Daily Media Summary (05-18-2019)

BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

CAPITOL HILL, MONROVIA

 

NEWS SUMMARY, MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2019

 

In today’s news summary, stories highlighted include: President Weah’s planned initiative to save West Point Community from Sea Erosion; the President’s pronouncement to build a new market for the Old Road residents in 31 days and the Gender Minister’s recent speech delivered on SGBV issues are among top stories making news in the various local dailies.    

 

 Other stories include: President Weah’s decision to Support Ghana to host African Free Trade; the CBL Officials’ Trial suspensionand Police recent update on Sexual and Gender Related Cases are all stories captured in the summary.

 

DOMINANT STORIES

 

Residents Of West Point To Benefit From Emergency Coastal Defense From Force Project

The Heritage Newspaper asserts that the Government of Liberia of currently initiating an emergency response mechanism to urgently address aggressive sea erosion crisis that is gradually eating up the township of WestPoint. Currently relevant government line ministries and agencies to include the Ministry of Public Works, Environmental Protection Agency, The National Disaster Management Agency and the Ministry of Mines and Energy are working on technical details to urgently begin the commencement of the project. The emergency costal defense project upon full completion will save thousands of residents in the township of West Point from being made homeless.   In a happy mood the residents of west point commended President George Weah for his timely initiative in saving their homes from sea erosion. According to them, the initiative is the first of its kinds and will help them greatly.

 

Related caption:Pres. Weah Moves to Save West Point orders Emergency Coastal Defense Efforts (Analyst) ,West Point To Get Emergency Coastal Defense(The News).

 

You’ll Have New Market in 31 Days”…President Weah Tells Old Road Residents

The Heritage Newspaper reports that President George Manneh Weah has promised residents of the densely populated Old-Road Community, particularly marketers that they would soon buy and sell goods and services in a new State-Of-The-Art Market structure. The President said the new market will be completed in 31 days. Old Road Community will be one of several communities in the country to benefit from the President’s promise to build modern market facilities in the country, the paper reads.

 

Related Caption: Weah Makes New Promises (New Dawn),President Weah Assures Old Road Residents New Market in 31 Days (Frontpage) You’ll Have New Market In 31 Days…President Weah Tells Old Road Residents (The News)

 

In Stable Mining Case: Prosecution Begs for Continuance Again but Judge says Terms of Several Continuances are not Just

The Heritage Newspaper asserts that Co-Defendants H. Varney G. Sherman et-al in the application by the Prosecution for Continuance to Wednesday, June 19, 2019 has no good merit because similar application was made prior to now. The Co-Defendants through their legal counsels made the statement in open court on Monday, June 17, 2019 after Prosecution requested Assigned Circuit Court Judge Presiding, Peter W. Gbeneweleh and the Court for Continuance to Wednesday, June 19, 2019 so as to allow it (Prosecution) time to procure its first batch of material witnesses. According to the Prosecution, its submission for continuance is not intended to baffle in these proceedings but same is made in good faith, the paper reads.

 

 Related Caption:“WE ARE NOT GUILTY”-Tyler, Sherman & Others Plead (The Inquirer), Officials Waive Jury Trial in Sable Mining Case (New Dawn)

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President Weah Supports Ghana to Host African Free Trade

 

President George Manneh Weah has welcome Ghana’s bid to host the secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) referred, saying such secretariat will help to boast trade in the region. Speaking when a high power delegation from Ghana paid a courtesy visit at the President’s Office on Monday, the Liberian Leader said it is about time for Africa to be more robust and do more in strengthening economic related trade on the continent. Also speaking during the brief meeting, the head of the Ghanaian delegation, Alan Kyerematen, praised President Weah for his level of leadership which is helping to gradually strengthen the Country’s growing democracy, the Analyst newspaper writes.

Related Caption:President Weah Welcomes Ghana’s Bid to Host …Secretariat Of Continental Free Trade Area (The News)

 

Gender Minister Speaks Against SGBV in Liberia Says Laws Are Underway to Curb Violations

A front page story of the Analyst newspaper reads that the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr stresses the urgent need to end sexual gender-based violence against children, noting that the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) of the government of the coalition for Democratic Change led by President George Manneh Weah aspires to ensre that abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children are addressed through Juvenile Diversion Program to be available in eight counties, the Minister said.

