14 01 20

first_imgThe  Task Force on Encroachments, Beachfronts, Waterways and Wetlands, established by Executive Order #68 has held its first meeting and has resolved to conduct reconnaissance and Fact-finding Missions within the environs of Monrovia as a start-up to the execution of its mandate. The objective of the mission is to identify and assess all areas that are negatively impacting Beachfronts, Waterways and Wetlands. The reconnaissance mission, who will be conducted in phases, is to gather information that would lead to establishing priority areas for appropriate actions by Government.The Task Force on Encroachments, Beachfronts, Waterways and Wetlands was established by Government realizing the extreme damaging effects that encroachment on beachfronts, waterways and wetlands poses to the environment and the life of residents and citizens. The numerous unsanitary encroachments and unwarranted uses of waterways and wetlands continue to increase environmental degradation in Liberia, which is of serious concern to Government. The Executive Order authorizes the Task Force to develop interim, immediate to long term policy and regulatory guidelines/regimes needed for the management of wetlands, beach and river fronts.The Task Force will among other things develop and support the implementation of programs to sensitize and raise awareness for all residents about the economic potentials and environmental implicationsTherefore, all local authorities including Township Commissioners are requested to cooperate with members of the technical team to enhance their work.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgA 15-year deal on the ratification of the extended and restated Agency Agreement between the Liberian government and the Liberia International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR, LLC) has been approved by the House of Representatives and sent to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.The lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the bill yesterday.The ratification and extension was amended owing to a communication from House Chairman on the Maritime Committee, Rep. Thomas Fallah, who is also the Chairman of the House Joint Committee on Maritime, Ways, Means and Finance and Judiciary, arguing that the agreement offers future improvement of services for the purpose of enhancing the viability and profits of the Liberian Maritime industry.In his communication to Speaker Tyler and his colleagues in defense of the passage of the bill, Rep. Fallah gave five prime benefits of the Agreement, including the provision of an enabling business environment for Liberia Maritime Sector and the relief of government’s revenue spending on rental for far more productive development programs in other areas of the postwar reconstruction process.Another benefit of the agreement is the creation of considerable stimuli for Liberia’s overall socio-economic development, considering the current status and the multiple effects of Maritime activities within a short period of time.“The Extended and Restated Agency agreement will also seek to produce a pool of qualified manpower through the regular training program of the Academy (LIMTI) with a vested interest in preserving the efficiency and proficiency of government as masters and agents of their own maritime industry,” Rep. Fallah advocated.He added: “the agreement when implemented would seek to strengthen partnerships with some of the world renowned shipping registries if Liberia’s maritime industry is capable of sustaining itself and expanding in some activities of our maritime industry.”The House approved the LISCR deal from 2014 – 2029, with the country gaining 67% of the net program revenues, while LISCR gets 33%.It may be recalled that last Friday during the LISCR-Liberia Public Hearing on the extended and restated Agency Agreement, Cllr. David Jallah, the General Counsel and Vice President of the University of Liberia, said the proposed 33 per cent of the net program revenues for LISCR should be reduced considering the fact that the Agent (LISCR) almost exclusively manages the affairs of the program.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgIn order to impart good character in children, a prominent resident of the S.D. Cooper Road community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, has urged BRAC-Liberia, a non-governmental organization, to teach adolescent girls moral and civil behavior.Mr. Moses Labeli said that if parents are not willing to spend time with their children they are likely to turn to peers who may or may not be interested in behaving in a morally acceptable manner.He made this statement recently in Monrovia during a program showcasing the talents of adolescent girls and what they have learned from one of BRAC’s programs, Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA).About a hundred adolescent girls from the four communities of Logan Town, West Point, ELBC and S.D. Cooper Road in Montserrado County participated in the daylong program. The program was held under the theme, “Investment in Realizing the Power of Girls Upholds Their Rights Today and Share Equitable and Prosperous Future.’’ “In as much as your goal is to empower adolescent girls in our country and improve their talents in society, we would like for you to include moral and civil education in one of your programs,’’ Mr. Labeli suggested to BRAC.He noted that there are many disrespectful young people in Liberia and most of them do not even respect their parents, teachers and leaders, and as such “we need programs that will change them,” said Labeli.He encouraged the girls to use the opportunities given to them by BRAC Liberia to promote good moral values and put what they have learned into practice.Earlier, Anita Anzoyo, Program Director for ELA, said the program is designed to empower adolescent girls by providing a safe social space, livelihood training, life‐skills training and community support in adolescent development.Ms. Anzoyo said the ELA program is part of the organization’s initiative to explore the talents of adolescent girls in countries where BRAC operates.She used the occasion to remind participants that if they failed to incorporate moral, social and other values into their lives, their future will be bleak and elusive.ELA was launched in Liberia in 2014 in two counties Montserrado and Margibi Counties with an initial goal of reaching 15 girls’ clubs. It is funded by BRAC USA for the initial phase.