By Lincoln G. Peters
President George Weah with immediate effect ordered Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah to revoke Liberia’s vote against the humanitarian ceasefire in war-torn Gaza.
Making a brief statement here on Sunday, 17 December at his church’s regular service, President Weah said that being a man of peace, he will not promote, vote and support war and political instability in another country.
“That Liberian that voted for war is wicked and he voted himself; not us, and God will not spear that person’s life. They voted wrongly and we will fix it. Our vote will be with the other countries that voted for diplomacy and not war. Maybe, he was doing it to tarnish my character and government because we are leaving power. But I want to tell him or her that they are wasting time”, President Weah reacted.
Liberia voted against a humanitarian ceasefire in war-torn Gaza on Wednesday, December 13, being the only African country that did so when calls are reverberating across the globe for an end to the hostilities between Israel and Hamas.
Liberia was among 10 countries, including the United States of America, which took that position during a United Nations General Assembly’s emergency special session on Tuesday, December 12.
Despite the U.S. and Liberia’s effort to block ceasefire calls in the UN Security Council, a majority of 153 nations voted for the ceasefire resolution during the UN General Assembly’s emergency meeting session Tuesday, while 23 countries abstained from the process.
The decision of the majority members, who have repeatedly called for a ceasefire in Gaza, comes as a rebuke to the United States and some of her allies.
Liberia voted against Tuesday’s resolution along with the U.S., Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Austria, the Czech Republic, Guatemala, Micronesia and Nauru.
While a General Assembly vote is politically significant and seen as wielding moral weight, it is nonbinding, unlike a Security Council resolution. The US last week vetoed a ceasefire resolution in the smaller Security Council, which had been approved by a majority of the powerful 15-member body.
Tuesday’s brief resolution calls for a ceasefire, for all parties to comply with international law, and for humanitarian access to hostages and their “immediate and unconditional” release. It notably contains stronger language than an October vote in the Assembly that had called for a “sustained humanitarian truce.”
President Weah discloses that he has informed and mandated the Minister of Foreign Affairs to resent the decision because there is no way he will vote war over peace.
President Weah says that he is innocent of the decision and knows nothing about it because his government decided in consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to vote peace over war, noting that the person who voted in favor of continuous conflict, acted unilaterally based on personal interests.
It is not clear who actually voted in favor of continuous fighting in Gaza amid daily death of civilians, mainly women and children.
Mr. Weah explains that when the war started initially, he wrote a letter on November 4, 2023, to the Israeli Embassy, appealing to President Benjamin Netanyahu to consider diplomatic approach in restoring peace because, he argues, peaceful lives are being lost, especially children.
President Weah continues that he urged the Israeli President to exercise restraint for the sake of humanity and peace.
At the same time, he clarifies that his resentment is not against the United States, but he stands with the United Nations and the rest of the world for global peace and stability.
“How can a George Weah, President Weah that you know, vote against peace? Before voting, I met with the Foreign Minister as to how we will vote and we agreed to vote for peace and diplomacy to end the war in Gaza. I told him that if the entire world is voting diplomacy and peace, I can’t be left out as former Peace Ambassador. There is no way I can’t call for peace in another country”, he maintains.
President Weah notes that he has never voted against the interest of the United States but, this time, he has to vote for peace when necessary, adding that peace and democracy should be the hallmarks for negotiations. Editing by Jonathan Browne