Friday, January 30, 2009

Daily Liberian Newspaper Summary

UNMIL Public Information Office Complete Media Summaries
30 January 2009

Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner, Sheikh Kafumba Konneh has for the fourth time been accused of supporting the defunct rebel faction United Liberation Movement for Democracy (ULIMO).
· Testifying at the ongoing thematic and institutional hearings Thursday, a former ULIMO General, Mohammed Sherriff alleged that Commissioner Konneh was a member of the former warring faction political wing.
· In recent months, there had been incessant accusations against Commissioner Sheikh Kafumba Konneh of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) about roles he had allegedly played during the Liberian civil war as a backer of the disbanded rebel faction, United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia (ULIMO).
· A former General of LURD, Ofori Diah and a Liberian in the diaspora, Tarty Teh last year made similar claims but Commissioner Konneh has persistently denied the allegations dismissing, saying it’s a smear campaign against him.

Lawmakers Cite Ambiguity in President’s comments regarding County Development Fund - Seek Clarification
(Public Agenda, Heritage, National Chronicle, New Democrat, The News, Daily Observer)

· The House of Representatives is requesting clarification from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over her recent statement for members of the National Legislature to withdraw from the implementation of the County Development Funds.
· The lawmakers are calling for more information on the intent of the statement citing ambiguity in the pronouncement.
· In her State of the Nation address, the President said the withdrawal will enable the Executive to fully manage the implementation of the resources allotted to the counties.
· There have been numerous reports of fraud in the use of the county development fund with County Superintendents and lawmakers being accused.

Youth and Sports Ministry Deploys 135 Youths for Volunteer Service
(Daily Observer)
· The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on Thursday began the deployment of 135 young men and women under phase two of the National Youth Volunteer Service (NYVS).
· The volunteers completed a three-week induction course in education, health, agriculture and other subjects prior to their deployment. They are being deployed in six counties namely - Bong, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, Grand Bassa, Maryland and Sinoe Counties.

US Firm Faces Exploitation Charge in Liberia
(Daily Observer)

· [sic] Citizens of Kokoyah Statutory District in Bong County have threatened to stop the American-Liberia Mineral Company (AMLIB) from operating in their district over assumptions that the company, which has been prospecting for gold over the last nine years, has been exploiting the area instead.

Business Organization Backs President Sirleaf's Plan to Cut Taxes
(Daily Observer)

· A local business organization says it strongly backs President Sirleaf's tax cut policy for businesses and individuals. The Concerned Liberian International Business Organization (COLINBO) said recent tax cut policy proposals made to the Legislature by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the reduction in the price of rice from US$35 to US$30 were in the best interest of the business community and the people of Liberia.

Radio Summary
Local Media – Radio Veritas (News monitored today at 9:45 am)
Commissioner Konneh Accused Again of Support to Rebel Group
(Also reported on Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Legislature Seeks Clarification Over President Sirleaf’s Pronouncement
(Also reported on Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Truth F.M. (News monitored today at 10:00 am)
Commerce Ministry Announces Price Reduction on Basic Commodities

· The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has announced a reduction in the prices of basic commodities on the Liberian market.
· At a news conference yesterday, Commerce Minister, Miatta Beyslow named rice, cement and petroleum products as the commodities affected by the price reduction.

Female Lawmakers Claim Marginalization

· Female lawmakers from the lower House have expressed dissatisfaction over the leadership reshuffle saying it was targeted at female lawmakers.
· At a joint news conference yesterday, the female lawmakers said they were singled out of the dominant male House of Representatives and replaced as heads of the committees they were serving.
· Since the reshuffle of the House leadership, there have been claims that the changes were not done in good faith but were targeted at certain individuals.

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