President of ECOWAS Commission Due for Talks with GoL, Protest Organizers

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Flashback: In May 2018, Mr. Brou visited Liberia and met President Weah who, at the time, expressed concern over the political tensions in Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Togo. Now, the table has turned.

According to information quoting reliable sources in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, is expected to pay a visit to Monrovia shortly. His visit comes on the heels of the just-ended visit to Liberia of the UN Special Representative for ECOWAS and the Sahel (UNOWAS).

Sources say the impending arrival of Mr. Brou to Monrovia is intended to send a strong message that ECOWAS desires a peaceful outcome to June 7 and will not accept anything less.

Interestingly, just over a year ago Mr. Brou visited Liberia and met President Weah, who at the time expressed concern over the political tensions in Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Togo.

“It is imperative that Sierra Leonean political stakeholders hold discussions to iron out differences and avoid needless quarrels or outright war. War is a terrible thing and Sierra Leoneans should avoid its resurgence”, President Weah noted during Mr. Brou’s visit.

The table has turned and sources maintain that Mr. Brou’s expected visit is necessitated by developments surrounding the planned June 7 “peaceful protests,” which many fear could turn violent in view of reports of clandestine night-time military training of men at a beach; threats of violence by ex-rebel generals, some of who were involved in the killing of UN Peace Keepers in La Cote d’Ivoire; the arming of select student groups; and the vitriolic rhetorics coming from both sides of the divide.

Sources further say that there is a general and fast forming consensus amongst regional leaders that the current crisis in the country has the potential to escalate with dangerous spillover implications for the West African subregion, parts of which are already plagued with insurgencies that are creating instability in those areas.

According to diplomatic sources, Liberia, which once was a nexus of conflict in the subregion and a net exporter of refugees and battle-hardened combatants, still has residual issues of justice and reconciliation left unresolved. With that in mind, according to sources, no effort will be spared to ensure that the country does not relapse into bloody conflict.

Moreover, statements by UNOWAS Representative, Ibn Chambas, expressing what some analysts call deep concern about the capacity of the national security apparatus to manage and handle sustained public protests of a long duration, has drawn attention.

His statement, according to sources, is but a veiled reference to suggestions that ECOWAS may be considering the possibility of introducing a standby force to back up local security forces in case should the protests continue for a sustained, and prolonged period thereby imposing strains, which the national security apparatus may prove incapable of handling.

In a related development, CDC chairman Mulbah Morlu has denied speculations, rife on social media, about a letter allegedly written by Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill to Police Inspector-General Patrick Sudue, inviting him to a meeting to discuss matters relating to information about a coup attempt allegedly being planned by organizers of the impending June 7 protest.

Meanwhile organizers of the June 7 protest have said they have a laundry list of demands, which they are going to present to the President for his action.

Darius Dillon, one of the protest organizers, they have major concerns prime amongst which is the establishment of a War Crimes Court for Liberia.

Other demands include the summary dismissal and prosecution of Finance Minister Tweah and Central Bank of Libera Governor, Nathaniel Patray, as well as all those linked to the missing billions and the US$25 million mop-up exercise, and the scrapping of the newly imposed Cargo Tracking Note (CTN).

Dillon also alluded to what the “illegal removal of Justice Ja’neh, and the appointment of an Ombudsman Committee/Commission relative to enforcement of the Code of Conduct law, under which Asset Declaration is compulsory.”

At this stage, it remains unclear just how President George Weah is going to react to this laundry list of demands from protest organizers. However sources say that parting company with Finance Minister Tweah is something which President Weah may find anathema, although circumstances arising out of the June 7 protests could compel a change of heart.

But that remains yet to be seen. For now, all eyes appear set on June 7 as the nation awaits its outcome with bated breath.

11 COMMENTS

  1. SDT as a Minister should be no factor for a protest,those things that should be considered for the protest should be based on the Gov;t economic policies: Over-taxation(tariffs at the NPA and other gov;t entities,etc.), violation of the Constitution of Liberia and other laws of the land,and the strengthening of the Liberian dollars,etc.these are some reasons people should protest for.

  2. Oh yeah?? What if the Finance Minister cannot account for the USD$25 million dollars which he claimed he used to mop up old US bills from the Liberian market? Don’t you think that the President should have fired him long time ago and ensured that the money was put back in the national treasury? The money was shared by the two friends, Weah and Tweah that’s why Weah’s hand is heavy to fire Tweah, his close friend. If Weah fires Tweah, Tweah will talk. This is where we are at the moment.

    So Weah would rather vindicate Tweah and sacrifice poor Nathaniel Patray who is not a close friend of Weah. This is what Weah’s so called audit report is geared towards. The main intent of this bogus audit is to put the missing USD$25 million dollars on Patray’s head instead of the real perpetrator, Mr. Samuel Tweah, the Finance Tweah who personally spearheaded the mop up exercise. Weah must be given the boot!! He is corrupt and is spearheading a COVER UP. In just a year, the rascal built 45 mansions out of the people’s missing money(USD$25million and the missing16 billion Liberian dollars.) Weah’s theft of the people’s money has finally caught up with him.

  3. If Minister Tweah/The Weah’s Administration had directed that U.S$25,000,000 so called “MOP UP-MONEY” to JOBS CREATIONS, there probably won’t be the need for a “DEMONSTRATION”; comes 06/07/19. When The People have jobs and they are happy, they won’t have time for a “DEMONSTRATION”. Definitely, Tweah is a political Abitross in The Weah’s Administration. President Weah needs to make SOME POSITIVE REALIGNMENTS; if he wants a successful ADMINISTRATION.

