Weah Complains of Opposition to World Body

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President Weah replaces Magistrate Ernest Bana with a Traffic Court Judge, Jomah Jallah.

— Seeks global support to establish war crimes court

President George Weah has lodged a complaint against Liberia’s opposition parties at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Contrary to the African adage which says the family should avoid washing its linen in the glare of the public, the President said that Liberians are beginning to witness the emergence of a creeping threat to the country’s democratic space and its hard-won peace and stability.

President Weah spoke Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at the UNGA in New York. He said some individuals within and out of the country, particularly those who have lost democratically-held elections, have resorted to incitement, threats of violence, misuse of social media and hate speeches with the aim to attain power through undemocratic means.

“This is unacceptable, and must not be encouraged by those who would wish Liberia well. Because for democracy to thrive, all Liberians, including the ruling class and the opposition parties, must respect the rule of law and abide by the procedures and regulations prescribed therein,” President Weah said.

He said as the leading opposition party in Liberia for the past 12 years prior to the holding of the 2017 elections, “Our party, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), accepted the disputed results of the two previous presidential elections (2005 and 2011) in the interest of peace.”

He continued, “Nevertheless, throughout those two terms, we continuously engaged the government in a constructive manner by accepting to serve as Peace Ambassador, when called upon to assist them maintain the peace under their regime.”

President Weah said Liberians must all learn to respect the mandates of the electorates, “when that mandate is not in our favor, and not be selective in our support for democracy only when we win.”

“As I have acknowledged on many occasions, Liberia is a UN success story; that is, after being devastated by a brutal civil conflict that lasted for 14 years (1989-2003), peace was restored and maintained by then the largest peace-keeping force in the history of the UN. Under the auspices of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Liberians enjoyed 16 years of unbroken peace,” President Weah said.

He said Liberians remain pleased and grateful for the efforts and sacrifices the World Body made to secure “our peace.”

Weah recalled how the peace-keeping work was assigned to the Liberian government shortly after the peacekeepers where withdrawn two years ago.

“This is a responsibility to which I attach the greatest importance, because without peace, our world will be difficult. We are all aware of the terrible destruction of lives and properties caused by the country’s civil war,” President Weah said.

Although President Weah’s speech did not have a specific theme, he however said long after the guns had been silenced in the country, the survivors have to live with the collateral damage of the war: the shattered families, the displaced populations, the resettlement of refugees and all the other negative consequences of a national socioeconomic fabric that has been torn apart.

“Since assuming the leadership of my country almost two years now, I have remained focused on my charge to ensure that peace prevails in Liberia. At that time, we committed ourselves to upholding our constitutional mandate, which is to ensure that all the democratic rights of our citizens would be guaranteed and protected,” Weah told the gathering.

“I kept the peace”

“I have kept this promise, and the country is today a beacon of democracy in Africa where freedom of the press, expression, association and other political and democratic rights are respected under the rule of law,” he said.

Though he spoke of the opposition’s undermining his government, Weah said that Liberia’s political environment remains vibrant with political actors, with parties “freely exercising their franchise and participating in various elections.”

To the UNGA, President Weah added, “Madam President, I am delighted to report that there are no political prisoners in Liberia, and existing laws that hindered or threatened press freedom have been de-criminalized.”

President Weah said several protests are being held from time to time, all of which have ended peacefully, and that his government has welcomed all as a positive manifestation of democratic maturity.

“This is the democracy for which our country has yearned; this is the freedom for which our people have struggled and suffered; and this is the emancipation for which many of our citizens have paid the ultimate price,” he said.

President Weah said the 2003 Accra Peace Accord, which formally ended the country’s civil war, called for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to provide a forum that would address issues of impunity as well as an opportunity for both the victims and perpetrators of human rights violations to share their experiences in order to facilitate genuine healing and reconciliation.

He said the TRC was duly established, concluded its hearings and produced a final report in 2009. Weah said that the report called for the establishment of an extraordinary criminal tribunal to prosecute those identified as having committed gross violations of human rights and economic crimes between 1979 and 2003.

