Friday, September 04, 2009

UNMIL Public Information Office Media Summary 3 September 2009

Source: English General News Date: September 03, 2009

Liberia's defense minister says police have arrested six Pakistani men who tried to enter Liberia on fake U.S. passports with possible intent to carry out terrorism. Defense Minister Brownie Samukai says the men were arrested earlier this week at the international airport. In a radio statement late Wednesday he said one of the suspects removed his phone's SIM card and swallowed it as he was being arrested. Samukai did not give further details on what Liberian authorities believe the men were trying to do, where the men are being held or what charges they may face. Officials say they believe the men's U.S. passports were fakes.
International Clips on West Africa
Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, Police Named in Armed Robbery Scandal

http://www.news.sl/drwebsite

The Head of Media and Communications in the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) has denied allegations from residents in Freetown that night patrol police personnel were part of the armed robbers who has been terrorizing peaceful residents at night. Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Ibrahim Samura on Tuesday 1st September 2009 described the allegations as unfortunate, baseless and unfounded. The Sierra Leone Police is a professional force tasked with an obligation to protect the lives and properties of the citizenry and also that of maintaining law and order,” ASP Samura told the Awareness Times newspaper in a telephone interview. He stated that the presence of the police was highly visible at night, which according to him was an effort aimed at maintaining peace and rid the country of armed robbers. “Police personnel have been deployed in all areas across the country that are prone to armed robbery attacks,” he noted, adding that the police were very active in conducting condone and random searches.

Guinea
Guinea bans political debates on radio, TV
CONAKRY (Reuters) - Authorities in Guinea have banned live political chat shows, the latest sign of political unease after violent demonstrations and accusations of phone censorship deepened a row over delayed elections. The military junta that has run the world's top bauxite producer since a December 2008 coup is facing mounting opposition and criticism after it delayed until 2010 elections which the military leader has not ruled out standing in."The National Communications Council (CNC) has decided to ban, until further notice, politics from all types of interactive broadcasts in any language," said a statement read on state television. A senior source in the CNC, which regulates all media in Guinea, told Reuters that the ban was a result of "pressure from the entourage around the head of the junta".

Local Media – Newspaper
Government Gets Six Vehicles for Police Operations
(The Informer, The News)

· The Governments of Ireland, Germany as well as the United Nations Peace Building Fund have donated six vehicles to the Liberia National Police (LNP).
· The donation is to enhance internal security as the country moves toward consolidating peace.
· Handling the keys of the vehicles to LNP authority, the Chief Technical Advisor of the Security Sector Reform at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Napoleon Abdullai said the donation was part of their efforts to build the capacity of the LNP in fighting crimes.
· Deputy Police Inspector General for Administration Samuel Dakana lauded the donors and said that the donation was timely especially at a time when the LNP is gearing up to resume a rigorous exercise.

Criminals Leaving From Guinea To Liberia…As UNMIL, LNP Hold Security Meeting (The Inquirer)

· Lofa County Superintendent Galakpai Kortimai says he has observed the influx of criminals coming into the country from neighboring Guinea.
· In an interview, Mr. Kortimai said the influx of criminals has led to the increase of armed robbery, burglary and other crimes in the county.
· The Lofa Superintendent said he had begun holding series of meetings with the people of the county to discuss the influx of these alleged criminals and the increasing wave of crimes in the county.
· Meanwhile, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the Liberia National Police Detachment in the county over the weekend convened a special security meeting with the people aimed at addressing the security needs of the county.
· During the meeting, it was agreed that a watch team consisting of 15 persons from each quarter be forwarded to the security forces to help monitor the security situation.

Police Patrol Chief Indicted for Theft
(Daily Observer, New Democrat)

· The Chief of Patrol of the Liberia National Police (LNP) along with several other police officers to be identified has been reportedly indicted for theft.
· Inspector Darlington Williams and other LNP officers had been indicted by the grand Jurors of Criminal Court “A” at the Temple of Justice for their alleged involvement in the theft of more than US$9,000.00 and other properties.
· Hearing in the case is ongoing.

Court Seeks Substitution for Taylor’s Lawyer
(New Vision, Heritage, The News, The Monitor, National Chronicle)

· Reports from The Hague say the Special Court for Sierra Leone has taken a decision which could change the course of Mr. Charles Taylor’s direct examination.
· The court ruled on Wednesday that the Defence Team finds a substitute for its ailing Lead Lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths if he’s not available in court by next week.
· The trial has been postponed for another two days. But Defence Lawyer, Morris Anyah said that Mr. Griffiths has the personal responsibility to lead Mr. Taylor’s testimonies.
· This is the third time Mr. Taylor’s trial has been postponed because of the illness of Mr. Griffiths.