  4. The planned June 7 protest march is unstoppable. But there are a lot of issues involved.

    From independent reliable sources, the march is expected to go on for a few days. There is no logical reason why a peaceful protest march should go on for a few days.

    Argument: The country’s economic problems will not be addressed in a few days while the protesters are on the march.

    The West African Community is sending its top representative, Mr. Brou, to Liberia. Good move.

    Reason for Mr. Brou’s vist:
    To hold talks with president Weah. To calm the fears of innocent Liberians and neighboring countries. A protest march that is intended to go on for a few days has an explosive potential. Mr. Brou’s visit at this crucial time is warranted.

    Organizers’ Laundry List Of Demand:
    1. Ja’neh was improperly impeached.

    2. The Treasury minister, Mr. Tweah and Nathaniel Patray of the CBL must be terminated from their jobs.

    3. The circumstances that swirl around the US twenty-five million dollars which was meant as an economic stimulant are unclear.

    3. The establishment of a court that deals with war crimes.

    Argument:
    If the collaborating opposition parties have any evidence of wrongdoing as it relates to Ja’neh’s impeachment, it’s incumbent upon them to disclose it.

    If there is any evidence that Tweah and Patray are involved in theft, the collaborating opposition parties have a right to disclose that information. However, any disclosure by the opposition should not be based on speculation, hearsay, or falsehood.

    If the government’s explanation was unsatisfactory as it relates to the economic stimulus package of 25 million dollars, the opposition has an obligation to step up with ample evidence.

    If the opposition parties demand an establishment of a war crimes court, it’s okay. The question is why didn’t it make sense to demand such a court when Johnson-Sirleaf was president?

    Warning:
    The planned march will be held.
    But vigilantism is a problem.

    The planned march will be held.
    But there shouldn’t be theft of property. No fist fights.

    The planned march will be held.
    But the former warlord soldiers must stay away.

    The planned march will be held.
    But there should be no weapons like knives, machetes or pepper spray. Please! The rule of law must be a guiding principle.

    The planned march will be held.
    But the organizers must be in attendance. No don’t stay away. The presence of the organizers will show that the march is democratic and peaceful.

  5. Ironically, the same considerate crowd that shrilly crowed about not disturbing our “relative peace” with street demonstrations during a dozen years of unresponsive and ineffective kleptocracy, are now cheerleading the sixth protest against a government bequeathed with pervasive poverty. Whether we want to hear it is immaterial. Nonetheless, a country which for 170 years has been undergoing systemic dysfunctional governance needs sympathetically-delivered systematic reforms, not another revolution.

    Anyway, not surprisingly, many are doubtful if the intervention of our august ECOWAS President will sway those invested in June 7. Because its seed planted when journalist Henry Costa taunted some opposition politicians and Kru fishermen about not protesting against a fishing contract with one Senegalese company, has grown into a pillar-like cotton tree carrying presidential ambitions of few and geopolitical interests reference a 2018 announced policy of Adviser John Bolton to force African countries choose between the U.S and China.

    And eerily like arrangements between slave traders and slave plantations, or agreements reached at the Berlin Conference where the continent was carved with no thought of peoples to be affected, the intertwining and interlocking motives and goals of June 7 don’t give a rat ass for what others would prefer, nor concerns for public safety. So, once again, after a quarter million butchered, the interests of a minority and foreign handlers should trump that of the vast majority; and biased bookish blockheads say it’s democracy: Pitch that to a stable of sheep for the slaughterhouse!

  6. If the organizers are to make heroes out of themselves by putting fear in the population about a so-called June 7 let them go ahead, one thing for sure, the mandate of the Liberian people will be achieved by allowing President Weah to complete his six years term. Any attempt by the protesters to take another stance will be resisted to the equal proportion of the force applied. If UNOWAS, UN, AU and ECOWAS can come to get involved, and the organizers are being defiant not to listen but go ahead with a protest that has negative motive, we who supported this government and still support the government, will not allow anything outside of the law to be accepted. We are watching!!

  7. If most of its demands are not achieved, ithe June 7 protest will have the distinction of being the ugliest and weakest in the history Liberia’s existence. Especially if Weah plays hardball and refuses to terminate Patray and Tweah or if he refuses to negotiate while the marchers are in full gear, things will fall apart quickly. We’ll see who blinks first.

  8. Talk show host Henry Costa, is feeding on the vulnerability of the massive semi illiteracy rate of the Liberian students. I have listened to him a little time in the past in Sydney. With the massive illiteracy rate in Liberia, this guy will not touch on anything educational in the interest of the same students he is trying to get into the street. However, only in Liberia, anything can be sold to the masses.

    Mr. Costa is rallying students who are studying through reading pamphlets, not text books. “The blind leading the blinds”. An educational system that can let go 6000 + students, because they “fail” entrance exam. A fertile ground for illiteracy that is laced with all the ingredients of destruction. A PETRI DISH for COLONIES suitable for spreading hate, and polarization among our illitertat population that will brew uncertainty.

    The people have the right to assemble any where, demonstrate at any time. Where necessary. When they are led by fail and so-called ring leaders that have struggle and fail to reach the post of state authority, their sincerity become questionable.

    The CDC lead Administration is not an imperial power, it can be voted out of office after 6 years. However, any attempt to force this administration out of power. It is the PLEAGUE that has always hunt Liberians. If we (Liberian) are in the business of doing other foreign agents dirty work, hahahaha….let’s look back and see how we been kicked around. The proxy battle field has no fix perimeter.

    “Town trap is not for RAT alone”.

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