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GeneralLiberia news

Foreign Ministry to review placement of passports

Liberian authorities say their goal is to restore pride in the country’s passport system and to prevent unauthorized individuals, particularly criminals, from obtaining Liberian passports.

By Kruah Thompson

Monrovia, April 10, 2024: Liberian Foreign Minister Madam Sara Beysolow Nyanti has established a four-member committee to review and engage those who have held Diplomatic, Official, and Service passports for six years or more.

Garrison Jallah heads the team, with co-chair Paul Nyafuah and members Hassan Conteh, Geneva Togbah, and Stephanie Wesseh.

Minister Nyanti disclosed the committee’s establishment at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism (MICAT) on Tuesday, 9 March 2024.

She disclosed that a significant progress of 61 percent results has been made since the team’s establishment.

Minister Nyanti said the team received 115 Diplomatic passports, 39 official, and 76 service passports.

She added that the team has ensured that those who ought to hold these passports received them in a timely faction.

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However, the foreign minister’s decision to form the committee resulted from meticulous examination of the passport management process and associated fees.

She clarified that the initiative is non-political and aimed solely at upholding Liberian sovereignty and preventing the misuse of Liberian identity for criminal activities.

She highlighted a recent incident involving a Nigerian national who was arrested in Lagos with cocaine carrying a Liberian passport.

Minister Nyanti underscored the importance of ensuring only legitimate passport holders represent Liberia internationally.

She reiterated the goal of instilling pride in Liberia’s passport system, emphasizing the need to prevent unauthorized individuals, particularly criminals, from obtaining Liberian passports.

At the same time, the minister announced plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and other agencies to enhance the passport issuance process, stressing that only citizens are entitled to Liberian passports.

On the other hand, she called for national cooperation and urged all Liberians to safeguard their identification tools and support efforts to improve service delivery.

Additionally, she responded to the plight of Liberians displaced by the closure of the Buduburam camp in Ghana.

Minister Nyanti revealed ongoing discussions with Ghanaian authorities to assist the 1,539 affected individuals currently housed in schools and women’s development centers in Ghana.

Minister Nyanti affirmed that the Liberian government, in collaboration with relevant agencies, is actively pursuing sustainable solutions for those facing displacement in Ghana. 

She disclosed that the Liberian Embassy in Accra has been engaging with Ghanaian officials and refugee organizations to secure support for the affected Liberians.

Moreover, Minister Nyanti highlighted the government’s commitment to convening stakeholder meetings to explore permanent solutions for Ghanaians enduring hardship. 

She emphasized that these efforts are specifically targeted at addressing the needs of the 1,539 individuals currently residing in schools and service centers.

While acknowledging that some Liberians may wish to return home, Minister Nyanti clarified that the focus remains on assisting those in Ghana. 

However, for Liberians desiring to return home, she assured that solutions are underway, with plans for repatriation scheduled between May 21 and May 31.

Minister Nyanti stressed the importance of conducting the repatriation process sequentially and manageably to ensure the feasibility of the endeavor.

The Minister’s remarks underscored the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges displaced Liberians face in Ghana and assisting in facilitating their return home or integration into their host country.

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