Pres. Weah Hosts ECOWAS Delegation

2
447
President George Weah discusses with ECOWAS delegation.

H. E. President George Manneh Weah on Thursday, May 30, 2019 held talks with a visiting delegation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), focusing on issues of pertinent national importance, a release from the Executive Mansion has said.

The meeting with the ECOWAS delegation, which included the regional body’s President, comes a day after the Liberian President, in an address to the nation, vowed to uphold the laws of Liberia which, among other things, guarantees citizens’ rights to free assembly to petition their government.

According to the release, President Weah assured the ECOWAS delegation of his administration’s determination to uphold the laws of Liberia, noting that Government is under obligation to provide equal protection for every citizen irrespective of his or her social, economic and political background.

He said since the international stabilization force, UNMIL, turned over national security responsibility to government, his administration continues to ensure Liberia is peaceful and stable and the citizens secured.

On the issue of the planned June 7 protest by a group of citizens, the Liberian leader opined that while the Constitution is clear on the right of any group of Liberians to protest and his government is under obligation to protect that right, it is equally the right of non-protesting Liberians to freely go about their normal businesses.

“Since we took over the leadership of the country, we have placed no objection on anyone’s right to exercise their rights under the laws,” the President said, adding, “We have all been advocating for that. Those who want to exercise whatever right can go ahead to do so. Our hope is that it is done responsibly. Government has the right to defend and protect everyone’s right.”

He said his Government has done everything possible, including meeting the proponents of the June 7 protest and other national stakeholders, in finding an amicable out-of-the-street solution to the current protest imbroglio.

The head of the ECOWAS Delegation, Jean Claude Kassi Brou (middle), thanked President Weah (right) for the many steps taken to improve the governance process and meet citizens’ expectations. (Left: ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, Babtunde Ajisomo)

President Weah assured the ECOWAS delegation he remains ready and open to listen to any Liberian who has concerns relating to the wellbeing of the state and people.

The Liberian leader said he will continue to seek reason and understanding over the June 7 protest and will continue to do so because it would be difficult for the government to overcome the very challenges protesters are claiming to be concerned about when they take to the streets and ignite a situation that would disrupt normalcy and impede government operations to solve lingering national issues.

“We cannot do what we hope to do when people are in the streets threatening the peace,” he said, reiterating policy measures he has announced, including partnering with the IMF and others, to address prevailing economic conditions in the country.

Earlier, the head of the ECOWAS Delegation, Jean Claude Kassi Brou, thanked the Liberian leader for the many steps taken to improve the governance process and meet citizens’ expectations.

The ECOWAS Commission President hailed President Weah on the policy pronouncements made during his nationwide address earlier this week and expressed the hope that the actions promulgated will address Liberia’s economic challenges and calm apprehensions over the protest and the state of the economy.

Mr. Brou, a former World Bank executive, said most of the policy measures the president announced, such as the independence of the Central Bank of Liberia (no borrowing money from the Central Bank), the fight against corruption and working with IMF, were in line with international governance standards.

Mr. Brou, who worked eight years at the Central Bank of West African States, admonished the Liberian President to remain focused on the execution of his core responsibilities to keep the nation peaceful and secure.

He conveyed ECOWAS’ concerns about the security of the state amid the planned protest, stressing the need for consensus building.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The regime and ECOWAS Representatives did not meet eye to eye on diplomatic issues concerning the planned June 7 protests. The Representative of ECOWAS was seeking reassurance from the regime after the regime met with other world body institutions like the UN and perhaps the AU. The assurance that the Representative was hoping for was how prepared is the regime to handle the protests and what guidelines or contingency plans that the regime have ? That was the main concern for the regional Representatives visit to that country. According to the article , the Representative “conveyed ECOWAS’ concerns about security of the state amid the planned protest…” . But did he received that assurance about how prepared the regime is ? Instead the Representative was lectured about constitutional provisions and rights of citizens to protest and those refusing to protest have a right also. But how prepared is the regime to protect that right to protest through a contingency plan ? The regime failed to say so to the regional body Representatives. Instead , the article quoted the Liberian leader as saying ” We cannot do what we hope to do when people are in the streets threatening the peace ” . But the Liberian leader just lectured ECOWAS diplomat about the constitutional rights of Liberians to protest . What the diplomat wants to know is how prepared is the leadership of the country and its security apparatus to handle the protest , as a political problem child of that region ? His visit was to convey that concern of the regional body to the Liberian leader, and not to be lectured to about government has the right to defend blah blah blah blah. What’s on the regional body mind is closing their borders should the unknown contingency plan fails. Remember the Ebola outbreak that was poorly handled because the virus was unknown, and once it was known , there was no contingency plan or emergency plan on how to deal with it. As a result , neighboring countries decided to close their borders. Instability is another kind of political virus that the regional body hates to spread. And the Liberian leader was not helpful at that , nor was he forthcoming on the issue concerning the regional body and security of the Liberian State. Like the article said, the Regional Body Representative thanked the Liberian leader, but in a common interpretation of that diplomatic language is , We hear you , but for now , you on your own. That was vantage Weah tell the world where he stands.

  2. Young man, although not totally lacking. I’ve had some problems with your independent thoughts. I noticed a lot of opinions.

Leave a Reply