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgAuthorities at the Ministry of National Defense have begun seeking assistance from their U.S. mentors as the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) prepares to depart. While expressing appreciation to members of Operation Onwards Liberty (OOL) and the Michigan National Guard for their “great roles continually being played in the remaking of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL)”, Acting Defense Minister, Joseph Johnson is at the same time, seeking for assistance to build the AFL’s  capacity. “Operation Onward Liberty,” which began January 1, 2010, is a U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense initiative designed to continue the United States’ support to the Government of Liberia and its ongoing efforts to transform its military. It is a five-year commitment of continued support and partnership with mentors cycling through on six-month temporary duty assignments and some service members electing to do year-long assignments.OOL is also a U.S. military-led team which mentors and advises the AFL to develop a national military that is responsible, operationally capable, respectful of civilian authority and the rule of law, and is a force for good among Liberians.Its goal is to assist the AFL in building a professional and capable military force that can effectively provide and contribute to the overall security environment in Liberia. With that in mind, Mr. Johnson recalled how before, during and after the Ebola pandemic, the personnel of the U.S. Army were involved in so many ways with the fight to contain the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).  The Acting Minister who is Deputy Minister for Administration expressed gratitude for all the training received by personnel of the Ministry of Defense and the AFL over the years from their U.S. partners. “I hope that those training opportunities can be localized and look forward to more unified interactions between the Michigan National Guard and the AFL,” the Acting Minister reiterated.He also thanked the OOL for its pre-deployment training given Liberian troops deployed as part of MINUSMA, in the West African State of Mali.Besides, Minister Johnson appealed for capability enhancement of the Liberia Coast Guard (LCG) to deter and prohibit illegal activities along the country’s coastal waters.He further appealed for logistical support aimed at upgrading the Engineering Company of the AFL to at least a battalion size to robustly participate in civil-related operations around the country. Minister Johnson made the statement on Wednesday May 13 when a six-member U.S. delegation headed by Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard, Maj/Gen. Greg Vadnais, paid the Acting Defense Minister a courtesy visit at his Barclay Training Center (BTC) office in Monrovia.Maj/Gen. Vadnais expressed gratitude to Liberians for the support rendered to U.S. troops that were involved with the fight that kicked Ebola transmission out of the country.“Future areas of emphasis will be in civil military relations which are important for collaboration between the civilian population and the AFL,” Maj/Gen. Vadnais assured.He reaffirmed the Michigan National Guard’s commitment to continue its partnership with the AFL. “The national intention of this partnership is to see enduring peace in Liberia,” he emphasized.During the courtesy visit, Maj/Gen. Vadnais was presented a Distinguished Service Medal awarded him for his service to the AFL through the Michigan National Guard during the February 11, 2015 Armed Forces Day celebration.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgThe Minister of Lands, Mines & Energy, Patrick Sendolo, has been summoned to appear before the 73-member plenary of the House of Representatives to explain why the degradation of D. Twe High School by coastal erosion is still unaddressed.At plenary, House Speaker J. Alex Tyler Sr., who was absent for two days, instructed Chief Clerk Mildred Sayon to invite Min. Sendolo to appear between now and Tuesday, June 7, in the House Chambers at 11 a.m.The request for the appearance of Minister Sendolo was prompted by a letter from Lofa County District # 1 Rep. Eugene Fallah Kparkar, which indicated that public and private assets like D. Twe High School, along with others, are in ruins because of coastal erosion, despite the passage of the Coastal Defense Act.“I wish to extend sincere compliments and bring to your attention the problem of our coastlines. Critically working at our coast lines, major assets of our dear country are being affected and the ocean waters continue to take over the land,” Rep. Kparkar said.“Several counties are affected as a result of coastal degradation. In fact, it was against this backdrop that the National Legislature passed the Coastal Defense Act. Understandably, this is a unit at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy which is responsible for that; but quite astonishingly, some major public and private assets, such as the D. Twe High School and many others, are likely to be ruined.”It may be recalled that Deputy Education Minister for Administration, Aagon F. Tingba, who toured several school buildings in Montserrado County, told this newspaper that the D. Twe High School problem is part of the current rehabilitation efforts of the MOE.