner George Bardue, at least 41 suspected criminals, drugs users and dealers were arrested at vlagba and another 9 were arrested at the old government hospital. He said this action was to ensure that no stone was left unturned in the fight against crimes which would haunt the citizens of Liberia and cast a negative image on the police. However, some of the suspected criminals escorted to detention pleaded they have gone at the raided locations to carry out activities other than using or selling drugs. Meanwhile, the Insight visited the Vlagba to find out how did residents, who had complained of the sale of drugs in the area, feel about the raid which carry nearly 50 alledged thugs to face the laws of Liberia, it was noticed that drugs activities were being carryout at areas suspected to be ghettos. Speaking to the Insight, a resident for this report named Mary Jones, said the raid in the community give her the confidence that the LNP was going to minimise criminal activities in the city. Ms. Jones said the police will have to keep on raiding the community until they can get hold of the drugs dealers in the area and put them away for good. “I am pleased by the action of the police; it shows that crime is going to end soon. But the police will have to keep coming to do this their raid thing because those who behind the whole thing are still in the community and have not being arrested yet,” Ms. Jones said.

U.S to give AFL More Support

United States Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Linda Thomas Greenfield, has committed her government to further supporting the Armed Forces of Liberia in terms of logistics and technical training which will prepard the force to support the foundation for long-termed security and economical development in the country. Delivering the keynote at the program commerating the 55th Armed Force Day’s celebration, Amb Greenfield said the United States Government was proud to be a partner of Liberia in the development of the new AFL. The US Diplomat said Liberia has come a longway since 2006 from basic training for the first class to the recruits to the graduation of at least one AFL officer fro the US Army Command and Staff College in December of last year. “you have come a long way: from a dream in 2007 to reestablished the Liberian Coast Guard to today’s small but competent maritime force with two patrol crafts,” she said. As a commitment to supporting the AFL, the US Ambassador said by later dates in 2012 two addition seacraft will be given to th ethe Coast Guardu to protect Liberia’s coastline and fisherise for the future. She said over the past six years, especailly in the last 12 months, Liberia and its partners have felt a sense of accomplishment because the US Government has been by the side of the Liberian Government; more visibly with the presence of 50 US military mentors known as Operation Onward Liberty. “The US Government is committed to helping Liberia Succeed, to helping Liberia beat the odds and defy the World Bank Statitics that indicates almost half of post-conflict countries slip back into conflict. And we are committed to helping the AFL become the ‘force for good’ that President Sirleaf called for anf that the citizens of Liberia longed for,” she said. She recalled, in 2010 as part of the US National Guard State partnership, the AFL and the Michigan National Guard esstblished a partnership which would significantly improved the AFL. The program was designed to assist with capacity development, built long-termed relationship and creat a mechanism for sharing experances, techniques and expertise. “The National Guard in the US plays a very significant role in emergency management, disaster response and search and rescue. Given that National Defense of 2008 assigns similar tasks to the AFL, it is certain that the Michigan National Guard’s expertise in these areas will contribute greatly to AFL’s development as a ‘force for good,’” she said. Ambassador Greenfield used the occasion to disclosed that at the request of the Minister of Defense, her Government is in the early stages of putting together a program, initially funded at US$3.5m, to assist the AFL develop an increased engineer capacity. The program according to Madam Greenfield will include acquisation of some engineer equipment and a requisite training component for the AFL because training is the ‘bread and butter’ of any armed forces in the world. She further added increased engineer capacity will enable the AFL to contribute in a small but tangible way to infrastructure rehabilitation, so necessary for the country’s economic development. Amb. Greenfield said Liberia has a rich array of partners including the U.S, Member States of the ECOWAS, other international partners and the UNMIL which indicates the serious commitment of the international community toward the success of Liberia. The outgoing U.S. Ambassador said the level of commitment attached to the sustainability of peace and security in Liberia by the international community meant that it is imperative that all efforts are fully cordinated and integrated so that all resources, whether international or local, are put to the most effective use. She said the world is looking forward to a day, in years to come, when Liberia will be prepare to provide troops to an international peace keeping mission as it did in the Congo in early 1960-1963. “Let there be no mistake: history will judge this effort to build a new AFL as a success or a failure, naot based on the efforts and policy of the US government or UNMIL or ECOWAS or any other international partners but on the character,ethics, and action of liberian men and women in uniform,” Amb. Greenfield said.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Logan Town Marketers Receive L$ One Million Micro loans

.. As District#15 Rep. Candidate Promises more if elected Marketers of the Logan Town Market on the Bushroad Island of Montserrado County electoral District#15 have received L$ one Million as micro loans in the area from the chief executive officer of the Abu developmental initiative Abu Kamara. According the Abu developmental initiative Chief Executive officer Abu Kamara the L$ one Million Micro loans is not the first of it kind to marketers of the Logan town Market on the Bushroad or the District#15 at large. He also indicated that the L$ one Million is intended to help marker of the Logan town market to improve on their little one they have present for bigger money tomorrow. The Abu developmental initiative chief executive officer Abu Kamara is on also an independent representative candidate who also vows to give more loans if elected to the 53rd nationals’ legislature comes October 11, 2011. It can also be recalled in 2009 the Montserrado County District#15 give out L$ two millions to residents and marketer of the former District#11 for return some he wave out the residents. He presented the L$ one Million to marketers of the Logan Mark Monday evening September 26, 2011 in the Logan market on the Bushroad Island. Candidate Kamara also called on the potential women of the Logan town marker to see the loans given them over the past building up their capacity as residents of the area. He added that change can only come to the District if the right people are elected in power by the resident and the money given to you women also consider it as women empowerment. The Montserrado County District#15 Representative hopeful Kamara further admonished residents and voter to make sound decision for the betterment of the district. Meanwhile the superintendent of the Logan Town markers Sabah Johnson lauded the effort by the showing so far by the representative hopeful and promises that the entire marker will stand strong for his election to the 53rd national. Superintendent Johnson also stressed that the L$ one million loans came the right time for marketers of the Logan Town market.

