Thursday, December 04, 2008

UNMIL Public Information Office Complete Media Summaries


The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) on Wednesday released its bi-annual report with concerns over the weakness in the criminal Justice System due to the absence of key personnel, and inadequate resources for essential rule of law institutions, including the Judiciary, the Liberia National Police and the Corrections services.
· The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu told journalists that the report covers human rights issues monitored by the Mission Human Rights and protection Section.
· Highlighted in the report are prevailing human rights concerns in the country, including measures being instituted to address them, and that these concerns also include challenges being faced in the criminal justice system and delay in making operational the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, and the prevalence of rape and other violence incidents.
· The report covers the period November 2007 to June 2008. According to the Mission, some challenges still remain despite steps taken by Government to address some of the human rights concerns.

New Rape Court Dedicated to fast track cases
(The News, Heritage, The Analyst, New Democrat)

· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf yesterday dedicated a new circuit court, Criminal Court “E”, at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia to prosecute cases of rape and Gender-based Violence (GBV).
· Speaking at the dedication ceremony, President Sirleaf observed that governance and rule of law continue to pose challenges in Government’s overall effort to meet its development priorities.
· An Executive Mansion release issued in Monrovia said the President praised the Danish Government for providing the funds for the renovation of the court.
· She hoped the establishment of the court would help confront the increasing wave of sexual violence n the country

Deportees Sent to Zwedru Correction Palace
(New Democrat, The Inquirer)

· Twenty-two Liberians recently deported from the United States of America have arrived in the country.
· The deportees arrived yesterday and were immediately sent to the Zwedru Correction Palace in Grand Gedeh County.
· Speaking to journalists, Immigration Commissioner, Col. Chris Massaquoi said the deportees were sent to Zwedru to face further security screening and rehabilitation.
· The 22 Liberians including one female were convicted of crimes ranging from rape, drug abuse, assault, armed robbery, overstaying amongst others.

Violence Erupts in Nimba Again
(Daily Observer)

· [sic]Incidents of land disputes in some parts of Nimba County seem to be far from over as latest reports indicate another round of attacks. This time, the attacks took place on a farmland belonging to the Statutory Superintendent of Saclepea, David W. Queeglay. According to Mr. Queeglay, during the attack over 100 marauding armed men set ablaze his three rice barns and made away with an amount of L$36,000 and several other valuables. The attackers, he claimed destroyed whatever they met in their path and looted several heads of cattle and then violently cut down most of the 12,000 rubber trees on the farm. When contacted, Nimba County Inspector, Thomas Suah acknowledged that the county authorities were aware of the incident. According to Inspector Suah, the office of the Superintendent Robert Kamei has already dispatched a team of joint security personnel to the disputed area to conduct an immediate investigation and bring the situation under control.

Egypt Offers Training For Nurses, Midwives
(The Informer, The News, Heritage)

· The Egyptian government has offered eight scholarships to five Liberian nurses and three midwives to undergo specialized advanced training at the Egyptian National Research Centre in Cairo. According to a statement from the Egyptian Embassy in Monrovia, the beneficiaries are expected to leave Liberia December 15, 2008 to undergo a 25-day intensive medical training in Cairo.
· The Egyptian Embassy hoped the training would build the capacity of the health practitioners so as to provide good health care to the people of Liberia. At the same time, the Embassy said five Liberian students are expected to depart Liberia soon for Egypt to undergo various disciplines including agriculture, commerce, among others.
· The students, the statement said, would spend four years in that country studying at various universities after which they would return home to contribute towards the development of their country. The Egyptian Embassy also mentioned that three Liberians are currently in Egypt undergoing training in peacekeeping.

Radio Summary
Local Media – Radio Veritas (News monitored today at 9:45 am)
22 Liberian Deportees Back in the Country
(Also reported on Star Radio, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

UNMIL Releases New Human Rights Report
(Also reported on Star Radio, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

President Sirleaf Dedicates New Rape Court
(Also reported on Star Radio, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Popular Musician Accused of Atrocities Faces TRC Today
· Popular Liberian musician, Michael Davis alias Sundaygar Dearboy appeared before Liberia’s Truth Commission(TRC) to explain his role in the country’s decade-long conflict.
· The musician has been accused by several TRC witnesses of committing crimes such as rape and torture in Grand Bassa County while fighting with the defunct National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) during the civil conflict.
· Appearing before the TRC public hearings early this year, the commission’s first witness, David Saweh linked the musician to the rape and subsequent death of his sister.
· Mr. Davies has however termed their testimonies as “baseless” accusing a Commissioner of the TRC of staged managing the testimonies against him a claim denied by the TRC.

Criminal Court “A” Hands Down Ruling in Angel Togba Murder Case
· Criminal Court “A” will today hand down ruling into a motion file to dismiss the case involving Hans Williams and his FiancĂ©e Mardea Paykue who are accused of killing little Angel Togbah last year.
· Lawyers representing the accused filed a motion on grounds that the state has failed to produce medical report on the case before the indictment.
· The State however said there were no laws that required such documents to be filed before the indictment.

16 Dismissed AFL Soldiers Stage Protest
· 16 officers dismissed from the Armed Forces of Liberia have staged a peaceful protest demanding that they see President Sirleaf.
· The soldiers were dismissed in September this year for what Defense authorities termed as “Gross Insubordination”.
· Reports at the time said the “disenchanted” soldiers of the 23rd Infantry Battalion of the AFL protested their relocation their apartments to accommodate more than 500 of their colleagues who had graduated from the Sandi Ware military barracks at VOA.

Star Radio (News monitored today at 9:00 am)
President Sirleaf to Deliver Major Policy Statement Today
· President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf today delivered a major official policy statement on corruption in Liberia.
· In a live broadcast statement the President outlined policy measures the government has already instituted to fight corruption.

Labour Ministry, American Bar Association Sign MOU
· The Labour Ministry and the American Bar Association’s sponsored-Africa Rule of Law Initiative have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding.
· Under the MOU, the American Bar Association would provide legal assistance to the Ministry.
· A Labour Ministry release said the two agreed to establish a framework to place an Attorney-at law in the ministry.
· The Attorney at-law will assist the ministry in the determination of Labour disputes in accordance with the country’s Labour laws.


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