Daily Media Summary, Nov. 19, 2013



The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia


            The news of  President  Johnson Sirleaf’s trip To the African-Arab Summit and her subsequent State Visit to the UAE and Belgium, the denial of a motion filed by the PUL requesting the dismissal of the injunction placed on its election process, the 15 days ultimatum issued  by Ex-AFL Soldiers to threaten peace during Christmas season  are amongst our dominating stories for today’s  news summary.

 Dominant Stories

Ellen Arrives in Kuwait

The New Dawn reports that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf arrived in Kuwait on Sunday night ahead of the Third Arab-African summit which kicks off this Tuesday. The President upon arrival met with the Kuwaiti Minister of Health Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Al-Sabah and the Deputy Under-secretary for Construction.  Mrs. Sirleaf also held brief meetings with members of her delegation on Monday as African and Arab officials attending the summit are holding several sideline meetings in Kuwait amidst the signing of dozens of bilateral agreements.  President Sirleaf left Liberia Sunday at the head of a high-level delegation.

She is expected to make an official visits to the United Arab Emirates and Belgium, for a Working Visit to the Dubai, and participate in the 2013 European Development Days forum.   While in Kuwait City, President Sirleaf will hold bilateral meetings with the Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and other government officials in the interest of the Government and people of Liberia.

The President is expected to leave Kuwait on November 21 for a three-day Working Visit to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates at the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.  She will hold discussions with him, as well as other high-ranking officials. With the President’s focus on infrastructure, she will visit the Dubai Port facility; the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industries; the Road and Transport Authority; and the Emirates Competitive Council. President Sirleaf and her delegation arrive in Brussels, Belgium, on Sunday, November 24, to participate in the 2013 European Development Days forum.

 As one of three Co-Chairs of the United Nations High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, President Sirleaf will address the EDD Opening Plenary, titled “A Vision for the Post-2015 Agenda.”  Other high-level speakers are: the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso; the President of Niger, H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou; the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, José Maria Neves; and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the New Dawn newspaper reports

Related Caption: Ellen Attends African-Arab Summit (The FOCUS), Ellen Flies To African-Arab Summit- Expected To Also Pay Visits To The UAE and Belgium (Daily Observer)President In Kuwait (New Democrat), Pres. Sirleaf On Official Visits To Middle East, Europe (The Analyst), Pres. Sirleaf Attends 3rd African-Arab Summit (INSIGHT)



PUL Motion Dismissed

The Civil Law Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has denied a motion filed by the Press Union of Liberia or PUL, requesting the dismissal of the injunction placed on its election process in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.  Presiding Judge J. Boima Kontoe ruled yesterday that the contention by the PUL that journalists J. Cholo Brooks and W. Omecee Johnson did not meet the requirements of the Elections Commission was an issue of fact that must be established.
The two complainants on November 8, filed a five count petition for declaratory judgment along with a motion for preliminary injunction, contending that they were members of the PUL, but were denied by the electoral commission from participating in the election. They claimed in the petition that they were not accorded due process when their candidacies were denied.
Mr. W. Omecee Johnson, who was vying for the PUL vice presidency, said he was accused of being a Public Relation Officer of the Layma Gbowee Foundation, while Mr. J. Cholo Brooks, who was vying for the Union’s Presidency, was disqualified on grounds that he did not graduate from an accredited university by the Government of Liberia. 

But the PUL, in its motion filed to vacate the preliminary injunction, argued that the complainants, having failed to qualify during the vetting process, could not challenge the outcome thereof, stressing that Mr. Brooks and Johnson lacked the legal capacity and standing to maintain the action in the petition for declaratory judgment, thereby praying the court to deny and dismiss the petition for declaratory judgment, the New Dawn newspaper reports

Related Caption: PUL’s Motion For Dismissal Denied(In Profile Daily), Court To Hear Injunction On PUL Election(The Inquirer), Court Denies Motion – PUL Under Burden Of Proof (Daily Observer), PUL Loses Motion (New Democrat), Disqualified PUL Candidates Not Given Due Process – Says Civil Law Court (The Analyst),  Court Denies PUL Motion – As Embattled PUL Candidates Gain Right To Presumed Innocence (INSIGHT)

