Friday, September 12, 2008

Liberian government and UNMIL lunch Album

UNMIL News services

UNMIL Public Information Office Complete Media Summaries
12 September 2008

[The media summaries and press clips do not necessarily represent the views of UNMIL.]

Newspaper Summary
Liberian Government and UNMIL Launch Album of ‘Star is Born’ Winner
(The Informer ,The Inquirer, Daily Observer)

· The Liberian Government and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will today formally launch the album, “Keep on Trying” recorded by the 2007/2008 winner of ‘A Star is Born’ National Talent Hunt, Moses Swaray. The event will showcase Liberian musical performances and lead to the symbolic hand-over of the albums/CDs to the star of the evening, Mr. Swaray.
· This event also forms part of the original package for the winner of the contest, which included US$1,500 educational stipend, an opportunity to work with UNMIL Public Information’s Community Outreach outfit in its nationwide sensitization campaigns, and a recording deal provided by Creative Sounds Studio in Monrovia. Moses Swaray is a young musician of growing stature in the Liberian music industry and has been communicating positive messages throughout Liberia in support of anti-crime, stop-rape, and other initiatives. He won the competition from a field of over 1000 persons that registered for the auditions.

US$2.7m Grant for Women Development
(Daily Observer)

· The World Bank in collaboration with Nike Foundation and the Liberian government have signed a US$2.7m grant agreement. The grant would go toward the Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and young women project undertaken by government through the Gender Ministry.
· World Bank Country Manager Ohnene Owusu Nyanin said the project reflects the World Bank’s commitment to the empowerment of young women through access to work. He said the project is aimed at empowering girls and young women by giving them marketable skills and linking them to employment opportunities.
· Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan and Varbah Gayflor, Minister of Gender and Development signed on behalf of government. The two senior officials commended the Word Bank and Nike Foundation for providing the grant.

Former NTLA Speaker Breaks Silence on alleged Plans to Incriminate Him in a Coup Plot

· Former National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA) Speaker, George Dweh who was booted out of his position during the regime of Charles Gyude Bryant has broken silence denying his involvement in an alleged coup plot to remove the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
· A local daily, Renaissance Newspaper in its September 10, 2008 lead story captioned “Secret Plan to Unseat Ellen’s Government, Charles Bennie, Others Linked”.
· The story among other things alleged that Mr. Bennie and others have been holding secret meetings at the home of former transitional Speaker Dweh near St. Bridge on the Bushrod Island to unseat the government. Speaking Thursday, he denied holding meetings with Bennie and others to take power in the country. The former Speaker said those concocting the rumour are evil-minded people trying to incriminate him in the alleged plot.
· Liberia.

Seven Armed Robbers Arrested In August
(National Chronicle)

· The Liberia National Police (LNP) says seven armed robbers were apprehended in the month of August. According to an LNP press release, three of the robbers were accused of breaking into the compound of the Christian Evangelistic Ministry in Sinkor and taking away valuable items. The release said the items were taking away by the criminals but were retrieved by the police. He named the items as a 2.5 KVA generator, 5KVA generator, pieces of lappas, six yards of lace materials and US$10,000.

Senate Confirms Anti-Corruption Commissioners amidst Public Outcry
(The Inquirer, The Analyst, The News, Public Agenda, National Chronicle )

· The media reports that despite protests from civil society and two Opposition Political Parties, the Senate has confirmed Cllr. Frances Johnson Morris and three other nominees of the Anti-Corruption Commission. The other nominees are Sandra Howard-Kendor, Moulai Reeves and Ousman Kanneh.
· The confirmation took place Thursday following a report by the Committee on Public Corporations and Autonomous Commissions. Speaking to journalists, Acting Senate Pro Temp Lahai Lassana said after a session of the body, the senate thought it expedient to confirm the nominees.
· The hearing was disrupted on Wednesday after a debate ensued between Senators that an amendment was made to the Anti-corruption Law. Earlier, the Opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Liberty party opposed the appointment of the commission on grounds that they had deep connection with the status quo and feared that the team may not be impartial.