 

OTHER STORIES

 

Police Updates Public on Sexual and Gender Related Cases

A front page story of the Analyst newspaper reads that the Liberian National Police (LNP) has been updating the public on ongoing Police Investigations which are geared towards informing members of the general public on current status of some sexual and gender-related cases. The police update covered cases. The police updates covered cases of the late Yatta Evon Kamara, death of late Odell Sherman, the Alleged Rape at Christian Association of the Blind (CASB), update on New Georgia Estate Child Abuse Case, and Update on Aggravated Assault Case in Zone 8 Base. Concerning the update on the late Yatta Evon Kamara Investigation, the LNP gave a case Summary highlighting that police investigators were called in on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 t the Palm Spring Hotel and informed of a female, Yatta Evon Kamara, 31 years old, lying unconscious with foam oozing from her mouth and bleeding from her nose.

 

GOL, LIMU Signed MOU

The Government of Liberia and the Liberia Movie Union (LIMU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding through the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) at the Ministry’s Artus Frank Friday June 14, 2019 press briefing in Monrovia. The President of the Liberia Movie Union, Mr. Gregory said over the time the Union has been indebted to the Liberian Government. He pointed out that the signing of this MOU is to put a good system in place in order to mitigate and fight   piracy in the country. Noting that the Liberian film makers has been struggling over the years because of the influxes of illegal films on the Liberian market, he asserted that the Union thought of the need to put in place based upon this reason to help create job for passionate and talented young Liberians, the Analyst reads.

 

CBL Officials’ Trial Suspended

According to the New Dawn news daily, Prosecutors here have been granted one week to suspend hearing in the ongoing trial of five officials from the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) in favor of a submission made at Criminal Court “C” Monday, 17 June that government’s key witnesses are away on official assignment. The Court is hearing multiple charges of economic sabotage, criminal facilitation and criminal solicitation brought against former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s son and CBL Deputy Governor Charles E. Sirleaf, former CBL Executive Governor Milton A. Weeks, Dorbor Hagba, Richard H. Walker and Joseph Dennis at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia. The indicted officials are held to give account for alleged excess billions of Liberian dollars printed and brought into the country during government’s controversial exercise to replace mutilated local banknotes here nearing former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s term. The financial scandal at the CBL allegedly continued in the new administration of President George Manneh Weah, prompting a mass protest in 2018 dubbed “Bring Back Our Money” to demand authorities to account for alleged LRD$16 billion printed by hired firm Crane Currency, AB and shipped to Liberia.

 

WCO Trains LRA Staff

An inside story of the New Dawn newspaper reports that Partial view of participants from the LRA, customs related government agencies and representatives from business institutions attending the training in Monrovia. A weeklong training highlighting key components of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Time Release Study (TRS) commences in Monrovia. Over 30 participants from the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), customs related government agencies and representatives from business institutions in the private sector are attending the training, which focuses on modernizing customs operations and processes to enhance revenue collection. According to the LRA, the exercise will upgrade the skills of participants in the areas of customs and import processes, process mapping, customs reform initiatives and modernization programs, among others. “This training is important in a sense that it is in line with our plans to move over to a modernized customs sector, which requires people with the requisite skills to help facilitate trade and ensure that our borders are properly protected,” says LRA Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah.

 

President Weah Calls for Increased Trade-and-Commerce

President George Manneh Weah says increased collaboration and cooperation among African nations in the areas of trade and investment is a catalyst to rapid socioeconomic development on the Continent. President Weah made the assertions on Monday, 17 June when he hosted Ghana’s Special Envoy and Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen who paid a courtesy visit to the president. During the meeting, the Executive Mansion says President Weah laments the high cost of trade and commerce between and among African countries than outside the Continent. He calls for increased liberalization of constraints hampering intra-Africa commerce and stresses the need for concerted efforts and knowledge sharing among governments in exploring agriculture opportunities. President Weah indicates that Liberia got great potential in the agriculture sector and offers prospects into which foreign partners can tap.“Liberia has a blessed soil and weather conditions,” he says, and makes emphasis that “Our land is fertile and arable and supported by equal amounts of sun and rain during the year,” pens the New Dawn.

 

Political, Economic Tension Engulf ECOWAS says Snowne

A back page story of the Inquirer newspaper reads that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region is being engulfed with political, economic and social tensions and it is causing headache for the bloc but efforts are being made in reducing same, Representative Edwin M. Snowe has stated. Liberia’s head of Delegation to ECOWAS Parliament, Edwin Melvin Snowe, told the media on Monday, June 17, 2019, in Monrovia that though the tension is having some effects on ECOWAS; notwithstanding,, all is being done to keep the region safe and quiet. Representative Snowe is presently in Freetown, Sierra Leone to mediate between the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) and government in the aftermath of recent clashes which resulted in the death of scores of people, following the Supreme Court ruling in an electoral dispute, the Inquirer reads.