15 Days Ultimatum -As Ex-Soldiers Threaten “Bitter Christmas,” If…


Some former officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) have run out of patience, thus threatening what they referred to as “bitter Christmas,” a situation where they will disturb the season celebrations if the government does not settle them. “We give the government of Liberia a 15-day ultimatum to settle us, or else the Christmas will be biter,” warned the ex-soldiers at the Temple of Justice on Monday November 18, 2013, after Judge Boima Kontoe of the Civil Law Court handed down ruling in favor of a government’s motion to dismiss a petition filed by the ex-soldiers for the declaration of judgment.  Judge Kontoe, in his Monday’s ruling, said the dismissal is not on account of the petitioners but on the account of their lawyers for failure to appropriately represent their clients.  The demobilized, the retirees and widows of the AFL, thru their National Chairman, LTC Richard Boye, respondent, had filed a petition for Declaratory Judgment against the government thru the Ministry of Justice and the National Defense.
They prayed the court to declare their right under proposed legislation entitled “An Act to amend Title 23 Section 222 of the National Defense Law on pensions for the procedure for the retirement of members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).”  Judge Kontoe ruled and said the movant which is the government of Liberia, in their motion filed to dismiss, raised the issues that the court does not have jurisdiction of the thing involved in action indicating that the thing involved in the action is a purported amendment of Title 23      Chapter 10 section 222 of the National Defense Law was proposed and drafted in 1914.  He noted that movant in their motion filed before the court indicated that that law was never approved by the president and was not printed into handbill by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so as to give it the full weight of a legislation as is required by law.


 He said, the motion also raised the issue of the capacity of the group represented by and thru their Chairman Rt. LTC Richard B. Boye, to bring this action for and on behalf of the petitioners in that there is no showing that the group was incorporated of the Associations Laws of Liberia as an association and was elected chairman or president of the group.  The Judge further noted in his ruling that the respondents resisting that the motion filed a ten-count resistance basically contending that Title 23 section 222 of the National Defense act was amended by the interim Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Liberia that was serving in dual capacity as House of Representatives and Senate and was approved by the Head of State of the Interim Government on the 17th day of February A. D1994.  He added that they said in their argument that the said Act was approved and published in Hand bill, the In Profile Daily.

Related Caption: Court Rules Against AFL Soldiers, Widows…But Groups Vow To Make Xmas Sour (The Inquirer)‘If You Don’t Want Any Trouble’ – Ex-Soldiers Give Gov’t. 15-Days Ultimatum For Benefits (Daily Observer)Old Soldiers Threaten Peace (New Democrat)

UL Students’ Violence Stalls Academic Activities Again

Several students of the University of Liberia UL have again staged protest immediately after the announcement of Midterm Examination for this academic year. The aggrieved students were seen running from one class to another, thus disrupting normal classes on Monday, November 18, 2013 at both campuses on Capitol Hill and Fendell. According to the FOCUS newspaper, the angry students were shouting anti-UL slogans for the administration to abruptly be demanding Midterm exams following weeks of registration on both campuses of the state run university. Recently, several students staged violent protest against the UL’s administration following announcement to close the just ended registration process amidst huge public outcry from the students’ community. But the UL administration has not officially commented on the latest action by some aggrieved students.

 Related Caption: UL Students Protest Again (Focus), UL Students Protest Again (INSIGHT)

Toe Waives All Claims...Court Re-Opens Frontpage Africa

Journalist Rodney Sieh, now a free man felt a sigh of relief yesterday when former Agriculture Minister, Christopher Toe willingly informed the Civil Law Court through a three-count Bill of Information that he had waived all judgment, money and all claims against the judgment debtor (Sieh). Journalist Sieh has been battling a law suit for libel filed against him for defamation of Mr. Toe’s character in an article published in his Frontpage Africa Newspaper and online medium in the tune of over US$ over US$1 million something Sieh had claimed to have evidence to prove, the Inquirer newspaper reports.

Related Caption: Court Orders FrontPage Africa Reopened (The  Daily Observer),  Court Ends Libel Case(New Democrat)

Liberia To Benefit From Two Year EU – Funded Small Arms Project

The Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LNCSA) has disclosed that starting from 2014 Liberia is to shortly benefit from a two year EU – funded Small Arms project. The project, which is part of a broader initiative by ECOWAS to maintain peace and security in the Mano River basin, will support community – led development projects in exchange for arms, with border communities, particularly in the southeastern counties of Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland, expected to benefit from the project.  