“When a portion of the fence fell few months ago,” Minister Tingba said, “I went along with the Minister of Education to do firsthand assessment of the situation.”Back then, he said that a contractor had been engaged by the MOE, under the Quick Impact Project, to take care of the situation. However, reports from New Kru Town indicated otherwise, as neighbors told the Daily Observer that a portion in the D. Twe fence, directly behind the school, is used by some people in the community to respond to nature’s call.“There is human waste behind the school where the school’s toilet building is located,” a resident said. “The stench can kill you.”D. Twe High School was built in the 1970s during the regime of President William R. Tolbert and named in honor of legendary Kru politician, D. Twe. The school is one of the public schools being run by the Monrovia Consolidated School System (MCSS). Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgSenate President Pro-Tempore, Armah Jallah, has described as misrepresentation of the truth, accusations reportedly coming from Senators Daniel Naatehn of Gbarpolu County and Thomas Grupee of Nimba County.The two senators have accused Pro Temp Jallah of refusing to place on the Senate agenda several legislative instruments including findings of confirmation hearings, and two letters for the establishment of magistrate courts in Belle Baloma in Belle District and another in Gungbeta in Bokomu, and the elevation of a public school, all in Gbarpolu County.The accusations contained in the March 10 edition of the Focus Newspaper quoted Senator Naatehn, who co-chairs the committee on Executive as further stating that his kinsman and Catholic brother Jallah needs to prioritize the interest of Gbarpolu citizens who brought him to prominence. Senator Grupee declared that some Senators are noted for expressing serious opposition to presidential nominees who are not in their political interest. But Pro Temp Jallah in his response denied ever granting an interview to the newspaper, adding “I will never make such derogatory and inflammatory statement about people I love and care for.” He said there have been no consensus confirmation reports that he has not approved for the Senate Plenary action.Jallah pointed out that citizens of Gbarpolu very well know “who I am and what my contributions have been over the years to the county. I am in good relationship with my kinsmen.” This he said was interpreted by their votes he received when he overwhelmingly emerged victorious in the 2011 Senatorial election.On the issue of Magisterial Courts, the Pro-temp, who chairs the Gbarpolu County Legislative Caucus, pointed out that he has already submitted for enactment into law, three Bills to establish the Henry Town Magisterial Court to cover areas commencing at Henry Town bordering Bopolu City, Gbeleta and Borlorta.Other areas include the Bills to establish the Moilarquelleh Magisterial Court to cover areas commencing at Bellekpamu and Gungbaeta and comprising Moilarquelleh bordering Salayah, Balley and Dorkorta; and Belle Fassama Magisterial Court to cover all towns in Belle Fassama and those surrounding villages as well as concurrent jurisdiction with Bopolu Magisterial Court.On the question of the Multilateral School in Gbarma, Senator Jallah clarified that the government already has a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program in Gbarpolu, for which he and the former Senator, Theodore Momo, secured some funding.He said the TVET program as it is, needs the Legislature to allocate additional funds to support it, adding, “Senator Naatehn is aware of my efforts concerning all the magisterial courts and the TVET program and all he needs to do is to support my effort for the good of the county.”In another development, Pro-Temp Jallah has asked the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to conduct the relevant research that will catalogue all presidential nominees under the MIA and halt payroll entitlement to those pending Senate confirmation. Senator Jallah observed that presidential nominees under the MIA, who have not been confirmed by the Senate, are executing the duties and responsibilities of the respective positions they have been nominated to and are on government payroll and receiving monthly salaries; a practice that is against government regulations for presidential nominees that are subject to Senate confirmation.Pro-tem Jallah has also requested the MIA to probe the issue of some local chiefs, who were redundant and their salaries placed in escrow and submit a comprehensive report on that account.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgThe contestant from Nimba County, Wokie Dolo, has emerged as winner of the nation’s most glamorous and prestigious beauty pageant, Miss Liberia. According to the judges, she outperformed her fellow competitors with her poise, confidence and intelligence.Dolo, managed to steal the show with her traditional warrior outfit, which served her well in her quest for the title. However, the first and second runners-up, Tina F. Nyunkor and Goretti L. Itoka from Lofa and Maryland Counties respectively, were the only contestants that seriously challenged Wokie for the title.In a brief interview with the Daily Observer’s LIB Life, the newly crowned Miss Liberia 2016/2017 said she was not surprised when she was announced the winner, “I was just speechless.”