The Bureau of Public Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
DAILY NEWS SUMMARY FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
Today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies highlights news of theUnited Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s talks with officials of the Liberian government, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Lewis G. Brown’s assertion that Guinea Bissau situation has been placed high on ECOWAS’ agenda for resolution and the passage of the Liberian Anti-terrorist Act by the Liberian Senate.
UK-Liberia Relations “Very Important”
The United Kingdom (UK) Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, has described bilateral relations with Liberia as “very important.”Mr. Johnson said his visit here was a big opportunity to intensify the friendship and partnership between the two countries. Quoting a Foreign Ministry release, the New Dawn newspaper says the UK foreign secretary made the assertion when he stopped over at the Roberts International Airport and held bilateral discussions with a number of Liberian government officials including Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara, Public Works Minister Gyude Moore, Commerce and Industry Minister Axel Addy and the head of the President’s Delivery Unit, Clarence Moniba on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Mr. Johnson, who was making his first trip to Africa as the UK’s Foreign Secretary, stopped over en route to the UK following visits to Sierra Leone and the Gambia. He said his stopover was to see the transformation taking place here, meet with government authorities to see how the UK can be supportive of the country’s continued development efforts. For her part, Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara said the UK foreign minister’s visit was significant in further strengthening bilateral relations with a positive impact considering an opportunity to personally meet each other and confer. “It should help them reach decision points on many of the issues,” foreign minister Kamara emphasized.
Related Captions: Big Opportunity To Intensify Friendship, Partnership-Says UK Foreign Minister; Meets Liberian Gov’t Officials; Rate Bilateral Relations As ‘Very Important’(FOCUS), UK Foreign Minister Holds Talks With Liberian Officials(INSIGHT), UK-Liberia Ties Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Meets With Liberia Government Officials(FrontPage Africa)
Guinea Bissau High on ECOWAS’ Agenda
Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr. Lewis G. Brown, has told Members of the United Nations Security Council that in continued efforts at finding an amicable and peaceful resolution to the crisis in the West African nation of Guinea Bissau, it has been placed high on ECOWAS’ agenda. According to a dispatch from New York, in a statement delivered at a meeting of the UN Security Council concerning Guinea Bissau on Tuesday, February 14, Ambassador Brown, speaking on behalf of the Chair of ECOWAS’ Authority, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said that at a most recent meeting on the margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, the ECOWAS Commission discussed ways to continue the mediation efforts, including the continuation of support for the Mediator, His Excellency President Alpha Condé of Guinea. The Liberian UN Permanent Representative further told the Council that the Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS remains engaged and seized of finding a lasting solution to the political impasse in Guinea Bissau, the New Dawn newspaper reports.
Related Captions: ECOWAS Remains Engaged In Solving Bissau Impasse-Amb. Brown(FOCUS), ‘Guinea Bissau High On ECOWAS’ Agenda’ Amb. Lewis Brown Tells The UN Security Council(FrontPage Africa)
Senate Passes ‘Liberian Anti-Terrorist Act’
After making several amendments, the Senate has passed the “Liberian Anti-terrorist Act” that seeks the prevention of terrorism and to arrest and prosecute suspected terrorist activities and terrorist financing. The Act amended offenses involving danger to persons; kidnapping and related crimes; terrorism; offenses against property; robbery; hijacking; money laundering and terrorist financing, and is replaced with a new section entitled: “Offenses Involving Terrorist Acts.” Liberia, as a member of the comity of nations, passed the Act in 2013 to establish procedures for the distribution of the United Nations’ list of terrorists and terrorist groups, but the Act failed to adequately address issues that necessitated the new legislation. The Act mandates that the Attorney General (Justice Minister) shall appoint a 5-member sub-committee from among the ranks of the joint security to be called the Counter-Terrorism Advisory Committee (CTAC), with each agency contributing one member. Meanwhile, the Act will be submitted to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for signature and printed into handbills to take effect, according to the Daily Observer.
Related Captions: Senate Passes Anti-Terrorist Act(Heritage), Arrest Hangs Over Terrorists-As Liberia Moves To Meet International Obligations-Funds Of ‘Designated Persons, Groups And Organizations’ Face Freeze(INSIGHT)
GoL Gets US$10M Grant For ‘Youth Opportunity Project’
The Government of Liberia has received a US$ 10 million dollar grant from the World Bank to implement the ‘Youth Opportunity Project’. A Ministry of Agriculture release issued Tuesday said the grant is intended to build the capacity of 50,000 Liberian youths through sustainable economic programs. The release indicated that it will be done under the vigilant supervision and implementation of the Ministries of Youth & Sports and Gender and Social Protection, and Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE). Deputy Agriculture Minister for Research and Extension, Thomas Gbokie, launched the program at the Paynesville City Hall. The release quoted Gbokie as calling on Liberian youths of numerous opportunities they stand to benefit when young entrepreneurs could blend their careers with agriculture-related vocations, the FOCUS newspaper reads.
