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Looking Deeper

- Into The Recent U.S. Annual Human Right Report Of 2023; Grave Human Rights Issues That Were Left Out!!!

By Jefferson Tamba Koijee

The US State Department released its 2023 Annual Human Rights Report on Rights Practices in Liberia, focusing on issues of fundamental and inherent human rights violations, malfeasance, unorthodox behaviors of the CDC-led government and opposition Unity Party, and other occurrences.

This report falls short of many instances of misuse of social media, US space, violence perpetrated by the Unity Party, US citizen direct disregard for human rights and inconsistencies involving factual reporting amongst others.

Candidate Joseph Boakai, in a widely circulated recording was quoted saying, “…that’s why you need to protect it. If they think they’ll steal this election, you will not allow it because if they do it, that’s the end of this country.”

This threat reenergized the Unity Party into continuous mayhem against peaceful campaigners all through the 2023 electoral process.

For example, CDCIANS were murdered in Lofa on the orders of Boakai’s nephew and he (Boakai) would later reward him (on February 1, 2024) as Minister of Internal Affairs, Francis Nyumalin.

CDCIANS including Aloysius Bahn of Nimba County, District #4, Joshua Solomon, Tamba Momo, died during the 2023 elections at the hands of the Unity Party.

Peter O. James, Saah Bornquoi, Josiah Saakeh were the mask men who were also mandated by Joseph Boakai to destroy lives and properties of innocent CDcians while the current Deputy Speaker wife and children lives were under threat and his property damaged.

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For the most part, on March 25, 2024, Mr. Boakai rewarded these indicted murderers of the Lofa massacre with positions such as statutory superintendent of Foya, Commissioner of foya and Mayor of Foya amongst others.

In clear provocations and wanton disregard to the Presidency, President Weah’s convoy was attacked on the Somalia drive by members of the Unity Party /ALCOP where live bullets were reportedly shot at his motorcade while peacefully campaigning. All these happened on the orders of Candidate Joseph Boakai, now President. 

Additionally, a notorious murderer in Senator Prince Johnson who backed Boakai in the 2023 elections from vote rich Nimba County, went as far as threatening a revolt similar to the Arab Spring in the event of election rigging by the CDC.

He drew inspiration from the massive turnout of supporters and sympathizers during the launch of the Unity Party campaign on September 17.

He stated “Before the October elections, Liberians are coming out under the banner ‘Don’t Try It’ – any attempt, the people’s power would be exercised like the Arab Spring.

“You’ll shoot your gun; you’ll kill us or you’ll die. No more fear, Liberians don’t have fear anymore,” he boastfully stated.

Interestingly, the US soil was used consistently by some unscrupulous Liberian citizens who spewed misinformation and mobilized rebellious acts against the CDC-led government.

On one instance, thousands of Liberians ransacked the Catholic Hospital only because of a singular unsubstantiated statement that the Government wanted to pick up a patient, Jestina Taylor which turned out to be untrue.

In spite of these continuous misinformation, malicious narrative and well-organized criminal conspiracy against my person by those desperate power seekers who always saw me as hindrance to them obtaining political power, the us, without evidences of those accusations still granted them visa and settled them on asylum.

Furthermore, Cllr. Jerome Verdier, Eugene Fahgon, Stanton Witherspoon, a U.S. federal indictee and others repeatedly used the U.S. space and launched stinging, malicious attacks on my reputation with the US government taking no action, though some Liberians like Bill Twehway and others sought redress through US courts to no avail.

As Jefferson Koijee, I was the most attacked including being maligned and linked to the saddened death of Charlotte Musu, daughter of former Chief Justice, Gloria Musu Scott. 

Cllr. Verdier emphatically told the world that I had sent men overnight to murder the Ex-Chief Justice’s daughter which turned out today that the Chief Justice and others were found guilty and now in prison, but the gibberish spewed goes unaccounted for as Verdier enjoys the comfort of America.

He went on ranting about many other lies including me buying thousands of acres of land in Caldwell at the detriment of the poor to being a child soldier.

All those accusations only pointed to hate, envy and character assassination which lacked evidence.

Sadly, these irresponsible, unfounded and gas-lighted comments were used as potential facts by US government against my person without going through due diligence and those were what the U.S. used against me.

Several media outlets in Liberia reported the facts on the matter but they were all ignored intentionally.