“Sincerely speaking, I had the confidence that I was going to win this year’s Miss Liberia judging from my previous experiences participating in other pageants.” In 2012, Dolo also captured the crown of her alma mater, Cuttington University. “However, the first few minutes before I was called to give my speech, I was completely out of words. It sounds funny, but it’s true. Winning Miss Liberia is an honor which puts me in the right position to serve my country,” she said.Meanwhile, finishing fourth in the competition, Alfreda Toomey from Grand Bassa, who was given the People’s Choice award, walked away with a cash prize of over US$2,000. As the winner of the 23rd edition of Miss Liberia, held under the theme: “Beautiful Mind, Everything Liberia,” Dolo came away with a brand new car (a Renault), a cash prize and other fabulous rewards.This year’s event was held at Destiny Entertainment Center, and featured 10 contestants.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgFalama Incorporated, a food processing company that produces food products from organically grown crops, is to open its first organic food minimart in Congo Town on Saturday.Falama’s founder and CEO, Angie Howard, said the minimart will offer a variety of processed products that are totally grown organically not only by Falama but products made by other processors around the country. The minimart which will open to the public on Saturday, is a venture resulting from the supportive efforts of sponsors and partners that include ZOA organization and Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), among others, Howard intimated.Several government officials from the ministries of Agriculture, Commerce and the National Investment Commission are expected to attend the opening of the minimart.The ChallengeDespite government and private sector collaboration to improve the local agriculture sector, bad roads connecting farms to markets, limited vegetable crop storage facilities, poor agriculture market structures and poor extension services are factors overshadowing government and partner’s efforts in the country’s agriculture sector. However, over the years, the government and its partners have been working on amending agricultural policy, constructing rice storage and agro-processing facilities and providing farmers with loan schemes to upgrade their activities in the country.The opening of an organic minimart could trigger the rise of many agricultural stores around the country. It could also be another jobs generating enterprise providing suitable markets for local farmers to sell their produce. Moreover, the organic food minimart could be a precursor of organic farming practices since it will only process organically grown crops.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgU.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous has said he expects operations in Haiti, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia to end by March 2018, which will save hundreds of millions of dollars.He told a farewell news conference on Friday that a major U.N. review of the 16 peacekeeping missions — which cost nearly $8 billion a year — is currently underway, ordered by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who took office on Jan. 1.The Trump administration, which is seeking to cut payments to the United Nations including over 28 percent for peacekeeping, is conducting its own review. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has said reform of the far-flung operations is a top priority.Ladsous said the goal in Haiti is to have the more than 2,300 troops back home by October. The budget for the Haiti mission from July 2016 through June 2017 is about $346 million. Ladsous said the Security Council may decide to have a much smaller mission focusing on police.The peacekeeping chief said all military members of the Ivorian mission have already left and the remaining civilians and police will be gone by June. That mission has a budget of $153 million for the same period.Ladsous said he thinks the Liberian mission — whose latest annual budget was about $187 million — should be closed down by March 2018, following elections scheduled in October. A final decision is up to the Security Council.The council is currently discussing whether to cut the Congo mission, which has about 22,400 people, including nearly 17,000 troops and over 1,350 police, and is the biggest and costliest with a budget of $1.2 billion.Ladsous stressed that council members should take into account that this is a key year in Congo with “very important elections in a very delicate context” scheduled by December, and renewed security tensions not only in the volatile east “but also in new areas like the Kasais.”He said the U.N. and the African Union are conducting a review of their joint mission in Sudan’s western Darfur region, one of the costliest for the United Nations with an annual budget of over $1 billion and more than 13,600 troops.Ladsous said the current mission, known as UNAMID, “has nothing to do” with the situation 10 years ago when the mission was established and government-allied janjaweed militias were carrying out “mass extermination of civilians.”“Overall the situation in Darfur, while not perfect, is certainly nothing compared to what it used to be,” he said. “So we have to see whether we need to retain all these people, whether we adjust.” He noted the Sudanese government’s long-standing request for an exit for UNAMID.Ladsous, who is stepping down on March 31 after six years as undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, just returned from South Sudan where the U.N. has an almost 12,000-strong peacekeeping mission, which costs nearly $1.1 billion annually. He said the U.N. “has been moving heaven and earth” to deploy an additional 4,000 peacekeepers from the region to help protect civilians caught in fighting.Ladsous said “the vanguard elements” of the regional force will likely be deploying between the end of April and the first week in May including a company of Rwandan troops and helicopters and units from Bangladesh and Nepal.Looking back at how peacekeeping has changed, Ladsous said 25 years ago peacekeepers were respected but nowadays “we are kidnapped, we are shot at, we are bombed” and targeted by explosive devices.In part, he said, this is a result of rebel groups and fighters who don’t feel bound by international law and the laws of war and “just pursue their agenda regardless.” But Ladsous said it’s also true that some governments don’t abide by their commitments and that’s why “I keep saying the Security Council should take a serious view of this and act accordingly.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

