United Nations Nations Unies
United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
UNMIL Public Information Office Complete Media Summaries
10 September 2008
[The media summaries and press clips do not necessarily represent the views of UNMIL.]
Remains of Sierra Leone's military leader Discovered in Northern Liberia
· [sic:] The former Sierra Leone Junta leader Johnny Paul Koroma is said to have been found in northern Liberia, particularly in Foya, Lofa County.
· Special Court Investigators along with Liberian and Sierra Leonean security officers exhumed the remains more than two weeks ago. It is suspected that former confidants of now detained former President Charles Taylor are believed to have provided tip-off on where the former Sierra Leonean military leader was buried. Forensic studies are now being conducted in Sierra Leone to confirm the identity of the remains. If the result is positive, the discovery would bring to two the number of senior Sierra Leonean rebel commanders killed in Liberia. In 2002, the Charles Taylor government ordered the execution of Sam Bockari alias Mosquito on the grounds that he resisted arrest.
Long time Political Activist says TWP should account for its role in Liberia
(National Chronicle, The News, The Informer, Heritage)
· A long-time political activist says representatives of the True Whig Party must come forward to present their party’s position on history to the truth commission.
· Dr. Marcus Dahn argued the TWP must account for decades of injustices and brutality against the people of Liberia.
· The True Whig Party ruled Liberia for more than one hundred years and was widely known for suppressing Liberians who were not from the Americo-Liberian class.
· The former Progressive Alliance of Liberia official said when the TWP present its side of the story and apologize then some form of reparation must be given to its victims.
· Dr. Dahn also told the TRC representatives of the Doe regime must also gave accounts for mal-treatment of civilians and those who were killed under the regime.
· He recalled some great nations have apologized to their citizens for crimes committed so why these two past regimes can not apologize for their actions.
· Mr. Dahn maintained the change advocated by PAL was now becoming a reality and said it was good that they stood firm and made sure that it happened.
· The Progressive Alliance of Liberia opposed the one-party rule of the True Whig Party and advocated for a multi-party system for Liberia.
Additional appointments in Government
· President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has made new appointments in government. Those appointed include Mrs. Hawa Goll Kotchi, commissioner, Governance Commission, George Y. Miller, Assistant Minister of Lands Survey and Cartography, Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy. Others are George Wisner, Assistant Minister for Afro-Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Philomena B. Sayeh, Director-General, Center for National Documents and Records. The appointments by the President are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
Seven ‘Vigilante’ Members Charged With Armed Robbery
· The Monrovia Magisterial Court at the Temple of Justice Tuesday charged seven men of the Neezoe Community with armed robbery. Defendants Bob Sonkarley, Henry Konbloyon, David Johnson, D. Valentine Talery, Adam Sokpah, Emmanuel Zubah and Alfred Massaquoi were arrested by the Liberia National Police based on a complaint filed by Sylvester Gbaryan and Jallah Argbah.
· The accused were forwarded to the Magisterial Court Tuesday by the Liberia National Police on previous charges of aggravated assault, but following interview by Magistrate Wondah Sondah, their charges were augmented to armed robbery.
· According to the Arrest Warrant, the defendants on 6 September 2008, with criminal intent attacked the complainants, beat, tied and subjected them to intimidation and harassment by using guns and other deadly weapons and took away an amount of LD$10,000.
US$500M Cocaine Suspects Appear in Court Today
(The News, The Inquirer, New Democrat, Daily Observer)
· The Daily Observer reports that Captain Oteng Akrasi Osei of the (IMO 6806559) Blue Atlantic vessel, along with his eight alleged crew members, charged and indicted for drugs trafficking, are expected to appear in court for trial today, Wednesday, September 10, 2008.
· The assignment of the case follows an indictment of the defendants months after they were arrested and released on a LD$3,000.00 bail by dismissed Judge Milton Taylor. In February this year, Liberian security officials reported that 2.5 metric tons of cocaine valued US$500 million was seized from nine Ghanaians who were arrested deep in Liberian territorial waters by officers on a French Navy patrol boat and brought to Monrovia and turned over to Government.
Star Radio (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
Corpse of Johnny Paul Kromah Discovered in Lofa
PAL's official wants TWP explain position on history
New appointments in Government
Confirmation hearing of Anti-corruption commissioners ends in confusion
· Report says the confirmation hearing of members of the Anti-Corruption Commission has ended in confusion.
· The Senate Committee conducting the hearing has therefore postponed the hearing to Thursday.
· Details on what led to the eruption of the confusion will follow in our subsequent broadcast.
JPC wants dismissed Assistant Minister arrested
· The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has questioned what it considered the failure of government to arrest and prosecute Thierry Swarthy Genesis.
· Mr. Genesis served as Assistant Minister of Postal Affairs but was sacked by President Sirleaf for alleged corrupt practices.
· Following his dismissal, Mr. Genesis was asked to turn himself over to the Justice Ministry for prosecution.
· The Executive Director of the JPC, Cllr. Augustine Toe said the procedure was unusual in the country’s political history.
· Cllr. Toe said if the government believes Genesis was dismissed on corruption charges it should have arrested him by now.
· He said a dismissal that borders on criminality needs no preferential treatment for the accused.
· Cllr. Toe observed while others were arrested for corrupt acts, the government chose to ask Mr. Genesis to turn himself over to the Justice Ministry.
FIND suspends Regional Officer
· The Regional Program Officer of the Foundation for International Dignity has been suspended.
· A statement issued in Monrovia said the Board of Directors of FIND said Dixon Gblah is suspended for what the board termed administrative ineptitude.
