The British Ambassador to Liberia, Sir. Neil Bradley has paid a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives with a call on Liberia to take seriously the issue of accountability to give justice to war victims affected by the long years of civil strife.
Reflecting on the long years of relation with Liberia dating back to the 1850s, Ambassador Bradley emphasized that his country takes a keen interest in Liberia’s transitional justice process, health, and accountability in public places, while at the same time expressing interest in working with the Liberian Government to achieve more women participation in the body politics of the country.
The British Ambassador further cautioned that Liberia needs to take seriously it is standing on security and good governance to bring justice to victims of crimes in Liberia. He lauded the government and people of Liberia for their approach to the global pandemic, COVID-19.
A release from the Speaker’s office notes that during the meeting, Amb. Bradley declared that Liberia has great potential and that Britain stands ready to work with her in many areas of economic opportunities affecting the country’s green energy sector, mining, forestry, fisheries, and energy, amongst others.
He, however, stressed that without accountability for crimes perpetrated by people against others in various forms, it will be difficult for the country to achieve its goals.
Liberia has in recent times been overwhelmed by criminal activities with the mysterious deaths of auditors and some ordinary people recorded. The greatest one still hanging over the country is the accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the civil war, which the government—both past and the current administration, had reneged on bringing justice for the victims.
The release quoted House Speaker, Dr. Bhofal Chambers as lauding the British Envoy for his positive thoughts about Liberia. Speaker Chambers recounted the long diplomatic relationship between Great Britain and Liberia, which dates back to more than one hundred years. The Speaker then admonished the British Ambassador to do his work diligently in Liberia to succeed in the agenda of poverty alleviation.
Meanwhile, Speaker Chambers also held a consultative meeting Tuesday on money laundering with the visiting High-Level Delegation from the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money laundering in West Africa (GIABA), under the sponsorship of the ECOWAS Commission.
In his opening statement during the meeting, the Speaker said he sees the issue of money laundering as one of the major confronting challenges the Liberian economy and society grapple with.
The release indicated that the delegation consisted of ten representatives drawn from several West African Countries including, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Senegal, and is headed by GIABA Director-General, Judge Kimelabalou Aba, assisted by his counterpart, Liberia FIU’s Boss, Edwin Harris.
Speaking through an interpreter, the GIABA Director-General, a Senegalese national, told Speaker Chambers that following the organization’s 32nd technical commission/plenary meeting in 2019, they have realized the need to strengthen the activities of the Financial Intelligence Unit’s works in Liberia so that the country cannot be a breeding ground for criminals who may use illegal money to affect society negatively.
The GIABA Director-General sorted the indulgence of the Honorable House of Representatives where applicable, to work with the Liberian FIU to draw up policies and mechanisms that will require legislative approvals for possible national budget funding.
The Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS established GIABA in December 2000 as a specialized institution with the mandate to assist member states to adopt and effectively implement Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) measures in accordance with acceptable international standards, particularly the FATF standards.