Politics

Police, armed robbers exchange fire

Police say they have exchanged fire with three armed robbers in Brewerville, Montserrado County, following a tip off from a family of being attacked by armed robbers.


Police Zone Six Chief Superintendent Blama Yancy told this paper on Thursday, 12 October that he received a call from one of the residents of Brewerville, reporting to have been attacked by some armed robbers.

Before police responded to scene of the attack, Mr. Yancy says the suspect had already fled. But he says his men managed to trace the suspects by following their mark of their car tires and finally encountered the suspects at Iron Gate.

Mr. yancy says in the process of tracing the suspects, he had made a call instructing officers to close all check points along the route to Brewerville, denying the suspects of further escaping.

He says when the robbers could not make their way through Iron Gate, they started shooting at police officers. Mr. Yancy says the police had no option but to return fire at the armed robbers, wounding two of them.

Sup. Yancy says the wounded robbers were about to be taken to Redemption Hospital for treatment, following which they will be sent to court.

He claims that the robbers have admitted to their involvement in attacking the residents of Brewerville, and also took blame for other recent incidents in District #17.

Police say they retrieved all arms and ammunitions used by the suspects. Speaking to this paper, one of the robbery victims Mrs. Rholda G. Kemoh said when she came from the bathroom she saw three men in her room, asking her for money.

Upon telling them that she did not have money, the victim said the robbers tied her husband and threatened to kill him if she did not give them money.

To avoid her husband being harmed by the suspects, Mrs. Kemoh says she took the money that her husband gave her for her son’s school fees and the one also intended to be used upon giving birth.

Upon giving them the money, she says they took her to her bathroom, cover her and and absconded the scene before police arrived there.

The robbers claimed that they are engaged in the act due to hardship here.

By Bridgett Milton--Edited by Winston W. Parley

ALPO urges Liberians to wait for official poll results

Supporters of political parties in the country are being urged not to take to the streets but to patiently wait on the official poll results from the National Elections Commission (NEC). The Association of Liberian Professionals (ALPO) made the appeal in a statement dated 12 October and signed by its National Secretary-General Mr. Mark Collins Gibson.


ALPO, which is the umbrella organization of Liberian Professionals, wants parties’ supporters to remain calm and patiently wait for the official election results by the Chairman of NEC, Cllr. Jerome Korkoya to avoid confusion in the country.

ALPO says the call comes in the wake of similar situation that occurred during the 1985 general and presidential elections when the opposition Liberia Action Party (LAP) pronounced that it won the election but was cheated by former President Samuel K. Doe.

The document maintained that as a result of the LAP pronouncement, its supporters took to the streets claiming victory over the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL). But ALPO says on the contrary, the NDPL of the late President Doe was officially declared as the winner of the election.

According to the organization, several persons sustained injuries when aggrieved supporters of LAP battled government security officers who attempted dispersing them from the streets.

The statement says the situation led to the arrest, intimidation and detention of some opposition candidates and their supporters reportedly charged with treason and inciting election violence.

The statement also urges supporters of political parties to desist from attacking their colleagues in the absence of the election results by the NEC which has the authority to pronounce results of the 2017 poll.

The organization calls on all stakeholders to put pressure on political parties leaders to stick to the Farmington Declaration which bind all political actors to ensure a peaceful and violence free election in Liberia.

By Emmanuel Mondaye

By Emmanuel Mondaye--Edited by Winston W. Parley

New AfDB Country Director presents credence

The new country director of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has assured that during his tour of duty here, he will exert all efforts in strengthening the relationship between the bank and the Liberian Government, “making it deeper and stronger”.

“The bank is in the middle of developing a new strategy for Liberia – a business plan. I’ve heard your kind guidance and direction. I will be listening to you and your colleagues during my tenure to tailor out interventions, specifically to address issues that are very important to this country,” Dr. Orison Mawumenyo Amu said.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, Dr. Amu was speaking at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he presented his Letters of Accreditation to Foreign Minister, Madam Marjon Kamara on Thursday, October 12, 2017. He replaces Ms. Margaret Kilo who ended her tour of duty here recently.

