#BRINGBACKOURMONEY Campaign ‘Non-Negotiable’

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Protesters in the "Bring Back Our Money" campaign promised to remain peaceful, civil and mature as they pursue this irreversible and patriotic path of bringing an end to systemic corruption in Liberia.

-Says COCUBOMB; Lauds US Gov’t for Swift Action

The Coalition of Citizens United to Bring Our Money Back (COCUBOMB), the group at the center of a massive campaign to ensure that the Liberian government accounts for the alleged missing container of L$16 billion newly printed banknotes, has said that Liberians are resolved to ensure that the alleged missing money is restituted. The group says that it remains unbent until this happens.

“Our calls for the restitution of the missing funds remain unbending and non-negotiable,” COCUBOMB Chairman, Martin K. N. Kollie said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Kollie lauded the United States government for its swift intervention to help investigate the embarrassing scandal.

COCUBOMB expressed gratitude to the U.S. government for getting involved in the investigation as doing so has brought credibility to the process. The group has persistently noted that it does not trust the Liberian government, which stands as the prime suspect in the largest financial scandal the country has ever faced, to carry out the investigation transparently.

“We are glad that in response to the popular desire of the Liberian people through this mass peaceful protest, the International Community, through the U.S., has finally launched an independent international forensic investigation to ascertain basic facts pertinent to this national mystery that has wounded the image of the country,” Chairman Kollie said at the press conference.

“We extol the U.S. and others for standing with the Liberian people in pursuit of public accountability, integrity, and transparency. We commend the international community for judiciously acting in the best interest of the Liberian people by taking full charge of this investigation,” he added.

The U.S. Embassy recently stated that it had reached out to independent, internationally recognized firms with specialization in forensic investigations to conduct a scoping mission in a bid to ascertain the basic facts of the alleged missing currency matter and determine to what extent a broader mission would be needed.

In its statement, the Embassy said from assessment, such a report would be the most credible and effective means to quickly determine the scale of the problem and would be an appropriate means for the United States to support the Liberian government’s and citizens’ desire to understand the allegations and facts.

What is more saddening from the very beginning of the saga, Kollie noted, is the insincerity, inconsistency and incoherence in terms of managing this national emergency which could have unintended socio-economic and political consequences.

“Even up-to-date, we cannot trust key functionaries of this government because they continue to release conflicting accounts that are loaded with falsehood,” he said.

The U.S. intervention comes barely three weeks after Liberians, led by COCUBOMB, took to the streets demanding the government to ensure that the missing billions are accounted for. On September 24, 2018, Liberians in their numbers defied a heavy downpour of rain to petition the International Community.

This massive peaceful civil action called for an independent international forensic investigation into the alleged mysterious disappearance under the current administration of President George Manneh Weah of the L$16 billion.

COCUBOMB Chairman, Martin K. N. Kollie

Protesting under the hashtag #BRINGOURMONEYBACK, the gathering reverberated with songs and slogans reflecting anti-corruption messages directed at President George Manneh Weah and former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf — two individuals many believe are at the center of the missing money saga.

COCUBOMB had earlier called on the international community to impose “smart sanctions” on the country—withholding all financial and non-financial aid to the government until it accounts for the alleged missing money.

The smart sanctions, the protesters said, will help prevail on the government to do the right thing. “This is because it will need financial assistance from the international community to carry out its development agenda,” the protesters said.

Kollie said the group remains hopeful of a credible outcome of this ongoing investigation; COCUBOMB would appreciate a weekly update from the independent international panel of forensic investigators as the process unfolds. This will help to prevent public suspicions/speculations and keep the Liberian populace regularly informed and even more confident about the veracity of the investigation.

COCUBOMB, a mass-based pro-democracy and pro-advocacy organization which consists of over 26 civil society organizations (CSOs), youth/student groups and trade unions, encourages the International Community to only hire international forensic financial firms that have no link to and/or interest in Liberia.

“We believe that the full involvement of the FBI, IMF, World Bank, AfDB, and US Treasury Department would add more value to the investigation,” he said. “We want to remain proactively engaged with all international partners to ensure full accountability of this missing L$16 billion.”

Meanwhile, the CSO has reassured the International Community of its firm commitment to upholding peace and stability. “We will do nothing to undermine the peace of our country. In fact, we love this country more than those vicious micro-nationalists and pseudo-patriots who robbed our people of L$16 billion in broad-daylight,” Kollie said.