“It is important to note that the TRC report also recommended the use of a conflict-resolution mechanism that has been traditionally used in Liberia, called the “Palava Hut” mechanism, whereby in various district meetings conducted by community elders, perpetrators could publicly request forgiveness from their victims and where the aims of restorative justice could be served,” President Weah said.

Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.

President Weah said support for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court has also been voiced by many international organizations as well as some of our international partners.

“We are at a loss to understand why the clamor for the establishment of the war and economic crimes court is now being made, almost a full decade after it was first called for; and during which time, no such pressure was brought to bear on the government that grew out of the Accra Peace Accord,” President Weah said.

Nevertheless, he said his government is a listening administration and has been paying keen attention to the voices of the people.

“What I have discerned from the citizens’ cries is that it is important to bring closure to the wounds from the 14 years of Liberia’s brutal civil war, and that we need to agree on a mechanism that would guarantee the sustenance of peace, stability, justice and reconciliation as well as enhance our prospects for economic recovery.”

Considering the importance of this matter, he added, “I have already begun consultations with our members of the Legislature — the representatives of our people — and we intend to have a broader engagement with the judicial system and with our strategic international partners and organizations, to determine pertinent issues such as legal framework, timing, venue, and funding.”

18 COMMENTS

  1. The primary immediate need right now is to fix the Liberian economy. This means using the budgetary appropriations for the purpose for which should be expended. For example, if the Liberian nation gives officials money for gas, you do not use it for hotel bills or travel to confuse allotments. If it is your salary, your personal money to purchase for Government interest? If money for an airplane, you cannot use it for a campaign distribution. Liberia has the resources to get for its people. We as a nation will fix the standard of financial intake before we look at anything else. The nation needs a recovery, after war, sickness, and funding reduction. Tell the Liberian people.
    Gone to silent majority.

    • Stop blaming one man for Liberias problem… We have a culture of corruption period… We are in a recession yet our Senators and representatives benefit package is 15k plus a month … Note we are in the tpp 5 of poorest countries in the world. Does that make sense to you? Each one of us need to look in the mirror because we are the problem.

  2. weah is a joke he should focus on getting private businesses to invest in liberia instead of talking about the opposition. Peace???? the CDC are the ones who tried to kill telia urey. smashing cars, intimidation, violence etc. WEAH IS A PUNK ASS NIGGA who thought that it was an easy ride to rip off Liberia.

    • Their first doubt was he will not be able to stand before his colleagues at UNGA. Now that he has done twice with more success than opined by his hatters, the new argurment is why did he mentioned the opposition in his speech. The questions is, who did the opposition aka COP referred to during their demonstration? Wasn’t it, UN, AU, ECOWAS, MRU and the “the international community”? He would have not done better than unmasked the fake propaganda with one shot at where the “international community” gathered.

    • So called “Concerned Liberian “, it is Benoni Urey himself, and his daughter Telia Urey themselves who planned, financed, and paid Urey’s thugs to feign that staged and fake attack in order to gain undeserved sympathy from undecided voters and others to vote for Telia Urey.

  3. Talia Urey’s father Benoni Urey is an assistant to a warlord who helped looted the Liberian people resources for more than a decade. Mr. Urey inherited WAR CHEST that was pass on from Mr. Taylor. What ever previllage Talia is enjoying is the inherited loots that were taken from the Liberian People. I m not a CDCians, however; the Ureys are enjoying what an average Liberian cannot, at the expense of some ignorants Liberians.

    Attack on her was wrong, during her campaign, it was not justifiable at all. The death of 300,000 plus Liberians and the looting of the country resouces by certain elements were also wrong. So much blames to go around. If we will stop pointing fingers and work together, Liberia will be a better place.

  4. Flomo Domah- You’ve been gone for a long time. Welcome back! In any case, your argument as well as Grear’s , are irrefutably rock solid down to earth arguments.

    Weah is not a righteous person. Neither are his critics! But Weah’s critics give the impression that they are. Weah needs a break from his critics.

    Members of the Liberian legislature earn more Money than their US counterparts. Liberia is poorer than the US,! Why should this menace continue to be unchecked? The high salaries that Liberia’s politicians earn per annum, were not set up by Weah, but rather by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. While the big bucks are being earned, our public schools are crumbling, our streets are quickly tearing apart, our cities are shamefully dirty and graffiti can be found at some places. If the legislators’ salaries can be cut by 25%, I strongly believe that the government will be saved some money.

