HAVE LIBERIANS WITH DUAL CITIZENSHIP BECOME DE FACTO SECOND CLASS CITIZENS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY OF BIRTH?

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By Mr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor

The debate about   Liberians with dual citizenship status and their participation within the Liberian Government, continues to resurface within Liberia and within the Diaspora. While some countries are taking advantage of dual citizenship, lawmakers in Liberia are failing to take advantage of the many constructive opportunities which dual citizenship entails. Bella Consultants emphasized: “dual citizenship is becoming more common in today’s increasingly interconnected economy. Countries such as India, the Philippines and Mexico are now seeking the advantages of dual citizenship by liberalizing their citizenship laws. These countries have realized that dual citizenship participation, has the advantages of broadening a country’s economic base, fostering trade and investment between the dual citizen’s two respective countries”. The brain drains problem which Liberia is encountering, could be solved by encouraging fellow countrymen/women who enjoyed the citizenships of other countries to return to Liberia and contribute their skills /professionalism to nation building.

According to Augustine Oyowe (the author of brain drains), “ when a highly-qualified professional chooses to leave his own country for another, he does so for one or several legitimate political or economic reasons: peace and security for himself and his family, job satisfaction, better pay and conditions, a higher standard of living, etc.” Throughout history, countries and centers of academic excellence that offer these attractions have received the largest numbers of professional migrants and these have, in turn, made substantial contributions to the economic growth of their host countries.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that 27,000 Africans left the continent for industrialized countries between 1960 and 1975. During the period 1975 to 1984, the figure rose to 40,000. It is estimated that since 1990 at least 20,000 people leave the continent annually.
In 2004, the UN reported that powerful factors in the brain drain contributed to Africa’s poor rates of economic growth over the past 30 years (worsened by structural adjustment measures which have resulted in dramatic falls in living standards) and political instability (disturbances in Nigeria and Zaire, civil war in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia etc.). Thousands of qualified Liberian professionals have been forced unwillingly into exile in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The migration of highly qualified professionals from the country is an extremely complex problem that presents the present Liberian Government with a major dilemma. It is one thing to talk about constitutional issues; it is another to create the incentives that would encourage qualified Liberian professionals to return home.

Present conditions in Liberia demand that Liberians with the requisite skills and talents need to be identified and encouraged to return home, to help with the economic recovery process. The irony of the Liberian situation which the honorable law makers need to realize, the Liberian Government as we know it during the administrations of Tubman, Tolbert and Doe is not the same.  Due to the absence of qualified and skilled Liberian professionals, the international community was forced to institute a Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program, GEMAP, over the years, to create transparent financial management and accountability. The establishment of GEMAP, seemingly, was to establish effective processes to control corruption, both within government ministries and public corporations (Gemap-Liberia.org).

Solidified by an agreement signed in 2005 between the transitional government and its international partners including the US Government, the European Union, the United Nations, the Economic Commission of West African States, the African Union, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, GEMAP was created to assist the Government of Liberia to create and institutionalize effective financial and asset management policies and procedures, contain corruption, and improve overall economic governance ( Gemap-Liberia.org).

To foster economic development, current and future Liberian Governments are under pressure to seek out individual Liberians with the necessary skills, professionalism and integrity. And this process includes other Liberians with dual citizenship status. Most of Liberia’s best minds are in the Diaspora. Some of the individuals within the Diaspora had to take up naturalized citizenships of their host countries to be able to practice their professional crafts. If Liberia is to develop, she needs the experience and expertise of Liberians who have lived and worked in developed economies. Work ethics, such as people reporting to work on time and taking their responsibilities serious, are essential attributes Liberians on the ground need to see again and to put into practice.

Liberians in the Diaspora have the necessary academic and professional preparations, to help Liberia solve her problem of brain drains. The government of Liberia needs to encourage all its nationals to return home. Closing the doors on others, due to their dual citizenship status is not in the best interest of the socio-economic development of the nation. Other countries in Africa, Ghana for example, are increasingly engaged in strategies and programs to reverse the brain drain to retain skilled professionals at home. Perhaps, Liberia’s lawmakers need to understand and emulate the wisdom of Ghana, Nigeria and other countries within the sub-region and encourage dual citizenship participations at all levels of the Liberian Government.

The current list of countries in Africa that have some form of Dual Citizenship according to dualcitizenshipmalawi.blogspot.com are:
Angola
Benin
Burundi
Cote d’Ivoire (restrictions on holding office as president & vice-president of the republic; president and vice-president of parliament – speaker and deputy speaker of parliament).
Djibouti
Egypt (with permission)
Eritrea (with permission, has created an intermediary status)
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana (Dual Citizens may not hold a set of listed senior positions, includes dual citizenship for the involuntary African Diaspora.)
Kenya
Lesotho
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Nigeria
Rwanda
Sao tome & Principie
Sierra Leone
South Africa (with permission/application at Dept. of Home Affairs)
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
B. Countries that have a bill being tabled in parliament:
1. Tanzania
2. Zambia
3. Zimbabwe
Even Liberia’s next door neighbor, the Republic of Sierra Leone, has dual citizenship policy in place for its citizens residing in the Diaspora. The United States Embassy in Liberia continues to affirm that the U.S Government recognizes individuals with dual nationalities.  It has been reported that even the American Ambassador,    Madame Deborah Malac, has echoed to some Liberian Newspapers in an exclusive interview that there are a number of people in the United States who carry more than two passports (AllAfrica, July 18, 2014).
Liberians have the history of rejecting fellow Africans from the Diaspora, especially those with skills essential to nation building.