“The popular call of our people from Montserrado to Maryland is ‘BRING BACK OUR MONEY.’  This call remains non-negotiable today and even tomorrow. COCUBOMB wants to reassure all Liberians in and out of Liberia that it shall not rest until this money is fully accounted for.

“COCUBOMB also craves an investigation into the imposing private properties being constructed and/or purchased by President George M. Weah and some high profile members of his government in just the first six months of his presidency. We are confident that such an investigation could also dig out some hard truths about this missing L$16 billion,” Kollie said.

4 COMMENTS

  1. People back home have to stand up and demand accountability from their government. That’s how democracy works. If they do that then the international community will pressure the government to do the right thing. This government cannot survive without foreign aid so the international community has leverage over it. If it wasn’t for the demonstrations, I doubt President Weah would have asked the United States to get involved. Apparently he thought the issue would have died down but the noise only got louder.

  2. Prior to, plus the beginning of the civil crisis, discretionary spending was the crust of Liberian funding to prevent idiots and tyrants coming in to monopolize the spending power of the just introduced liquid currency which boosted the economic value of Liberian Goods and services. I make reference to currencies on stockpiled now in the Country’s Vault since 1848 – 1851, even during the time Cape Palmas was annexed, and up to now. Some dictators(tyrants) and heathens craved for power in and outside the nation who could not get their totalitarian rewards, would not accept the fact that crisis trade has no profit. What profit did they get out of guns? This level of trade only to protect profit and people in a civilized world was extremely abused by these fighters which brought the none discretionary sky high now the eminent 30% increase. For example, some of the last administrations spent too much on arms and peace campuses in other nations, when we were just recovered from war while we needed Liberian currency most. We must not make this mistake again, if we need our money back. All decent people would like to use their time to spend their own money on needed products their own ways. Pallet organizations encouraging justice should observe thoroughly in peace, as they meditate and see the outcome of the investigation, take care not to interrupt or prevent local financial activities that generate the livelihood of the people. It is few,( one or two or 3) we seek to find to bring this amount back to books. Financial disputes also bring sick in the head finances from the tale and eyes. Not always in the mouth and other parts. Calculation is an exact science to the truth of Justice. Those few should be sanctioned to be healed. This Liberian nation will not allow 1 or 3 (minority group) faking the procedure to psycho pseudo fake our numbers, we could discover in the process, just to cause sanctions on the entire nation instead on the few, to actualize their inflation for none elected or even elective power. We should not allow political activism to supervise and destroy our day to day production of local products that should improve the living standard of Liberians. We already have our constitutional provisions with supervision.
    Will not be allowed to answer me. Let the public know and check the media at your discretion.
    In silent meditation. Do not disturb.

  3. The intervention of the government about the alleged missing 16 billions container by setting up an investigation into the saga is the best step in the right direction. When news spreads in the country about certain thing happened we should follow it carefully with patient and seeking facts surrendering the news. We shouldn’t be carry away by news that are not proven with accuracy and facts. Jumping in the streets to demonstrate in the name of exercising Democratic rights is meaningless when you have government investigating and also inviting international partners to joined the team in missing money saga.
    Responsible citizens should be mature how to managed information and how to response to it. We should graduate from the society of remorse and base our issues on truth proven by facts and evidence.

  4. Unless the government of Liberia conducts itself as a truly opened society where the handling of fiscal matters are transparent and not shrouded in secrecy, the nation will continue to experience these kinds of tragic occurrences.

    How can Liberia takes pride in calling itself one of the oldest Black African republics when its age does not commensurate with such a status? It’s like the father who gets angry with his children because they do not call him “Pappy”. Nevertheless he fails to realize that even though he is old but he does not demonstrate maturity. Age earns its respect when it demonstrates the proper maturity.

    Liberia has become a country on the map that has become notorious for setting viciously extreme political records. The nation has witnessed a bloody coup d’etat; it has witnessed one of the most ferocious civil wars recorded in humankind’s contemporaneous histories and it claimed more than 250,000 lives; but the saddest dimension about these events is that the nation seems not to learn the right lessons from its tragedies.

    Has Liberia become an old dog that can no longer learn new tricks? I do not think so. I think it has the capability of learning new tricks and in fact it has. Nevertheless, it is still learning tricks that plunges it in the category of negative notoriety. How can one continue to do the same thing repeatedly and yet expect to see a positive difference?

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