    The collaborating opposition parties:
    It is abundantly apparent that the members of the opposition are self-centered. The opposition club members do not protest against the high salaries that the Liberian lawmakers earn neither do they bother to protest against the nation’s public schools that need to be revamped. What’s wrong with that picture?

    Because of their self-centeredness, the collaborating opposition parties have demonstrated a lack of urbanity from time to time. For instance, a few weeks ago, the UN and ECOWAS rebuffed the collaborating opposition by declaring that the problems of Liberia must be addressed by the people of Liberia. ECOWAS and the UN took such an unusual step because the club members of the opposition have never sought to genuinely dialogue with the Executive Branch. As always because of publicity purposes, speeches are made and protests are planned by the opposition.

    Now Weah is at the UN.
    Weah complains that the collaborating opposition parties are destabilizing. All of a sudden, the critics (some of whom are in the opposition) are telling us that Weah shouldn’t have complained about the opposition’s destabilizing tactics. Bunk!

  5. All of you comments against government are nonsense.
    Liberia is what you need to talk about.
    A country is like a school,when that school can’t teach is it the principal or teachers.
    The principal rule the school while the teachers qualify the school along with the register Dean of Student etc.
    We have a government and a state official
    President,legislator, judicial and state official what are you doing to help Liberia to be better or a school name to go than the principal we need work up our mind.

  6. Zenoh,

    I took my precious time and read your comment carefully. I didn’t learn anything from your comment. Nada!

    If you’re going to criticize and condemn people with whom you disagree, it’s incumbent upon you to lead by example.

  7. Mr. Editor and Reporter, YOUR VIEW IS MISPLACED, HENCE VERY SILLY: “that Contrary to the African adage which says the family should avoid washing its linen in the glare of the public, the President said that Liberians are beginning to witness the emergence of a creeping threat to the country’s democratic space and its hard-won peace and stability.”

    Mr.KNOW-NOTHING, get this into your head: THE UNGA IS ONE FAMILY! Dr. Weah informed the UNGA FAMILY about the threat to national peace and security, which if not acknowledged can possibly excalate into threat to regional oeace and security, and possible threat to international peace and security. Like municipal law is intertwined with international law, so is domestic politics inextracable to international politics of which the UNGA IS THE BULWARK.

    Next time, think before publishing, and do not display the reverse as you have disgraced yourself here.

  8. Few regular readers will be dismayed that “Daily Observer” decided on the headline “Weah Complain of Opposition to World Body”, and tried rascality of rationalizing that bigly biased take with a beguiling reference to African family not washing “its dirty linen in the glare of the public”: Yeah right. Some of these veteran closet politicians masquerading as journalists are busy 24/7 inciting upheaval in a “postwar fragile state, yet dare anyone mention it – apparently, not even the President of Liberia before a “World Body” that brought us “relative peace”!

    But, ironically, the Secretariat of that “World Body” (UN) knows about the choreographed and coordinated continuous inciting of public commotion President Weah reminded global leaders of. After all – with noticeable exception of our Principal Partner and Colonial Overlord the US – UN, AU, and ECOWAS in a joint statement issued on February 25, this year, emphatically warned against “media and social networks messages that promote violence”.

    Unbelievably, however, the next month, a vigilante mob in Margibi County as if in defiance burnt down a Police Station (symbolic of a resistance) supposedly because police investigators weren’t providing answers in an ongoing murder probe. And, tellingly, no opposition party, including legislators from the county – two of whom would later morph into members of a Council of Patriots (COP) – condemned this new strain of terroristic violence on Liberian soil.

    To cut long matters short, the 2013 UN Security Council’s Security Assessment Report which designated Liberia a “fragile… state”, an estimation corroborated by the Security Division of USAID Liberia, hasn’t been downgraded. In other words, ours is still an endangered space to sub-Regional Security and Peace as it was between 1989 and 2003. Therefore, GMW was right to bring further potential threats to public safety and stability before the “World Body”.