He stressed that Liberia played a pivotal role in the establishment of the ADB; as such, the country is dear to the bank and it will continue to enjoy very strong relations. The new AfDB country manager said he was looking forward to working with the Government to move the country’s development agenda forward.

Dr. Amu extended best wishes to the Government and people of Liberia on behalf of the president of the AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, especially during these historic elections. He said he was delighted to be in the country to observe; particularly glad that the first round passed off peacefully. “As we go towards the run-off, it is my wish that everything will go on successfully,” he urged.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Kamara welcomed Dr. Amu to Liberia, and said Government was pleased at his selection based on the confidence reposed in him by the AfDB president, Dr. Adesina.

She stressed the excellent relations Liberia has with the bank and hoped that during his tenure, he will strengthen the already good relationship. “You have come at a time that Liberia has forged a very close relationship with the bank and especially with your predecessor, Ms. Margaret Kilo.”

Minister Kamara stressed that Ms. Kilo worked in a consultative manner and brought the bank’s support in many of government’s development priority areas. She hoped that with his wealth of experience, he will continue to support those ongoing projects sponsored by the bank.

She wished him a pleasant and fulfilling assignment in Liberia and assured him that if anything that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can do to make his work easier, he should feel free to contact the Ministry.

Dr. Amu, a Ghanaian, obtained a PhD, in Economics from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom (2006 - 2013). Before then, he earned a MA, in Economics from the University of Ghana (1998 – 2000); and a BSc. (Hons.), in Chemical Engineering from the University of Science and Technology, Ghana (1985 – 1989).

At the AfDB, he did additional professional courses including: Leadership and Management Development Programme – AfDB/Cranfield School of Management (2010); and Macroeconomic Modelling for Climate Planning – Institute of International Education, Boston, U.S.A. (2000).

Before his appointment, he served as AfDB Chief Investment Officer – Private Sector Department from 2015; before then, he served as Chief Regional Program Officer – Eastern Africa Resource Center (2012 – 2015), among other positions.

CDC driver, two candidates under investigation

Police say they are investigating a driver operating opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) vehicle that allegedly killed a victim accidentally in Bomi County and two opposition representative candidates including Mr. Emmanuel Barnes of Montserrado District #14 and Coalition for Liberia Progress (CLP) in Nimba for acts amounting to electoral violence.

Police Spokesman Sam Collins told journalists on Thursday, 12 October that on the day of election, police recorded an accident in Bomi involving a CDC vehicle that resulted into the death of an unnamed victim.

Mr. Collins could not name the vehicle operator, though he says police have been speaking with the operator.

He said on the day of the election, LP candidate Emmanuel Barnes was apprehended for disorderly conduct over claims of actions that amounted to electoral violence.

Mr. Collins says the suspect was taken to the police headquarters where statement were extracted from him. He was held on allegation of disorderly conduct, according to Mr. Collins, adding that police are continuing their investigation.

He adds that the accused was signed for by LP youth chairman and was due to be brought forth on Wednesday for the continuation of an ongoing investigation.

Additionally, Mr. Collins says another representative candidate fromthe opposition Coalition for Liberia Progress (CLP) in Nimba is being investigated in connection to an alleged electoral violation. He says on the overall, the electoral process went very well.

Ellen congratulates Kingdom of Spain on National Day

President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf has sent a message of congratulations to the King of Spain, His Majesty Felipe VI, on the occasion marking their National Day on Thursday, 12 October.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs release issued Thursday, 12 October says National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España) or Hispanic Day (Día de la Hispanidad) is celebrated as an annual national public holiday in Spain on October 12.

It commemorates when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492.

The anniversary of Columbus' landing in the New World on October 12, 1492, is widely celebrated throughout the Americas. It is known as Columbus Day in the United States and as Dia de la Raza in various Latin American countries.

Celebration of the anniversary in Spain dates to 1935, when the first festival was held in Madrid. The day was known asDia de la Hispanidad, emphasizing Spain's connection to the Hispandad, the international Hispanic community.