ICRC Highlights Activities in Liberia From January to December 2016
An inside story of the FOCUS newspaper reads that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has released its 2016 performance summary which covers several areas beginning with its continued help to the Liberian authorities respond to humanitarian needs as well as strengthening the capacities of institutions in the country. According to the summary, under people deprived of their freedom, the ICRC disclosed that 2,200 detainees were visited while monitoring conditions in places of detention; 76 Red Cross messages collected and 34 distributed; 84 detainees communicated with their families through phone calls; 25 middle and senior penitentiary officials received training in social welfare and rehabilitation and 60 correctional officers and inmates reinforced their capacity in maintenance of water and sanitation facilities, the daily says.
To Enhance Food Security Here: BRAC-Liberia Completes Assessment In Agricultural Sector
In an effort to enhance farmers’ capacities aimed at addressing the problem of food shortage in the country, BRAC-Liberia has completed Disaster Risk and Vulnerabhility Assessment in six counties. Dekontee O. Saytarkon, Emergency Response Coordinator, BRAC-Liberia said that the assessment was intended to identify the gap in the Agricultural sector of Liberia. according to him, the EU was interested in knowing why there is a food shortage in the country and who are those considered as the vulnerable group in the sector as well as the those conditions that are serving as a hindrance to their food productions, the Heritage newspaper says.
Related Caption: Farmers To Benfit From EU Agro Project…As BRAC-Liberia Carry Out Assessment (The INQUIRER)
4 “Notorious” Armed Robbers Canned
The Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice has detained at the Monrovia Central Prison four “notorious” armed robbers who allegedly carried out robberies in and around Monrovia. The alleged criminals are Alfred David, Clarence Kieh, Prince Toe and Alvin Yancy, all of whom were arrested on Wednesday, February 8, in connection with series of armed robberies. They were on Tuesday, February 14, arraigned before the court to answer to the charges levied against them. The police charge sheet indicated that the four men robbed a number of communities in Monrovia, including Thinkers’ Village, Perry Street, Center Street and Brewerville and made away with several valuables, including cash, the FOCUS newspaper asserts.
Related Caption: Court Orders Detention Of 4 “Notorious” Armed Robbers(Heritage)
LRRRC Wants Refugees, Asylum Seekers Stay Away From VR Process
In the wake of the ongoing voter registration and the electoral process in Liberia, the Executive Director of the Liberia Refugees Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC), Cllr. Abla Gadegbeku Williams has warned Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the country to stay away from the ongoing Voter Registration exercise. In a release issued in Monrovia yesterday, the LRRRC boss said her warning is in support of the electrical process and in keeping with the National Elections Commission (NEC) guidelines and policy which informs all refugees asylum seekers, and other person of concern who are currently enjoying international protection in Liberia refugee camp and host communities, the INQUIRER newspaper reads.
Security Sector Governance Training Concluded In Grand Cape Mount
A two-day workshop on security sector governance took place over the weekend in Robertsport City, Grand Cape Mount County. The event, which was held on Thursday and Friday, 8-9 February 2017, was facilitated by the Center for Security Studies and Development with support from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). The workshop covered a number of key topics: including Civil-Security Relation, Security Sector Governance, Peace Education, and Conflict Management. Speaking during the Opening Session, the ‘executive Director of CENSSAD, Mr. R. Marcel Allison, commended UNMIL for its support to the work of CENSSAD, which according to him, was intended to forge strategic partnership between civil groups and security institutions so as to promote democratic control of the security sector, the Heritage newspaper reads.
Justice Ministry Won 50% of Rape, SGBV Cases in 2016
The Ministry of Justice won a total of 41 rape and sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) cases in 2016, the Head of the Sex Crime Unit (SCU) of the Ministry, John Gabriel, has disclosed. He told UNMIL Radio “Coffee Break” Show Wednesday that the number is part of a total of 89 rape and SGBV cases prosecuted in eight counties during the period under review. He named the counties as Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Maryland and Sinoe, adding that some of the cases were not successfully prosecuted due to mistrial, the Heritage newspaper discussed.
Rotary Clubs To Redirect Services To Humanity
Members of the four Rotary Clubs in Liberia have ended a one-day District Public Image Seminar Guide in Monrovia with a call to rededicate their services to humanity. The seminar brought together over 25 members of the District Public Image Seminar Guide, who were drawn from the Rotary Clubs of Monrovia, Sinkor, Gbarnga and Harper. Assistant Governor District 9101 of Rotary International, Nadu Cooper, said the rededication of their services to humanity could impact the various communities where the members reside, reads the Daily Observer.
36,000 ‘Yana Boys’ Set to Register, Vote
Another inside story of FOCUS news daily reads that the President of the Yana Boys Association (YBA), Prince Kollie, is hoping to mobilize 36,000 of his members across the country to turn out and register during the Voter Registration to be eligible to participate in the October polls. Speaking on the UNMIL Radio “Coffee Break” talk show, Kolllie said he has been encouraging members to understand that voter registration is very important, and that they should make use of the opportunity to elect the rightful leader. He said the main reason most of his members have not registered is because some of them leave their businesses late when the registration centers are already closed, the daily reads.