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PUP damns govt. on trafficked girls

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaLiberia’s newest political party the People Unification Party or PUP has issued a special statement in Monrovia, glowering on the suffering, abuse and maltreatment of Liberian girls in Lebanon.

The party pointed out that the girls were seeking greener pastures through hard work and little did they know their employers in Lebanon would abuse them, adding, that Government has not done enough to seek the welfare of the girls since the abuse was reported.

In the statement issued over the weekend, PUP notes that the slow pace at which the Government is responding to the matter demonstrates mere sentiment.

The party said it is aghast by the Liberian government’s lack of concern for her citizens living abroad, who are faced with such difficulties.

“We have observed that this government does not care, by its lackadaisical attitude toward this matter. The ladies in question should not have been in Lebanon in the first place,” PUP Chairman Isobe M. Gborkorkollie, added.

It likened the plight of the girls to that of Liberians in Ghana in the late 1960s when several hundred Liberians were thrown out of Ghana for no genuine reason, and continued that then President William V. S. Tubman did nothing to protect those Liberians till today their properties and grandchildren left behind.

Mr. Gborkorkollie also said the party is calling on all Liberians to take note of Article (1) of the Constitution of Liberia, which states that all power is inherent in the people, stressing that Government should do everything to protect their happiness and prosperity.

The PUP is calling for a review of the country’s foreign policy to make it  more nationalistic rather than promoting foreign interests at the detriment of the people of Liberia.

However, the Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says it is concerned about the welfare of the seven Liberian girls that were allegedly trafficked to the Republic of Lebanon.

The Ministry assured that frantic efforts are being made to have the girls returned to home shortly.

The girls: Rema Nyepan, Ayres M. Jasper, Bernice Gbar, Muffitte N. Panma, Grace K. David, Emma T. Swaber and Patience King, were reportedly subjected to slavery and abuse by residents to whom they were contracted for housekeeping.

Cllr. Boakai Kanneh, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs made the disclosure Wednesday when he responded to local journalists, who had gone to seek clarity.

Deputy Minister Kanneh also disclosed that the Liberian government has been investigating the matter and has sent travel documentations along with tickets while flight arrangements are being finalized to have the girls back home.

The Minister’s clarity runs contrary to media reports that the Government has not shown any interest in the allegedly trafficked Liberian girls.

The Deputy Foreign Minister also disclosed that these efforts are being made in conjunction with other relevant stakeholders, including the Ministries of Justice and Labor and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

By Ben P. Wesee

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