On November 27, 1981, a royal decree established Día de la Hispanidad as a national holiday.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, President Sirleaf, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia and in her own name, extended cordial congratulations to King Felipe VI and the people of Spain.

“I note the significant progress that our two countries have made over the past decades within the context of our bilateral ties which continue to build momentum in our political, economic and cultural relations,” the Liberian leader said.

She anticipates that this collaboration will continue to positively impact the bond of friendship subsisting between both countries noting, “As we endeavor together to contribute to the attainment of global peace and security, may I assure you of Liberia’s fullest commitment and our intention to support international efforts in fighting global terrorism and climate change.”

The Liberian leader, then, extended best wishes to His Majesty’s personal wellbeing, and for the people of the Kingdom of Spain, happy celebration and continued peace and prosperity.

Carter Center cites poor queue management

Atlanta - based Carter Center observation mission says ineffective management of queues by workers of the National Elections Commission (NEC) affected the orderly flow of polling in the presidential and representatives elections on Tuesday, 10 October.




Releasing its preliminary report on the outcome of the elections Thursday, 12 October at Boulevard Palace in Sinkor, suburb of Monrovia, the Chairman of Carter Center’s Board of Trustees Jason Carter said observers reported that ineffective queue management mainly in large precincts, affected the orderly flow of the polling on elections day.

He says it created confusion among voters that were in long lines throughout the day. But the Center says the opening, polling, closing and counting processes on election day were generally conducted according to procedure in the approximately 145 polling places which its observers visited.

But given the challenges observed so far, the Center has recommends to the NEC that if there is a runoff, the Commission should offer precinct staff to enhance instructions on these issues before a second round.

The Carter Center says it deployed observers across all the 15 counties of Liberia on election day, from whom it received such report.

Carter Center official Mr. Jason Carter says in most of the locations, materials were delivered on time, and polls opened on time.

But he reports that observers across most counties reported difficulties in locating voters on the Final Registration Roll in some polling places.

However, the Center says Liberia’s election process is still ongoing and that it cannot issue an overall assessment until several important steps including any dispute resolution are concluded.

Mr. Carter says the Center’s statement is one of five that the Center has made about the process, and it only covers observations to date.

He says further reports addressing the tabulation process, the resolution of election disputes, and the post-election environment will follow as soon as possible.

The Carter Center Board Chair says the NEC has acknowledged difficulties with long queues management at polling precincts.

While acknowledging that NEC officials were proactive in visiting polling stations to resolve problems on Election Day, Carter Center however encourages the NEC to continue to react promptly as issues arise throughout the tabulation process.

“Transparency is crucial in an election, and the Center urges the NEC to continue its efforts to ensure that the tabulation process is transparent at all levels and that the public is provided the information it needs to fully understand the process,” the Center says.

The Center notes that prompt release of results is an effective means of building confidence among the electorate and preventing confusion and tension.

To this end, the Center urges the NEC to release provisional results, including at the polling place level, recommending that provisional results should be released as soon as they are ready.

It says clear indication of the counties and percentage of precincts should be included in the reporting. Concluding, the Center pleads with political parties to uphold their responsibility to ensure that their supporters maintain the peace throughout the electoral process and through the transition that will follow.

--Edited by Winston W. Parley

African Development Fund Board approves US$ 141 million credit risk participations

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), said it on Wednesday October 11, 2017, approved credit risk participations in eight loans cumulatively valued at US$ 141 by the Private Sector Credit Enhancement Facility (PSF) in Abidjan.