A release from LNCSA quoted Chairman James Fromayan as saying that the project modalities were concluded during a recent ECOWAS – UNDP joint assessment and validation mission here in Monrovia. According to the release, Fromayan disclosed that the mission held a series of consultations with high level government officials, diplomatic missions, development partners, security sector agencies and civil society organizations. He said the mission particularly met with the Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs, the UNDP country office, the EU delegation in Monrovia, ECOWAS liaison office in Monrovia and representatives of the Liberia Network on Small Arms, a civil society network organization focusing on gun control.  The mission also met with senior level officials of several security sector agencies including the Liberia National Police, Ministry of Defense, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, Drugs Enforcement Agency, the Executive Protection Service and the Customs Bureau of the Ministry of Finance. 

According to Fromayan, the consultations focused on a variety of pertinent issues including management and specific operational requirements for the project roll-out, confirmation of the target communities, and specific training and capacity needs for security sector agencies, civil society and the National Small Arms Commission.  He said the project implementation is expected to address the problem of armed violence and related crimes through the collection of hidden arms in the target communities, effective border management mechanism, community monitoring systems for illicit arms trafficking and enhancement of the legal frameworks for the control of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in the country, the release concluded, In Profile Daily newspaper reports.

Related Caption: Liberia To Benefit From EU-Funded ‘Small Arms’ Project (Daily Observer)

Ministers Get Pay Rise   

Members of the Liberian Cabinet have endorsed a new payment scheme that will witness an increase in their salaries more than double their current pays. Officials say the new move is part of the Civil Service reform and is intended to reduce government’s recurrent cost. Senior Ministers here currently earn a gross salary of US$2400, with a net pay of US$1800 after tax. This does not include their per-diems and other allowances and benefits.  Under the new payment scheme which takes effect next January 2014, senior cabinet ministers could now earn US$6,000 monthly, while their deputies and ambassadors earn US$4,500; and Assistant Ministers, US$3,000. 

With this pay rise, all officials would pay directly for their scratch cards, gas slips and vehicle repairs and maintenance.  A statement released by the Ministry of Information said the decision which was reached by Cabinet on Friday is intended to bring to an end the disparities in the disbursements of general allowances. 

The projected increase will be tied to the scrupulous implementation of the performance contracts signed between political appointees and the President. The new measure is also expected to bring to an end the practice of the dual payroll system, collapse various benefits such as gas slips and scratch cards into one compensation package for political appointees, and ensure uniformity in general allowances across the public bureaucracy. The decision follows the presentation of a comprehensive report by the Minister of Finance on the current state of the Liberian economy, and the Director-General of the Civil Service Agency informed about the extent of ongoing reforms in the civil service.  President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is said to have welcomed the decision, and reminded the Cabinet of the urgent need to lower the recurrent expenditure of the government so as to invest the savings in much-needed Public Sector Investments Projects (PSIPs).  

She named the projects, to include roads, ICT, power and ports. Mrs. Sirleaf said these projects when undertaken will have multiplying effects in expanding the economy, lowering the costs of living and doing business in the country, and will provide new opportunities for employment for all Liberians, the New Dawn newspaper reports

Related Caption: Cabinet Approves Reforms (Daily Observer)

Other Stories:

Chinese Embassy Ends Art Exhibition – Showcases Chinese, Liberian Arts

The Analyst reveals that the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia has concluded a daylong arts exhibition that showcased Liberian and Chinese artistic drawings. Carried out under the auspices of Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, the art exhibition was done to promote and encourage local artists to engage in meaningful artistic works and paintings that will richly reveal the Liberian reality to the wider world The highly enlightening event brought together Liberian artists, officials from the Foreign Ministry, resident diplomats including Ambassadors and Charge d’Affaires from the Embassies of the US, Egypt, Mali and Senegal, amongst others.