Even in the heat of our body politics, the US Ambassador was seen openly meddling into Liberian political affairs especially targeting government officials and making wrong assertions and accusations.

Amb. Michael A. McCarthy literally became the mouthpiece of the opposition.

During the election he openly threatened closing USAID projects in Margibi County because one of the Senatorial candidates there according to him was sanctioned by the US on frivolous charges, yet to also be substantiated.

May I inform the U.S. government that disinformation is also a human rights violation as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 20

1. Which states:  Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

Disinformation has not just undermined our post-electoral environment but continues to cripple our uncommon unity as people regardless of one’s political affiliations. 

A US citizen, Lucas Richards on September 14, 2023 attempted cutting the throat of his girlfriend and before then deceived her into taking a pill that would eventually abort her baby.

At no time did the US government condemn Lucas’s devilish act as human rights violation, nor did its Human Rights report address this situation.

In our faces and sovereignty, Lucas was found non-guilty by criminal court B which leaves many in astonishment till date and he had to hurriedly leave the country to the comfort of America.

While there were glaring human rights violations by the Unity Party in 2023; interestingly, the US Government intentionally repeated a 2020 Anti-rape protest  report as one of several unsubstantiated accounts that linked me to sanction.

May I again inform the People of Liberia and the US government, that on August 21, 2020, I supported the protest in three dimensions; I met with the organizers and provided logistical supports, I also sponsored and mobilized the fifteen capital cities mayors and encouraged them to join the protest through a joint press conference held at the Monrovia City Hall and called on the then President, His Excellency Dr. George M. Weah to declare rape a national emergency.

As part of my involvement, the President apportioned US$1.5 million dollar to the Sexual and Gender based violence Road Map of the Ministry of Gender, children and social protection.   

Unfortunately, the US ignored my passionate drive to end rape in Liberia by incriminating me as a human right violator with no empirical evidence. 

As a former Mayor, and a student activist who rose from the dungeon of poverty, political struggles and direct imprisonment by the then Unity Party led regime, my only crime that cut too deeply in the bones and flesh of opposition-political fanatics was to serve my country and inspire socio-political change, these changes are deeply reflected in the democratic transition process of our country which today placed Liberia as one of the strong democracies in Africa and the world at large.

It is only a sad time that the US Government is proving its true color towards human rights violation by targeting respecters of human rights like myself.

While being a student activist, I mobilized national advocacy action to demand justice for the late Angel Togba, Augustine Golotou of Bong County, Little Veuh Kesselley who was murdered in Zorzor and Alvin Davies in Montserrado.

My ultimate social justice passion was also heavily inspired to support and protect the voices of the women of Liberia.

During the 2023 general elections, my voice was a major alarm for peace building in Liberia even in the midst of a slight marginal difference which could have been overturned by the Unity Party folks had they been the ruling party, I used my voice to speak peace and calmed chaotic situations that could have exposed our country into bloodbath, yet the US did not emphasize on our role played to maintain the Peace. 

My accusers who are now in charge of the state who accused me of accumulating illegal wealth and crime committed they are yet to prove a single fact of their many accusations made against me.

For me, I am here to stay and will always be willing and available to vindicate myself because I know I am innocent. It does not matter who is saying it and how long they have said it.

Innocent I am and innocent I will always be! 

To conclude, I believe that the US Annual Human Rights Report should have gone deeper than being selective and even avoiding CDC’s role played in upholding democratic tendencies on the continent of Africa.

As a Christian who is a disciple of Jesus Christ, I absolutely hold no malice against anyone, whoever may have profited in lying against me is forgiven, but truth that crushed to the ground shall rise again.

I am documenting the lies they have told against my person and I pray that God renders long life so they can see me prosperous and publicly confess their disingenuous lies told against me. 

Like De philosopher DJ Kyos would rightly say, “Misinformation is the new weapon of mass distraction.”

He continues “Opportunists are using it to start a war or to gain support. Most people are killed, violated, arrested, assaulted, accused, hated, cancelled, sanctioned because of misinformation.”

“Choose to validate everything you read or hear. Choose to scrutinize everything you read and hear so that you don’t become a victim of misinformation,” he concludes.

About the author: Jefferson Tamba Koijee is the former Mayor of Monrovia, a  renowned Student Activist, and Secretary General of the Coalition for Democratic Change

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