14 01 20

first_imgDear Editor,Please permit me space in your popular newspaper to express my views on issues of national concern.My first concern has to do with people that continue to refer to those who redeemed Liberians from a tyrannical government led by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, and turned politician as ‘WARLORDS.’ Why refer to the freedom fighters and our redeemers as warlords?I am quite sure that these people do not know the difference between redeemers and warlords; and so, let me educate them a bit.Can anyone tell me why President William R. Tolbert, then sitting President and Chairman of OAU (now AU), was killed and overthrown? What was the tangible reason given by the coup makers led by the late Doe, then Master Sergeant of the disbanded Armed Forces of Liberia at the time?Well, the late President Tolbert was killed and overthrown according to the People’s Redemption Council (PRC), because of rampant corruption. A charge President Tolbert and 13 of his officials were executed for.The question is, was Tolbert really corrupt? If the answer is yes, was he the only corrupt government official, and also the 13 officials of his regime? Where were the country’s rights activists, who now use the word WARLORDS to describe our redeemers when a sitting president was killed?It is my belief that President Tolbert was killed and overthrown because he was the head of a corrupt party, the True Whig Party (TWP). That is my belief.The silence of the so-called “BIG POWERS” and the activists indicates that they were in agreement with the coup makers when a sitting president was killed. This meant that they approved and welcomed the mayhem in the wake of the coup.Now when President Doe, a native Liberian, came to power through violence, corruption became the order of the day, coupled with secret killings of his own native folks.I was then a commissioned military officer (captain), who witnessed many secret killings. Major Perry Biaplu; Captain Arthur Quiah; 1/Lt. Nyan Zarwolo; and M/Sgt. Mohammed Sirleaf were all secretly executed by President Doe’s death squad leader, Colonel Alfred Manyea.Where were the rights activists? Where were the activists when 13 enlisted men of the army were falsely accused of a coup plot and secretly executed? Among those killed were: Staff/Sergeant Lee Jessy; Pvt. Kalokalea Duo; John Moore; and Robert Kessely.I am sure that the activists were not born when Maj./Gen. Thomas Weh Sehn, Harry Johnson, Nelson Toe and others, all PRC members, were secretly executed, while still undergoing court trials.I again ask: where were the activists?To those so-called activists, it was the rampant secret executions that prompted the revolution, which was started by comrade, General Thomas G. Quiwonkpah ( the late) in 1985, when he entered Liberia on November 12, 1985, along with comrade Major Joseph Biah (late) and others to rescue the country from Doe’s brutal regime.Just as the US commandos went on a rescue mission to rescue their citizens from Iran and the mission failed when their plane crashed, the same happened on November 12, 1985 when Gen. Quiwonkpah came to rescue Liberians, and the mission failed. And so there is nothing called Quiwonkpah’s invasion, rather General Quiwonkpah’s failed rescue mission, ok?Where were the rights groups when people who did not know anything about General Quiwonkpah’s rescue mission were hunted and secretly killed in their numbers? Those that are bragging and boldly talking and enjoying a fine time today were all in exile monitoring all that was taking place back home. I say, shame on them!Because of the rampant secret killings coupled with marginalization and nepotism, the country’s redeemers and their financiers that were brave and remained on the ground decided to come to the citizens’ rescue, while the so-called rights activists were eating their Uncle Ben’s rice elsewhere. Now they are here dictating to the voters as to whom they should vote for. What a shame!The rights activists, having run away from the repressive and suppressive regimes, have returned after the country’s redeemers and their financiers had rescued the nation; and they have nothing to offer, except to refer to our former freedom fighters and redeemers as WARLORDS. I say, they are redeemers and not warlords!Let the activists give Liberians the chance to choose anyone of their choice and not be dictated to. It’s up to any individual to vote for either someone who ran away from the secret killing, repressive and suppressive regime, or for a redeemer who rescued him/her.We are not fools here in our own country. We know who rescued Liberians and who all ran away from the secret killings-regime and left us in danger.To conclude, let me proudly tell those rights activists that the financiers of our war and those that staged the war to quench the secret killings in our country are called Redeemers, not Warlords.Hence, let the voters decide who to vote for in October.Those that prefer to vote for people that ran away from the secret killings and a repressive regime, that is their choice; and those that prefer to vote for the people that stood by them and redeemed them, that is also their choice.Long live the Redeemers!AFL Retired Colonel J. Zoyakhkernah DuoCell: 0888199894/0777709044Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more