‘Behave Well Or Else’ – GSA Boss, Mary Broh, Warns GOL Vehicle Users

The General Services Agency (GSA) has warned government fleet users to stick to the rules in order to avoid any embarrassment from the agency. The Director General, Madam Mary T. Broh, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview over the weekend, that the GSA will not tolerate misbehaviour on the part of anyone using the government of Liberia’s (GOL) fleet of vehicles. She said one of the primary responsibilities of the GSA is to ensure the proper management of GOL fleet. Madam Broh has been criticized in some quarters of using a ‘hard hand’ to enforce the law since she took over as GSA Director. Some of her critics, who beg for anonymity, said the GSA boss has been chasing them to pack their vehicles after working hours. But the GSA boss has insisted that she will not bend the law. “We will not compromise our responsibility to protect GOL properties because we know that the government spends millions of the taxpayer’s money every year to acquire them,” she said, says the Observer.

Liberia Nets US$12M - African & Arab Officials Sign Dozens of Deals

As African officials and their Arab counterparts spread out in various hotel rooms in Kuwait City to put final inks on dozens of bilateral arrangements, Liberia on Monday sealed a US$12 million loan deal with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa or BADEA as part of funding towards its hydro rehabilitation project. Deputy Finance Minister for Debt and Expenditure Angela Bush-Cassell signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while BADEA Director General Abdelaziz Khelef signed on behalf of his bank. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Liberia’s Deputy Finance Minister for Debt and Expenditure Mrs. Angela Bush-Cassel said the Liberian Government was grateful to BADEA for the level of collaboration in the economic recovery of Liberia and the results achieved so far.

Accompanied by the Director of the Debt Management Unit at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Jerry Taylor and an official of the Liberian Embassy in Kuwait, Mrs. Bush-Cassel said the US$12 Million will be used toward the initiative that will provide a much affordable power to the people of Liberia. “We as a government will remain committed to the terms and conditions embodied within this loan agreement,” she said. She assured that the Liberian Government after the HIPC completion point has adopted policies such as debt management strategy for the prudent application of resources when they are borrowed. Mrs. Bush-Cassel also indicated that the government’s ability to borrow has also given it the impetus to positively transform its public financial management practices so as to open the corridors for economic growth. She thanked the bank on behalf of President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia and prayed for a continual partnership with the bank. For his part BADEA Director General Khelef was glad that his bank could play a major role in Liberia’s economic recovery process, the New Dawn newspaper reports

Irish Aid, WASH Consortium Launch Euros 1.1m Project – As Five Counties Set To Benefit

The Liberia WASH Consortium with support from Irish Aid has launched a Euros 1.1 million project targeting increase support to WASH activities in five counties. The Liberia WASH Consortium is an assembly of local and International Organizations working in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector in the country. The counties targeted by the Consortium include: rural Montserrado, Rivercess, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount and Sinoe. According to the INSIGHT newspaper, the project will also target about 50,000 persons in the five counties which are believed to be experiencing high rates of chronic malnutrition and low access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Ngafuan Meets, Kuwaiti, Qatari Foreign Ministers

As part of ongoing sideline meetings among Arab and African officials ahead of the 3rd Afro-Arab Summit, Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan has held several sideline meetings with foreign officials in Kuwait, among them the Foreign Ministers of Kuwait and Qatar. Meeting the Qatari Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid Al-Attiyah on Sunday night, Minister Ngafuan conveyed President Sirleaf's profound greetings, and thanked his counterpart for the State of Qatar's support to Liberia.  He referenced the opening of the Qatar Embassy and appointment of the first Qatari resident Ambassador to Liberia.

He also acknowledged receipt of proposed agreements from Qatar and informed that Government has reacted to the proposed Mining Agreement. Minister Ngafuan furthered informed Dr. Al-Attiyah on progress being made as it relates to the remaining agreements which are being reviewed by sector ministries, adding that official comments from the Liberian will be communicated sooner. He thanked Qatar for support to Liberian Muslims for the Pilgrimage, and requested more Qatari investment in Liberia.

For his part Qatari Foreign Minister Dr. Al-Attiyah said Liberia is on his government's strategic radar. He expressed hope that Liberia will provide feedback to proposed agreements, and added that his country is committed to send an exploratory team to Liberia to assess investment opportunities for Qatari investment.  He also promised to provide feedback on the proposed Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation framework and promised to increase support to Liberian Muslims pilgrimage, the New Dawn newspaper reports

Government Officials Get Stern Warning

The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lewis Brown, has warned that any official of government caught in human trafficking or drug trade would be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with law.  He gave the warning recently in his regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill.  Minister Brown said no one is above the law in the commission of crimes that undermine the peace of Liberia. 