Launched in 2015, the PSF is an off-balance sheet and arms-length vehicle, funded by the ADF, the concessional arm of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) which participates in the credit risk of the private sector operations of the AfDB. Its mandate is to release capital held against loans in low income countries, to increase private sector financing in those countries. Over the next three years, the Facility is building a portfolio of US$1.5 billion of private sector credit exposures in emerging and frontier African markets.
The eight operations approved include lines of credit to SME lenders in Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The proceeds of the loans will support investment projects in the manufacturing, agriculture, construction, services and transport sectors. They also include trade finance lines with a Mauritanian SME lender and a Nigerian universal bank. Finally, two operations with regional development finance institutions complete the portfolio of approved risk participations, which brings the total portfolio of the facility to 1/3 of its US$ 1.5 billion target size and increase the PSF’s footprint to 25 countries..
“In the last 12 months, operations entering the PSF portfolio have been exposures in large infrastructure as well as agro-industry investment projects and programs. The eight operations will rebalance the portfolio across sectors, regions, maturities and risk profile – and deliver on the mandate to provide headroom relief for new financing of investment projects in low income countries. This positions the Facility to share risks with the AfDB in the financing of new investment projects in the real economy and infrastructure sectors – while remaining compliant with its risk framework”, says PSF Administrator, Cecile Ambert.
The eight operations were also chosen in light of their expected superior development results and additionally, in terms of job creation and financial inclusion, notably for women and local businesses. The operations with development finance institutions are targeting new power generation and transmission capacity, improved logistics, market access, and support to local value addition. All trade finance lines are targeting the lengthening of tenors for African exporters and importers, in a context of global trade finance contraction away from riskier markets.-Press release

African civil society groups to hold gov’ts accountable

Civil society groups from over ten Aafrican countries have launched the 33 days to Power Up Immunization campaign to hold governments accountable for for promises made to support immunization.


The move comes as the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child. The civil society groups said governments have made multiple promises to support immunization, including this year’s Addis Declaration.

In 2016, the continent made significant achievements of interrupting the wild poliovirus transmission for over one year; the near elimination of Meningococcal Meningitis A epidemic, and the significant reduction in disease burden and child mortality due to Measles.

"We recognize that progress has been made," says Mr TOMEKPA Vincent, Secretary-General of FENOS-CI in Ivory Coast, “yet one in five African children still lacks access to all the necessary and basic vaccinations”.

In January 2017, African Heads of States endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization (ADI), through which they acknowledged that despite their endorsement of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), they are largely off track. The ADI reinforces their commitment at the highest level of political engagement.

Immunization ranks among the most cost-effective health interventions, for girls and boys, delivering a high ratio of health benefits—lives saved and illness prevented—to cost, especially where disease burden is high. This means immunization is one of the best uses of limited public funds for health. In Africa, for every $1 spent on childhood immunizations, you get $41 in economic and social benefits.

“Civil Society must keep track of government progress towards implementation of these commitments and ensure that they deliver if we want to reach the 2020 targets as set in the GVAP,” said Joyce Kilikpo Jarwolo of Public Health Initiative Liberia.

Over these 33 days, we will track the vaccines, track the finances, track the legislation, and ask that our governments show us how the ADI is more than a declaration, but a true instrument for achieving success. The lives of our children depend on it,” explains Jackson Ndegwa, Vaccines and Policy & Advocacy Manager with Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO)

“We must keep the momentum throughout the year, but we are also making sure that we apply heightened pressure over these 33 days that are so important for Immunization.” Says Clarisse Loe Loumou, Board Member of the Gavi CSO Constituency. “These key international days show not only what can be achieved through sustained and focused commitment as with Polio, but also that so much needs to be done to ensure that children do not die of Pneumonia. It is also an opportunity as from today to ensure that equity as much as coverage is crucial to achieving universal access to immunization. Vaccines such as HPV that are of critical importance to girls must continue to be made available to girls everywhere.”
The 33 days to Power Up Immunization campaign is a continuation of what was started with the Africa Vaccination Week and World Health Assembly.

“I’ll not accept anything, but victory”

Opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) presidential candidate Sen. George Oppong Weah says he’ll not accept anything but to be declared winner of the presidential elections, making claims that he is destined for victory in these elections.


The former soccer icon - turned politician, Mr. Weah is among 20 presidential candidates contesting these elections. After casting his ballot on Tuesday morning, 10 October at the Kendja Public School, Mr. Weah told a local radio station Prime FM that he’s of the strong conviction that victory is certain for the CDC in the 2017 presidential election and there’s nothing that will stop him.

When quizzed if he’ll accept the result if he is defeated, Weah insists that there’s no way he’ll lost the elections with huge and aggressive campaign carried out by the CDC. He says it is impossible for him to lost, citing deployment of poll workers that he says were trained for two months.