 

War Crimes Court In Sight…House Committee ‘Drafts’ Resolution

The establishment of the much-talked about war and economic court in Liberia appears to be on the horizon as the House Committee on Claims and Petition backs the establishment of the court. Speaking Monday when she appeared on OK FM morning Rush show in Monrovia, Montserrado County District#4 Representative Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis said the House Committee on Claims and Petition which she chairs has resolved on the establishment of war and economic crimes court in Liberia. This, she said, is the final position of the committee which will be communicated to the plenary of the House. She disclosed that the committee has drafted a resolution for the endorsement of the House’s plenary regarding the establishment of the court. Rep. Dennis said the resolution will be calling on President Dr. George Manneh Weah for the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Report including the establishment of war and economic crimes court, writesthe News.

  

EPA, UNDP End Private Sector Training…On National Adaptation Plan Project

A two-day event organized by the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Project to raise awareness and build capacity within the private sector has ended. The training, held in Ganta, Nimba County, from June 13-14, 2019, brought together financial intermediaries and other stakeholders in the implementation of adaptation activities and it highlighted the role of private sector. Members of the private sector were educated on how to identify and manage risks from climate variability and climate change and how to promote innovation and to get engaged with climate change adaptation (CCA) planning. The private sector is said to be benefiting from expertise and experiences from experts in the climate change sectors and other colleagues. Marking remark on behalf of the EPA Deputy Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou said the National Adaptation Project has vision and responsibility to build institutional capacity including the private sector, reportsthe News.

  

UNDP Engages Donors, CSOs

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Liberia has engaged major donors and civil society organizations in Monrovia on its draft Country Programme Document (CPD) that sets the stage for a new 5-year development plan in Liberia (2020-2024). Donor funds are usually channeled through various programmatic areas where UNDP has its comparative advantages. The development plan is aligned with national priorities, as well as the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During the briefing session, which is in continuation of a campaign to gauge the views of major stakeholders, UNDP Resident Representative Pa Lamin Beyai described the draft document as the “Strategic thinking for development in Liberia”. He said comments from donors are imperative to help guide the implementation stages of the development plan. Donors represented include Sweden, Germany, Japan, African Development Bank (AFDB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), says The News.

 

Police Speak On Martin Kollie’s Saga

According to The News newspaper The Liberia National Police (LNP) has cautioned the Frontpage Africa Newspaper and other media outlets to be mindful in releasing reports on ongoing investigations to the public without doing due diligence to get all sides of the story. The LNP notes that the report released on what happened at the Renaissance Hotel on Duport Road on Friday night is far beyond what was hastily reported by the Frontpage Africa. In a statement the Police explained that an altercation ensued on Friday night between Martin Kollie and his supporters on one side, and some DEA officers and a senior staff of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. The case is currently being investigated. “We would like to clarify that Martin Kollie was not arrested nor taken to any Police station or depot as was insinuated by some members of the public, especially on social media. The public is urged to remain calm as the LNP Zone 5 Base investigators are speaking to and obtaining statements from all persons of interests, the Police said.

 

GOVERNMENT  SUSPENDS EXPORTS Of Dry Fish… on SN Brussels

TheInquirer newspaper is reporting that the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications (MOPT) has clarified the temporary stoppage of ‘Dry Fish’ amidst rumors that no fish is being posted at the office in Liberia. In a press release issued on Friday, June 14, 2019, the Ministry indicated that it has temporarily suspended accepting ‘Dry Fish’ and other perishable consumable items because, “about a week ago, the cargo section of the SN Brussels Airlines through its local management in Monrovia informed us that the customs and security apparatus in Brussels had some problems with parcels containing fish from another African country which warranted an investigation.” The MOPT release said. The release further pointed out that “the Brussels Airline management therefore informed us that pending the finalization in Brussels of the said investigation, they have been advised not to make further shipment of fish not only from Liberia but from any other African Country.

 Gov’t., Activities  Commits To Ratify Protocol For Older People

The Government of Liberia and Civil Society actors have committed to working together for Liberia to Ratify the African protocol for the rights of other persons in Liberia. Speaking one after the other, the officials of government and civil society actors noted that it is imperative for Liberia to ratify the Africans Protocol on the Rights of Older People as a means mitigating the vulnerable conditions of older people in Liberia and ensuring that they live with dignity in the country, reports TheInquirer.