He said government is about to undertake a nationwide crackdown on citizens and foreigners operating ghettoes or are involved in human trafficking, and drugs business. According to the Minister, drugs damage the minds of the youth, and even stop them from going to school and doing other things that will prepare them for the future.  He stressed that the government has a responsibility to protect the future of the country and would not sit and allow other individuals to negatively transform the thinking capacity of its citizens. 

Minister Brown’s comment followed the arrest of a senior police officer Perry Dolo, recently with huge quantity of marijuana while driving the escort jeep in President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s convoy.  He said Superintendent Dolo has been charged for illegal drug trafficking and subsequently forwarded to the Fourth Circuit Court in Grand Cape Mount County for prosecution. He applauded the joint security and the District Commissioner of Grand Cape Mount County in unearthing the illegal deal.  Dolo was allegedly transporting the drug from the border with neighboring Sierra Leone in the VIP convoy when he was reportedly arrested by Liberian joint security forces.  Minister Brown disclosed that Drugs Enforcement Agency authorities have put the street value of the marijuana confiscated at about Four Million Liberia Dollars (LD4 million) , the New Dawn newspaper reports

131 Communities To Benefit From Actionaid Program By 2017

ActionAid Liberia has launched a five-year program aimed at benefiting 131 communities across the country. The title of the program is, “People Engaging Power for Transformative Development.” ActionAid Country Director, Mrs. Korto Williams, said the program would focus on strategic objectives in implementing the five-year plan for Liberians, with primary focus being women and girls, The Daily Observer newspaper reveals.

UNMIL Graduates 31 AFL Soldiers

About thirty-one officers of the Engineering Company of the Armed Forces of Liberia or AFL have graduated from a twelve-week training in Engineer plants and Equipment at the headquarter of UNMIL Sector “B” in Suakoko, Bong County.  The training, conducted by the Bangladeshi Engineer Battalion 20, primarily focused on providing basic knowledge on the operations of Engineer Plants and Equipment.

The soldiers were divided into six groups, with each group undergoing training in operating Bulldozer, Dump Truck, Excavator, Loader, Motor Grader and Limited Scale Maintenance.  Speaking at the graduation, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the AFL, Colonel Denial Moore extended appreciation to the Bangladeshi engineering company for the training. He described the training as a great step for the AFL Soldiers, urging them to use the training for the people of Liberia. The AFL Deputy Chief of Staff noted that the graduation marked another milestone in the training of the AFL soldiers to protect the country. 

Representing the Bangladesh contingent, Lieutenant Cornel Md Asadul Islam praised the thirty-one soldiers for their time and interest in learning at the training center for twelve weeks, reaffirming UNMIL’s commitment to helping the AFL in all areas of their required training, the New Dawn newspaper reports.

Japan Breaks Ground For US$25m Power System

The Government of Japan in partnership with the Government of Liberia through the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has officially broken ground for a project for the rehabilitation of Monrovia Power System, known as the construction of 10 Mega Watt Heavy Fuel Oil Power Plant. At a well attended ceremony held yesterday at the Bushrod Island Power Station, Japanese Ambassador to Liberia and Ghana Neoto Nikai said the grant assistance has been made as a result of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s request to the Government of Japan during one of her visits last year. The Japanese Ambassador told officials of LEC and the audience that access to energy service is indispensable to national development and poverty reduction. He mentioned that energy provision has been deemed a national emergency, where affordable electricity for business and domestic use today is one of the major priorities. Speaking separately,

the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of LEC Mr. Joseph T. Mayah disclosed that the construction is expected to last for a year and has officially commenced Lands, Mines, and Energy Minister Patrick P. Sendolo lauded the Japanese Government for the support to Liberia and described the project as a true demonstration of partnership. In special remark, the Acting Chair of the Board of Directors, LEC Benedict Sannoh said the project will increase the availability of electricity in the country and he expressed the optimism that the people of Liberia will soon feel the impact of the project, The Inquirer newspaper says.