When furthered quizzed as to whether he’ll quit politics after the elections, Weah pointed out that he will continue his quest for change for the Liberian people.

At the Rehab Community voter center, ruling Unity Party (UP) presidential candidate Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai expressed high anticipation that he will win the election in the first round of the polls.

Mr. Boakai says nothing can stop him from achieving victory. When quizzed if he would accept the outcome of the elections, Mr. Boakai said he would accept any result for the country, though he expresses confidence of winning the election.

Boakai re-emphasizes that if given the opportunity to lead the country, he will place serious attention on road connectivity throughout the country, saying “Road, road and road, I think road connectivity will allow our farmers to troop their products to urban area.”
Liberians from all across the country on Tuesday morning 10 October, stormed respective voting precincts to vote the candidates of their choice.

Though some of the polling places did not open at 8:00am as indicated by that the National Elections Commission (NEC), some Liberians especially within Monrovia and its environs woke up in the early hours of Tuesday to cast their ballots.

Voters were relatively patient to wait in long queue, while some returned home with thought of coming later during the day to vote.

Of the problems faced by voters were the issues of code number not being assigned to where they were registered, but supervisors in charge of precinct centers created journals to allow them to vote.

Security presence was felt in many of the polling centers and a lot of young people were seen in queue to vote. Few people with disabilities joined the process also at places visited by this writer.

The 1986 Liberian Constitution Article 83 (a) states that voting for the President, Vice–President, members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives shall be conducted throughout the Republic on the second Tuesday in October of each election year.

Data released by the NEC for these elections for voters stands at 2,183,629. According to NEC’s data, there are 2080 voting precincts and 5,390 polling places throughout the country with 26 political parties contesting in these elections.

It says 20 presidential candidates, and 1,008 representative candidates are contesting the elections. There are 73 seats being contested by the 1,08 representative candidates.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Excited voters face 2017 elections

Image result for liberian voters

High-spirited Liberian electorates left their homes as early as 5:00 A.M. to queue at 2080 voting precincts and 5,390 polling places across the country in Tuesday, 10 October Presidential and Representatives Elections to elect a President among 20 presidential candidates, who will succeed outgoing first female President and nobel laureate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The electorate also voted for 73 members of the House of Representatives.


The exuberant voters in some parts of Montserrado County and the leeward counties took some electoral workers unprepared as they were in queue at various polling places by 8:00 a.m., the official time when polling materials and staffers had not arrived. In some counties, specifically Sinoe County, southeast Liberia, as confirmed by the Chairman of the National Elections Commission Cllr. Jerome Korkoya in a press briefing Tuesday, polling materials arrived as late as 12 p.m. to the frustration of voters.

Reports from Electoral District#5 in Grand Bassa County, say electorate who had turned out to cast their ballots were informed by NEC staffs that their names were not on the voter roll, while in Gbatala, Bong County, an impatiently angry male voter reportedly erected roadblock with burning tires and allegedly smashed a vehicle after his name could not be identified on the voter roll.

In Ganta and other areas in votes-rich Nimba County, heavy downpour and slow-pace service by polling staffers overwhelmed voters with some threatening to leave the queue and return home without casting their ballots. Generally, the elections were conducted across the country without any violence reported in a process that is expected to see a transition of power from one elected President to another in more than seven decades.
In an address to the nation on Monday, 9 October outgoing President Johnson Sirleaf described Tuesday, 10 October as an historic day for the nation, and for the consolidation of Liberia’s young democracy, saying “For the first time in three generations, we will be transferring presidential authority, democratically, and peacefully, from one elected leader to another.”

President Sirleaf, whose Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, is in the race to succeed her, calls on electorate to vote for the person and persons they believe will make Liberia a better place.

“Finally, my dear Liberians, we all must respect the outcome of the election as declared by the National Electoral Commission. The NEC has established a system that is accountable, transparent and based upon the highest standards available.”

Local and international observers monitor the polls, including observers from the European Union, Carter Center, ECOWAS, the African Union, and National Democratic Institute, among others.

By Jonathan Browne

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