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Editorial: Ambassador McCarthy means no harm for Liberia

Editorial: Barrage of reactions, some in newspapers and others on live talk shows that greeted United States Ambassador Michael McCarthy’s criticism about the untidiness of Monrovia and comments of abandonment or lack of donor support by authority at the Monrovia City Corporation are too unfortunate.

Some talk show hosts think the United States Ambassador is meddling in Liberia’s internal affairs by disagreeing with assertions coming from the City Government but we beg to differ because members of the Diplomatic Community here are an intricate part of the Liberian society. What affects our capital in terms of lack of proper disposal of garbage similarly has an impact on their activities and wellbeing in Liberia.

Specifically, Ambassador McCarthy said in an O-PED that he wrote Tuesday, March 15, 2022, to commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of Liberia’s first President Joseph Jenkins Roberts (celebrated annually as a National Holiday) that what would the late President have to say about the current state of affairs of the country that he brought to nationhood, now engulfed with systemic corruption, bad governance and leadership failure, among others.

He then took on comment made at the celebration of Monrovia Day last month when a senior official lamented that unlike his previous three years in office, “no donor or external partner is funding the recurrent cost of solid waste collection and disposal”, which the Ambassador notes the official was implying that he was abandoned by the international community and wonders is there a more basic local government responsibility than the collection and proper disposal of garbage?

Sadly, the U.S. Envoy received sharp criticisms from multiple sources, some directly questioning U.S. Government’s support to Liberia and how funds intended for development are managed under the United States Agency for International Development or USAID, with unkind comments.

As Liberia’s historic and traditional partner, United States Ambassadors accredited near this capital are duty-bond to draw Liberian government authorities’ attention whenever things are not going right. And this is exactly what Amb. McCarthy did in his O-PED, which did not deserve the tone of reactions meted at him and the Government of United States policy on bilateral aid.

We Liberians talk before we think. Have we forgotten so soon sacrifices the United States has made and continues to make to uplift Liberians from poverty delipidating health conditions? The relative peace that Liberia enjoys today was delivered thru U.S. taxpayers’ money, collaborating with the United Nations, ECOWAS and the African Union.

The truth of the matter is, Ambassador Michael McCarthy is not the first foreign diplomat in Liberia to speak against the appalling sanitary condition of Monrovia.   Last year, the Head of the EU Mission to Monrovia, described Monrovia as the “dirtiest city ever” he has seen in Africa.

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As Liberians, we should look in the mirror to see the realities confronting this nation and honestly make strides in tackling them instead of condemning healthy criticisms that are meant for our good.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/op-ed-what-would-j-j-roberts-have-to-say-about-liberia-today/

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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