· A FIND statement said Mr. Dixon Gblah suspension took effect on June 16 at a regional meeting held in Monrovia.
· The statement called on all partners including local and international NGOs not to do business with Mr. Gblah in the name of the foundation.
· FIND however, assures its numerous partners that contracts entered into before the suspension of Mr. Gblah remain valid.
West Africa Police Reform forum opens in Monrovia
· A two-day conference on Police Reform in West Africa opens today in Monrovia.
· The conference is to assess the extent, challenges and successes in Police reform in Anglophone West African Countries.
· It brings together security and law enforcement officials from Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
· Security team from each country would make a presentation on the state of Police reform in the country, highlighting initiatives and challenges.
· A statement from the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association said Justice Ministry Philip Banks would deliver the Keynote Address.
· According to the statement, the regional Police reform forum is being hosted by the CLEEN Foundation based in Abuja, Nigeria.
· The CLEEN Foundation focuses on pubic safety, security and justice through empirical research, advocacy and demonstration of programs.
Population Act suffers setback – Speaker accused of manipulation
· There has been a major setback in the House of Representatives over the draft population threshold Act. The House of Representatives has deferred further discussions on the Act to January 2009.
· The decision followed days of controversy in the House on the passage of the Act.
· The Act seeks to increase the population threshold from twenty thousand to forty-five thousand in line with Article 80 of the Constitution.
· The Chairman of the House Elections and Inauguration Committee said the passage of the Act was allegedly stalled by Speaker Alex Tyler.
· Representative Gabriel Smith of Grand Bassa County said speaker Tyler manipulated the deferral of the discussion because Bomi County would be affected. The House Speaker Tyler refused to comment on the accusation by Representative Gabriel Smith when approached by journalists.
President Sirleaf dedicates new markets
· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says she remains committed to improving the conditions under which market women carryout their businesses.
· President Sirleaf said she would continue to seek funding to improve market buildings not just in Monrovia but across the Country.
· She spoke when she dedicated an extension of the Jorkpen Town Market.
· The extension was built under the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund, sponsored by friends and partners of the President abroad.
· President Sirleaf also officially opened at the market, a savings window of the ECO bank to enable market women safe their money and access loans.
· She encouraged the marketers to take advantage of the ECO Bank services to better their lives.
· The President assured the marketers of the construction of a cold storage facility and the introduction of an adult literacy program.
· The head of the Sirleaf Market Women Fund, Varbah Gayflor also assured the marketers that all is now set to develop a day care and school for their children.
· Newly renovated market buildings in Paynesville, Duala and Barnersville were also dedicated by the President.
Youth group donates to JFK Medical Centre
· Youth Action International has donated huge quantity of medical equipment to the John F. Kennedy media centre.
· The cost of the donation was put at fifty thousand United States Dollars.
· Making the donation, the Executive Director of the Group, Kamie Weeks said this was his institution’s way of identifying with the JFK.
· He said the donation was in fulfilment of his 2007 Independence Day speech for stakeholders to pay attention to the health sector.
· Mr. Weeks promised that the gesture will continue all over the country with Gbarnga earmarked to be the next.
· The youth group also presented over one hundred thousand U.S. dollars worth of school materials to the Special Project School in the Stephen Tolbert Estate.
· The equipment comprises of text books of all subjects and advance dictionaries.
(Also reported on Truth FM, ELBC)
Bong, Grand Bassa citizens initiate self-help project
· Citizens of two districts in Bong and Grand Bassa Counties have begun a self-help project to rehabilitate a road linking the two counties.
· The districts are Yelequelleh in Bong County and District Number 2B in Grand Bassa County.
· Yelequelleh District representative to the Bong County Development Council said the project is the citizens’ initiative to address the problem of transportation.
· Mr. Edward Kaffiah said the citizens have begun the side brushing of the road, the filling of potholes and the re-conditioning of bridges.
· Mr. Kaffiah believes the rehabilitation of the road would allow vehicles into the area and enable the locals to bring their produce to town.
· He revealed to Star Radio a woman recently died at delivery due to the inaccessibility of the road to vehicles.
· Mr. Kaffiah hopes the self-help road rehabilitation by the citizens of the two districts would shortly be completed.
Man found guilty for killing brother in Lofa
· The 10th Judicial Circuit Court in Lofa County has found a 20-year-old man guilty of murder.
· Our correspondent said Kortee Jallah was convicted for killing his elderly brother, Massaboi Koleulieh in Gorwormai Village in March this year.
· According to our Correspondent, Koleulieh was killed when he had gone to stop Jallah from beating his wife for grasshopper.
· Our correspondent said grasshopper is widely eaten by some people in Lofa County.
· He added that Jallah admitted to committing the crime during the trial.
· Assigned Judge Sekajipo Walloh is expected to announce the sentence of Kortee Jallah.
(Also reported on Truth F.M. and ELBC)
District Commissioner suspended in River Gee
· Report from River Gee County in south-eastern Liberia says authorities of the county have suspended the Commissioner of Sarbo District for time indefinite.
· Star Radio gathered Madam Regina Nyenpan was suspended for what the authorities called administrative reasons.
· The authorities have appointed Mr. Peter Toweh as Acting Commissioner while Madam Nyenpan serves her suspension.
In another development, Star Radio further gathered that the immigration Commander in the county, Col. Romeo Kossugba has been transferred. Our source said immigration authorities in Monrovia made the decision and named Deputy Commander Victor Bartue as Acting BIN Commander.