NAYMOTE Wants Travel Ban on Politicians

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CSO wants politicians, family members banned from leaving Liberia as a deterrent to potential “trouble makers”

Amidst the political impasse on the run-off presidential election, a pro-democracy civil society group has called on members of the international community to impose a travel ban on all political actors and their immediate family members until the impasse is resolved.

According to the National Youth Movement for Transparent Elections (NAYMOTE), the masses are usually the most victimized or bear the greatest brunt of any conflict as was the case during the 14-year civil crisis, while the affluent and powerful politicians who are mostly the instigators, and their families usually flee when things get worse.

“We want to strongly recommend that foreign governments deny visas to political leaders, their family members and supporters that would undermine the peace, and hold them accountable for any human rights violations that may occur as the result of their actions,” NAYMOTE Program Director, Aaron Weah-Weah, III said at a press conference yesterday.

“Banning these politicians and their family members from traveling,” Weah-Weah said, “will help to properly guide the course(s) of actions of these politicians in maintaining the peace, doing the right thing legally and engaging in dialogues.”

Weah-Weah added, “We call on the United States Government, the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, ECOWAS and all international partners to strengthen their engagements and support toward sustaining the democratic gains and peace in Liberia.”

The imposition of the travel ban will be a great help to abort the thinking of potential trouble makers.

He appealed to the country’s international partners to hold discussions with various political actors to reduce the potential rising tension, and encourage them to use the legal system and refrain from any utterances that will promote violence.

“We also want our young people to remain peaceful and respect the due process, because any conflict arising out of electoral violence would affect their lives and future, more in a negative way. We need to be very careful as young people, because we have always been victimized, and we are yet to recover from the damage we suffered from the previous conflicts,” Weah, Weah warned.

All political institutions and their leaders, the NAYMOTE official noted, must ensure that the country remains peaceful, show respect for the rule of law and democratic institutions as well as encourage partisans and supporters to refrain from all activities, attitudes and utterances that could generate violence and set back the democratic gains the country has made over the years.

He cautioned the Liberian media to be conflict-sensitive and demonstrate a high level of professionalism during this critical period in the country’s history.

“We realize that incitement of any form would destroy the country and undo the democratic gains made so far,” Weah-Weah warned.

NAYMOTE called on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to remain focused on maintaining the peace and work hard to stop the country from returning to the ugly past.

“The President needs to provide better leadership at this critical period of her legacy and ensure a smooth democratic transition. History will remember her in a negative way if she fails to ensure a smooth democratic transition,” Weah-Weah cautioned.

The CSO has meanwhile lauded the judicial engagements involving Liberty Party, the NEC and the Supreme Court for their roles in the political impasse.

Weah-Weah urged NEC to maintain a high level professionalism in the hearing of the case, by demonstrating impartiality, honesty, credibility and integrity. “This, we believe, will ensure justice for all, regardless of which institutions or individuals are represented.

7 COMMENTS

  1. We putting ourselves together here in the united states of America too
    for the state department to denied all Liberian government officials and politicians
    from entering the united states and other parts of the world.

  2. Not only should the former leaders and politicians be banned, their financial records must be scrutinized. The best way that this could be achieved is by way of contacting the Western countries and their intelligence agencies to help in this regard.

    The idea of a travel ban is great. But, the financial records must be scrutinized and made public as well.

    Do you want to know why the travel ban and a scrutiny of officials’ financial records issue is so important?
    Answer:
    It’s a deterrent to corruption!
    If a handful of corrupt individuals are exposed, future leaders will think twice (if they have brains and not scum) in their heads before they act recklessly and stupidly.

    Western countries’ intelligence agencies are masterful. They can follow the paper and money trail better.

    At a time when thousands of Liberians are crying for jobs or better medical treatment, a cadre of Liberians are doing extremely well.
    Something is wrong somewhere.

  3. We pray also that their respective families abroad be brought back temporarily in the country by the international community until after the entire political problem in Liberia is settled solved.

  4. Granted that some of us have the tendency of becoming confusionists under the guise of politics, principles, or rule of law; without evidence of crimes committed or about to be, the proposed “deterrents” are unlawful. The constitution protects freedom of movement, too, so those restrictions may violate rights.

    The take away here, however, is that some Liberian politicians and officials should be mindful of unknowingly incurring the wrath of a hungry, angry, and fed up public. One can see why some sectors of our society would feel that well – off, well – fed politicians and officials with their well – provided – for families don’t feel the pains of want the downtrodden are undergoing, hence care less.

    As advocates for stability in a fragile Liberia, we are grateful that the organization NAYMOTE is voicing the sentiments of, unmistakably, the voiceless. Because in some countries, these sentiments aren’t heard until after violent reprisals against the assumed impediments to a better existence. Undoubtedly, the patience of the powerless is at a tipping point, and, perhaps, it’s time the powerful stop the ongoing political stalemate.

    Needless to say, dismissing such developments as veiled threats or blackmail is to be clueless about the inherent madness of those feeling ignored, discarded, or denied; that’s how spontaneous revolutions are birthed. We don’t wish for one; equally, no politician should stoke one, either!

  5. I hope the United States and other countries government will follow this request. This time around, we are not going to sit back and watch them taking their family out the country..

  6. Great recommendation mr.Weah-Weah,this should also apply to those who are naturalized Liberian-American citizen and have lied about it.These individuals participate in corruption then come back to the states and live unbelievable lurxurious life styles.

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