PYJ Launches New Party Soon

At long last, the spokesman of Nimba County Senior Senator, Prince      Y. Johnson, Wilfred Bangura, has disclosed plans by the Senator to launch a new political party to be called “Socio-Political Grass Root Movement”.   Bangura noted that Senator Johnson is going to officially resign from the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) upon the launch of his new political party.   He made the disclosure on Monday during a chat with the In Profile Daily at the Capitol Building in Monrovia. 

According to him, the main reason for launching the new political party is to restore the senator’s aspiration in the county.  Bangura claimed that the NUDP is being rejected by citizens of the county over the absence of Senator Johnson, adding that NUDP cannot achieve its political goal in the country because the party is being headed by “a bunch of people who lack coordination when it comes to leadership.”   He confidently assured the county’s citizens that the new political party will “beat any existing political party in the county” when it is launched.  The people of Nimba County, he opined, believe in Senator Johnson because he is a direct representation of the county.

“Nobody can stand the political weight of Senator Johnson in the entire county,” Bangura added.   The plans for the launch of a new political party by Senator Prince Johnson did not come about on a silver platter; rather it followed series of difficult political uphill battles with some resulting into his expulsion from his previous political party; the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP), In profile Dailyreports.

CRC Consults Political Parties

The Constitution Review Committee (CRC) has ended a three-day consultative forum with political parties in the country.  The forum took place in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County following the CRC’s recent civil society organizations (CSOs) seminar for the vetting of CSOs qualified to carry out civic education for the CRC.  The CRC’s Political Parties Consultation, according to the CRC’s chair, Gloria Musu Scott, was intended to raise the expressions, deliberations and views of the political parties on the review process of the constitution.
Cllr. Scott said the CRC, in its task, has determined that political parties are collectively one of the critical role players in the governance of Liberia and consequently implementers of the Liberian Constitution.

She said the constitution review process presents an opportunity for political parties to consider and perform their role as technicians in the political setting which produces leadership and direction for the nation, challenging that the seriousness and wisdom they put into the review process will reflect their responsibility and capacity to lead and give direction to “this broken nation.”  The CRC chair indicated that the review process, after several rounds of war, violence, and chaos, brings a sober realization that the nation is at a crossroad. “Our country needs, irrespective of administration, a fundamental legal framework that will direct us away from our ugly past; and armed with the lessons from our past, we will push forward to the future,” she added.   conference”, In profile Daily newspaper writes.

Motorcyclists Must Be Attired By Dec. 15 -LNP Warns

The In Profile Daily newspaper says in addition to the restriction on motorcycles, Liberia National Police (LNP) warns that byDecember 15, 2013, motorcyclists including private, commercial, business and non-governmental, must be well attired with helmets, reflective jackets, shoes and other protective gears before running.  

However, LNP’s spokesman Sam Collins told reporters on Monday that the restriction banning motorcyclists from the main streets remains in place.  “By December 15, motorcyclists will not be allowed to run where they are presently running without helmets, reflective jackets or without wearing the necessary equipment as requested by the LNP,” Collins said.  He was quick to note that the policy was not intended to put a certain group of people out of work, ‘but to protect a particular generation that was dying every day at a result of motorcycle accidents’.  Collins explained that government will not back off from its policy because also addresses issue of criminal activities by motorcyclists.

He revealed that the LNP received reports of 1,000 motorcycle accident cases for the month of October; and that since the restriction only three cases have been received. “The results clearly mean that the government is intended to save lives,” Collins intoned.  As part of efforts of deterrence, Collin said any motorcyclist violating the rules to result in an accident would repair the owner’s vehicle or any materials damaged.   The LNP spokesman used the occasion to warn private motorcycles’ owners to wear safety helmets and reflective jackets and should not transport passengers.  Collins said a statistics shows that there are about 35,000 bikes in Liberia and only 7,000 have registered. Against this backdrop, Collins warned bikes’ owners to register their bikes before running-be it private, non-governmental, business or commercial.

Liberia Rated ‘A Priority Country – Says UNESCO Director General

The In profile Daily newspaper reveals that the Director General of UNISCO Irina Bokova said UNESCO considers Liberia a priority country in all of its programs and activities. She noted that Liberia’s activities in the UN body formation and current support is overwhelming. Ms. Bokova said UNESCO will make sure that it mobilizes resources, both human and materials to support Liberia in its post conflict recover process.