Foreign Ministry Comptroller Dismissed
(The Informer, Daily Observer, New Democrat, Heritage, National Chronicle, New Vision)
· The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed, with immediate effect, Mr. Osman Kamara, Comptroller of the Division of Finance for Administrative reason.
· The Ministry says Mr. Kamara failed to perform his duties in keeping with the standard of a Comptroller of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
· But the wife of Mr. Kamara has since dismissed the allegations arguing that her husband was competent.

GEMAP Ends This Month in Liberia

(Heritage, New Vision)
· The Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme (GEMAP), is to formally end its operation in Liberia on 30 September 2009.
· The co-signature arrangements for the USAID-funded advisers at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), the national Port Authority (NPA), the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC) and the Ministry of Finance Department of the Budget will cease.
· However, the IMF and the World Bank will fund the retention of advisers with co-signature authority at the Ministry of Finance and the central Bank of Liberia.

Senate Breaks Silence on PUL Bills
(Daily Observer, the Inquirer)

· Despite persistent pressure from the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) for the passage of three media bills before the National legislature, the Liberian Senate says it received only one bill, an Act to Establish an Independent Broadcasting Regulator for Liberia.
· The Senate however said the bill contained lots of flaws that needed to be dealt with before its passage.
· The lawmakers said considering this, the Senate cannot pass the bill until certain amendments are made in the Acts that established the Ministry of Information, Liberia Telecommunication Authority and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication.
· The three bills before the Legislature for passage include the Freedom of Information and an Act to establish an Independent Broadcasting Regulator.

Local Media – Star Radio (culled from website today at 09:00 am)
Star Radio (News monitored today at 09:00 am)
Defense Warns Against Releasing Six Pakistanis from Jail
· The Ministry of National Defence says any attempt to release six Pakistanis arrested recently at the Robert International Airport (RIA) would pose security threat to the country.
· In an interview, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai said the manner in which the Pakistanis entered the country has created serious security concerns.
· Minister Samukai disclosed that during the security screening at the RIA one of the Pakistanis took a sim card from his mobile phone and chewed it.
· The Defence Ministry reaction comes in the wake of reports that various law firms in Monrovia have filed habeas corpus petitions for the Pakistanis and several Liberians.
(Also reported on Radio Veritas, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

US Naval Ship In the Country
· A United States Naval vessel, HSV Swift is in the Country as part of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) with several on board to conduct training and assistance programs.
· While in the country, the APS will conduct variety of health care delivery services including health education.
· The mission will also conduct advanced lab education at several medical facilities including the John F. Kennedy Medical Center and Redemption Hospital.
· During the deployment, the APS will construct two medical wards at the Redemption Hospital and begin work on the Liberian Coast Guard Pier.
(Also reported on Radio Veritas, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Hearings on Investment Act Start at Legislature
· A team of government representatives has described the draft Investment Act of 2009 as a major instrument to improving the Liberian economy.
· The government team said the Investment Act would support the development of a vibrant private and public sector by attracting foreign direct investment.
· The team said the Act would also improve the accountability, efficiency and transparency of how government deals with investors.
· The government representatives made the comments before the joint Legislative Committee, conducting public hearings on the draft Investment Act of 2009.
(Also reported on Radio Veritas, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Court Seeks Substitution for Taylor’s Lawyer
(Also reported on Radio Veritas, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

WAEC Cites Reasons for Mass Failure of Students in 2009 exams
· The Monrovia office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has identified several factors responsible for the massive failure of students in its exams this year.
· The head of WAEC, Professor Thomas Gaie cited the lack of qualified teachers, and sub-standard schools operating in the country as some of the contributing factors.
· Professor Gaie also identified the lack of conducive learning environment and poor disciplinary measures as factors that contributed to the mass failures.
· Professor Gaie said Liberia might not participate in the West African senior schools examinations scheduled for 2011 if the factors are not carefully reviewed.
(Also reported on Radio Veritas, Sky F.M., Truth F.M. and ELBC)

Truth F.M. (News monitored today at 10:00 am)
Foreign Ministry Comptroller Dismissed

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