    Perhaps, had the PRC responded to Qwinwonkpa’s fiery announcement in the same Daily Observer (early 1984) that he was coming to free Liberians, and had taken effective measures, after being specifically informed they would enter via the MRU Bridge in Cape Mount County, it would’ve spared Liberians, ECOWAS citizens, and four American nuns the horrendous consequences that followed. Let me repeat, “only” in a media venue where journalistic ethics mean nothing can Daily Observer publish such a manipulative and hypocritical narrative.

  9. Where in the world have you seen High School Dropouts devloping a nation? Only Liberia, right?
    You will never develop Liberia with the current setup including those setups since 1822.
    But he voters opted for non-Educated.
    Only best educated Liberian with the KnowHows are qualify to setup and develope Liberia; nothing else!
    God bless.

    • Correction:
      But the voters/Liberian opted for non-Educated people.

  10. Zip up your beak Mr. Sr. Nonsense Peter Curran. Even if your stupidity about “high school drop out” were ever close to logic, sanity, or reality, why did the Harvard graduate Ellen or the PhD.Amos Sawyer not develop the country? .Instead they destroyed the country and appointed their children at the CENTRAL BANK to steal and print unauthorised money, and left the country a deteriorated economy. Are you so dull and insane not to acknowledge this?

  11. This is what happens when a Dictator is created. The people around Weah failed to tell him that his [Weah] idea of this kind of speech was inappropriate for that forum.

  12. First of all, let me say this. Before his ascendancy to presidency, his Excellency GMW was my most hated politician and since my whole life I’ve not voted because I hate politicians most especially Liberian politicians but for my first time to vote, I voted the one I hated so much beyond words during the second round of election due to the self-centeredness of Charles W. Brumskine and Joseph N. Boakai when they choose to cause public unrest for months claiming they were cheated while on the contrary in the case of Weah then, was allegedly cheated and people told so him many things but he kept his cool for the sake of peace and that decision enabled me to finish high school and now am jobbing.
    If weah was not peaceful, I and many young Liberians couldn’t have finished school.
    SO LET US ALL FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE BY PUTTING OUR INTERESTS ASIDE AND PROMOTE PEACE.

    I LOVE LIBERIA.

  13. In all democratic nations Opposition are allowed and key to moving forward..
    Atleast 40% of the Liberian did not vote for President George Weah; they are NOT enemies of the state.
    Please stop calling people enemies because they do not agree with your policies. It is their responsibilities to see what you are not doing right. They should speak out so you can watch out and correct your wrongs if you can.
    Just as we agree that President won at least 60% of Liberian, so should his people agree that atleast 40% of Liberian didn’t vote for him and have the right to speakout.

    You were voted in for 6years. We all own the country and have the right to make suggestions about how the country should be runned.

    Liberian said western Education was not important when it comes to running a modern Nation (Da Book we le Eat?”). I 100% disagree to them. I have the right to my opinion; am not an enemy to Liberia.

    Infact, Liberia can only develope when the BEST of Educated with the needed KnowHows take the front stage in setting up Liberia and develope it. You are not able to take Liberia from the backwardness we find ourselves in now. You do not have the trained ManPowers:
    The engine of an Economy is production, industries, exports, quality education, etc. Those skills are NOT in Liberia since 1822. How many economist from Liberia knows that?

    You should check my platform for the 2017 presidential election. I have experience, ideas about all the items in that platform. Not even the world bank , or so, etc, can tell me the items are wrong for Liberia. But such projects can only be done by the educated as mentioned above.

    God bless your.

  14. On the other hand, Liberia’s Op-Position and No-Position folks have been complaining to the International Community that the In-Position group (Oppong and his cabal) have still not accounted for one “brass copper” of the US$25 million allegedly used to “mop up” excess Liberian notes nor for the L$16 billion (equivalent to US$100 million) stolen from the “missing” container last year. So maybe the UN General Assembly should immediately investigate both sets of complaints and take appropriate action on their findings. Who knows, it might turn out that the incompetence and bad behavior of the Weah regime is precisely what has given rise to so much dismay, discontent, and disagreement in the land.

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