Archive for Liberia
Lawmakers in Liberia are outraged by strongly worded comments from the U.S. ambassador, who complained about sexist actions by the legislature over a wild political scandal involving the corruption-fighting female former acting mayor of the capital. Members of the House of Representatives accused Ambassador Deborah R. Malac of insulting the lower chamber of the Liberian legislature and interfering with domestic issues over the explosive dismissal of Acting Monrovia Mayor Mary Broh. Ms. Malac last week strongly defended Ms. Broh, calling her an “effective and tireless agent of change” for Liberia and a “strong partner” for the United States. The ambassador added her concern that the “recent political atmosphere has given rise to unprovoked verbal and physical assaults on women.”
The failure of the Chinese ambassador and his staff to intervene in the seizure of goods from Chinese merchants in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, prompted dozens of Chinese to stage a protest at the embassy. The Chinese said they were besieging their Embassy in protest of what they called the “continuous delay by the Ambassador and other officials at the Chinese embassy” in Congo Town, Monrovia, to respond to complaints of alleged harassment of Chinese by authorities of the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC).” The Chinese who were in their numbers sat on the mats at the main gate of the Chinese embassy, preventing anyone from leaving or entering the consulate. Officials at the PCC and the embassy could not be reached for comments despite concerted efforts.
The Liberians Association in France has threatened lawsuit against Liberia’s Ambassador to Paris Dudley McKinley Thomas for allegedly brutalizing one of his employees at the Mission. Isaac Yeah, one of the press officers at the Mission in France, who was here, could not denied nor confirmed the incident, saying he was not aware of what had happened. Earlier, Assistant Foreign Minister for Public Affairs, Horatio Bobby Willie, who was contacted on the issue, referred this paper to Isaac Yeah, who works at the Liberian Embassy in Paris. However, medical report available to this paper indicates that Parjiloh was allegedly beaten, sustaining injuries and is said to be using artificial (false) teeth as a result of the incident. The Association’s Secretary General, Randy Jones disclosed that McKinley allegedly flogged his butler, Richard Parjloh and broke two of his teeth after accusing him of stealing his (Thomas’) money, which was later discovered to have been left in Belgium by the Ambassador himself.
The U.S. ambassador to Liberia said she was surprised to learn that gay rights are an issue in the West African nation, where homosexuality is illegal and lawmakers are considering tougher penalties for same-sex relationships. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who is ending her tour in Monrovia after more than three years, repeated U.S. policy toward homosexuals as she gave farewell interviews to reporters last week. “I support the issue of human rights for every person regardless of their orientation, their race or nationality,” she said. “I strongly believe that gay rights are human rights. “I was surprised to hear that this is an issue in Liberia,” Mrs. Thomas-Greenfield, a career diplomat, told the Daily Observer newspaper. The ambassador insisted that U.S. aid to Liberia is not connected to Liberia’s position on gay rights. Washington provides Liberia about $200 million a year in aid, she said. The Liberian Senate is considering a bill to declare same-sex marriage illegal and homosexual acts a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Current law treats homosexual acts as a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail.
France’s ambassador to Liberia is struggling to clear his name in a sex scandal involving street girls. The diplomat has, through Press statement, asked the Liberian Foreign ministry to take “necessary actions” against journalists he accused of publishing “false and misleading information” about him, regarding his alleged involvement in a sex scandal that could cause a rift between Monrovia and Paris. The ambassador is accused of sexually enslaving two Liberian girls whom he met at a popular local entertainment centre called ‘Red Lion’ in Monrovia. A few of Monrovia’s dailies on Monday and Tuesday reported that the two Liberian girls had alleged that the ambassador had hired them for $400 but failed to pay the full amount after an advance of $100. “As a diplomat representing another country, this is damaging to my private life and my work as ambassador,” the ambassador said at a press conference in Monrovia on Wednesday. Prostitution is illegal in the West African country.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf opened the new Embassy of the Republic of Liberia near Kuwait City, heralding the start of a strengthened bilateral relationship between the State of Kuwait and Liberia. In remarks made at the opening ceremony, the President said she was pleased that the relationship had been “reactivated,” and that the two countries could now “begin to rebuild upon that historic and important relationship,” and together promote the development of Africa and strong partnership and relationship between the Arab States and the African continent.
The Swedish government said it would close six Swedish embassies, including five in Europe, this year and open 10 new embassies. Embassies facing closure were based in European Union members Bulgaria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Slovenia. “Within the framework of the close cooperation that exists between the EU member states, there is scope for developing new forms for maintaining bilateral contacts in future,” Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said. Meanwhile, Sweden is to upgrade its missions in Albania, Kosovo, Georgia and Moldova to embassies. The sixth embassy to be closed was in Dakar, Senegal, while section offices were to be upgraded in Senegal’s West African neighbours Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mali as well as Rwanda, Bolivia and Cambodia.