President Sirleaf Makes More Appointments in Government
(Heritage The Inquirer)

· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has made more appointments in Government, pending confirmation by the Liberian Senate. According to an Executive Mansion release, those nominated are, Mr. Arthur W. B. Fumbah, Deputy Minister for Expenditure & Debt Management, Ministry of Finance; Mr. Roderick Smith, Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Public Work; Mr. Charles Carpenter, Deputy Minister for Rural Development, Ministry of Public Works; Mr. Isaac W. Jackson, Jr., Assistant Minister for Culture at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and Mr. George K. Yango, Assistant Minister for Community Services, Ministry of Public Works. Others are Mr. William Slour, Assistant Minister for Operations at the Ministry of Public Works; Mr. Edsel Smith, Assistant Minister for Technical Services, Ministry of Public Works among others.

Peace Corps-Liberia Signs MOU with Partners
(The Analyst, Heritage)

· The US Peace Corps-Liberia has signed Memorandum of Understandings with the Ministries of Education and Health and the World Food Programme. Under the MOU, US Peace Corps volunteers would work with rural training institutes, learning resource centres and WFP school feeding program. The volunteers would also serve the health sector, teaching at the midwifery school expected to open next month in Zwedru.
· The Country Director of US Peace Corps, Lucianne Philips said eighteen volunteers are expected next month to immediately begin work. According to Madam Phillips, the volunteers would initially serve for eight months in Lofa, Grand Gedeh and River Gee Counties. Madam Philips hopes a full Peace Corps program would be developed within two years. Education Minister Joseph Korto, Deputy Health Minister Vivian Cherue, and US Peace Corps Regional Director for Africa Henry Mckoy signed for their respective Agencies.

Liberia, Libya Launch Campaign against Food Insecurity
(Daily Observer, The Inquirer, The News)

· The government of Liberia with support from Libya has launched the “Green Programme” at the Ministry of Agriculture site in Gardnersville. The Green Program is a campaign initiated by the Libyan government in Benin recently to intensify agricultural programs in Africa. According to the Libyan Charge D’affairs in Liberia, Mustapha Al-Raash the campaign targets the fight against hunger and poverty in Africa. The News newspaper reports that the launch coincided with the commissioning of eight tractors given by the Libyan government which is to herald the beginning of an agro-mechanized campaign in Liberia.

Radio Summary
Star Radio (News monitored today at 8:00 am)
Court Grants Motion for US$500M Cocaine Case to Make Trial Docket
· Criminal Court “C” has granted a motion to advance the 500 million cocaine case involving nine Ghanaians on its trial docket.
· The court’s decision followed legal argument between State and Defense lawyers Thursday.
· The Defense team argued that the motion was not filed within the statutory period something state lawyers admitted to.
· Judge Emmanuel Kollie granted the motion because the Defense agreed for the case to begin despite the State failure to proceed in keeping with law
· The trial is expected to commence next week.

Dwarzohn Residents Protest Over Land Dispute
· Residence of Dwarzohn in Margibi County yesterday carried placards seeking the intervention of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the ongoing land dispute with the Defense Ministry.
· Both parties are claiming ownership to a parcel of land in the Dwazohn community.
· President Sirleaf assured them she would hold a meeting with both parties to look into the situation.

TRUTH F.M. (News monitored today at 10:00 am)
President Sirleaf Commissions 5 Officials of Government Today
· A Ministry of Foreign Affairs release issued in Monrovia said President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to commission five government officials today.
· Those to be commissioned include Governance Commission Chairman, Dr. Amos Sawyer, Yah-sua Weh Dorliea and Dr. Jabaru Carlon of the Governace Commission.
· Others are Dr. Alhassan, Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commany Wesseh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations.

President Sirleaf Signs Several Legislations
· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed several legislations submitted by the leadership of the joint House and Senate committees on Executive.
· The Legislation presented yesterday include an act prohibiting the sale and use of tobacco products by persons under 18, an act ratifying the investment agreement entered into by Government and Novel Liberian Inc as well as the act ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty among others.

Government, OSIWA Sign MOU for Scholarship for Law Students
· A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Government and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has been signed in Monrovia for the provision of 50 scholarships for deserving law students at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.
· The MOU is aimed at providing students the opportunity to further their legal studies and at the same time work for government for a period of three years after their studies.
· The scholarship comes at a time government is said to be in dire need of competent lawyers.

More Appointments in Government

Senate Confirms Anti-Corruption Commissioners
(Also reported on Truth FM, ELBC)

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