More Armed Robbers Nabbed

Amar Simogo, 28, Malian, Veaye Trawaly, 19 were picked up on Thursday, December 15, 2011, after they had allegedly robbed a lady identified as Rebecca Gborfua, 38, at her Zubah Town residence on Duport Road. The 28-year-old Malian was arrested with a single barrel short gun with a round. A third suspect, who is still at large is believed to have escaped with a bag containing several single barrel rounds. The suspects after allegedly committing the crime fled the scene but got involve in an accident with another vehicle after they were given a hot chase by some motorcyclists. Suspects Somigo and Trawally were fortunately rescued from hands of an angry mob by police officer on patrol, an LNP release disclosed. They are now in police custody undergoing preliminary investigation at the Zone 5 police station. In another development, in continuation of crackdown on criminals and their hideouts, the LNP early Friday, December 16, 2011 rounded up 91 criminal suspects from the Old Euro Bank building on Crown Hill, Broad Street; The 91 include 14 females and 77 males. The criminal suspects are being screened at the LNP HQ.

Prison Not very Conducive

Chief Justice, Johnny Lewis, last Wednesday February 1, 2012 urged the Magistrates of the City Court of Monrovia to help find common ground in ‘minor cases’ and stop sending people sending defendants to jail. The Liberian chief justice made this statement in regard to the condition of prisons in the country which he said are not very conducive to be keeping people; while he was on his normal routine visit to lower courts at the Temple of Justice. He said it was not good for judges to sent people to the central for minor cases which could reach an amicable solution in the courts of competent jurisdiction. Chief Justice Lewis made the said urge this after inquring of a case in which defendant Mary Blayee had been send to prison for receiving money, in the tone of US$ 180, under false pretend from complainant Sarah Vojolo, as rent for a room situated in the City Hall Community. The fund according to information gathered, was received in two folds from complainant Vojolo by defendant Blayee and her son, but thay did not live up to their side of the barging and was taken to court. Because they could not have somebody stand their bond, the defenant was sent to prison until they could pay back the money. They defendant having paid US$100 of the said amount had appeared in court, on Wednesday February 1, 2012 when chief justice lewis inquired and requested that a document should be made on how the rest of the funds would be paid.

Access Bank US$225,466.69 Theft Case to be Rule

Defendant Daniel A. Maxwell Cries Wolf The man at the center of an alledged US$225,466.69 cyber-theft at Access Bank Liberia (ABL), defendant Daniel A. Maxwell, have begun to cry wolf as the case draws to the criminal court “C” judge’s ruling come Wednesday February 15, 2012 A.D. According to defandant Maxwell when he spoke with Journalists at the Temple of Justice, after appearing in court last Thursday, alledged that assigned circuit judge, Benedict Holt, was being bias in his presiding over the case which commence since November of 2011. It was alledged by defedant Maxwell that his fiance and co-defendant Felecia S. Davis, received a threat call from Judge Holt urging her to testify against him (Maxwell) of she will be sent to prison. The resigned Access Bank Business Analyst, Maxwell, stated the entire case of Theft of Property, Forgery and Criminal, lavied against Ms. Felecia S. Davis, his affiliate Lorpu Dennis and him could be a strategy by Access Bank Liberia to deter other staffers from resigning or some individuals who have been involved in manipulating figures in accounts at the bank have used his name as a scapegoat. Though defendant Maxwell admitted to having knowledge in the field of Information Technology (IT), he denied having requisite IT skills that would enable him manipulate the ABL banking system to steal the aforementioned fund. However, in a court document title Defendants Legal Memorandum one of the seven witnesses presented by the state, Wilfred Lawson, Head of ABL IT Department, said while he (defendant Maxwell) was still working at the bank was the most referenced person locally in providing solutions to users of the banking software application. Also in his testiment before the grand jury, witness Lawson said in his capacity as business analyst and trainer of those who had function with the banking software at the ABL defendant Maxwell had access to the software which stores all banking transaction. It was also testified by Inspector Abraham Duply, after he was informed that defendant Maxwell had stolen from the bank he, Mulbah Sardee, Chief IT Specialist of the Liberia National Police and others conducted an investigation at the bank and found out that the man in question, Maxwell’s sister (unnamed) had deposited L$ 500 in her account at the ABL Redlight Branch but had a checking account of US$15,000. Another witness, Kawala Jumah, Chief of Maintainace at ABL Duala Branch said defendant Maxwell, was seen in the branch’s confrence room on his laptop but did not had time to find out what was being done on it. Having been before His Honor Benedict Holt in Criminal Court “C” since November, the case of alledged cyber-theft is expected to be rule next Wednesday at 10:00 anti-merrdian, but defendant Maxwell said there could be a motion for retrial because, as he alledged, the judge have been bais during the proceedings of the case.