When it comes to the institution of dual citizenship in Liberia, history is undoubtedly repeating itself. During the administration of President C.D.B. King, Liberia was in urgent need of money to repay her debts. Marcus Garvey and his powerful organization offered    a fantastic deal of financial relief to the Liberian Government at the time in 1920. They wanted to send a shipload of thousands of their members to Liberia with their skills and money to help build up the economy of Liberia. They wanted a guaranteed property of land in Liberia where they could use as their settlement. But President King’s administration felt threatened by the possible   influx of intelligence and self-sustainable fellow blacks from the United States. They believed Marcus Garvey and his group would form another political party and take Liberia out of their hands. So, they rejected his offer. Instead, they took the offer of Mr. Harvey Firestone and his $1,000,000 loan for large amount of land for the cultivation of his rubber plantation. Marcus Garvey was banned from coming to Liberia with his group. And now what do we have today, when it comes to   the issue of dual citizenship?  There are some   Liberians classifying   their fellow Liberian brothers and sister as   foreigners, simply due to their dual citizenship status (slaverebellion.org.).  This mindset is most unfortunate.

Consequently, Liberians with dual citizen status have become de facto second class citizens in the land of their forefathers. The prevention of Liberians with dual nationalities from enjoying the full benefits of their nation is not only in direct contravention of the equal protection clause of the Liberian constitution that extends equality of opportunity for all citizens without discrimination, but also in contravention of UN Declaration of Human Rights. This is also in violation of other international treaties, which mandate all governments to allow all citizens the right to participate in their respective governments and the public service, to tap on much-needed human resource potentials, relevant to the constructive involvement of all its citizenry under the sphere of globalization.

Subsequently, the UN Human Rights Committee has concluded that, pursuant to their obligations under Article 24 of the ICCPR ( International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights),  states should “refrain from taking measures and from enacting legislation that discriminate against persons or groups of persons on grounds of race, color, gender, religion, or national or ethnic origin by nullifying or impairing the exercise, on an equal footing, of their right to a nationality, especially if this renders a person stateless, and to repeal such legislation if it already exists.” Moreover, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has issued decisions condemning legislation that limits political participation or transmission of nationality to children on  the basis of the type of citizenship an individual acquires (May 2009, American Bar Association).

Yes indeed,  Mr.  Rufus S. Berry II, MBA, was précised when he alluded in his article: “Come January 2018 as President-elect of the Republic of Liberia, that person should be committed to using the bully pulpit of the Executive Mansion to lead a national discussion on the importance of dual-citizenship. Many of our brothers and sisters who have obtained foreign citizenships would hope that our lawmakers would immediately change the law to allow them to fully participate in our elections, and be legally regarded as full citizens of the republic” ( 21 February 2017, Liberian Daily  Observer) . President Leopold Senghor of Senegal was correct in his reflection when said   in  1960: “To build a nation, to erect a new civilization which can lay claim to existence because it is humane, we shall try to employ not only enlightened reason but also dynamic imagination.”

The Author: Mr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor is an Educator. He is a graduate of Cuttington University, Liberia; Howard University, Washington, D.C, and Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. He is a former Deputy Managing Director of the National Port Authority of Liberia, NPA. He can be contacted at:[email protected]

24 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the article, mr. Bargblor. It is disappointing to see the level of intellectual dishonesty from a large number of our leaders in Liberia. From the executive to the legislature and judiciary, they either have foreign citizenship or have family members who have foreign citizenship. Yet they pretend that they can use an old law that denies due process of law to go after their brothers and sisters from the diaspora. It’s getting out of hand and President Sirleaf needs to step in and speak to the country or issue executive action on it.

    • The nothing in the Liberian Constitution addressing DUAL CITIZENSHIP. Think, those of you denouncing your Liberian citizenship for, what you think brighter benefit should not be raising this idea. The poor Liberian people would certainly care, if, you will prevail on your Government to extend some of her Economic Wealths to our (Liberia) country or, promote the Country’s interest abroad as to attract investments for the benefit of your former country men. Many of you find dual citizenship as a right; it’s absolute false. To be granted such, it require appeals base on good behaviors not, demands. Liberia is a sovereign country and must be given full respect and, cannot yield to those who in their greatest thoughts; a Country worth nothing. Today, Liberia is faced with a sour economy due to corruptions largely by Individuals in public offices under the sleeves of dual citizenships, pay bills abroad for mortgages, spouse/ wife and children support including, healthcare insurance. Secondly, illegal trading and acquisition of cash and transferred same without paying the Liberian Government her fair share ( containers shipped by the same group seeking on pal citizenship with cars, barrels and assorted items are sold in the Liberian market without sale tax.). All seeking dual citizenship only sensitive to the subject because of his/ her ambition to run for elected position and, Liberian Politician play the games by seeking cash from the fellows to support their campaigns with big offers. look, if these fellows love MAMA LIBERIA, we will see progress where, they would again attract INVESTMENTS to their former local DISTRICTS. Ghanaians demonstrates these attitudes very well. DO SOMETHING NOW FOR LIBERIA THAN YOUR PERSONAL INTEREST.

      • Please READ……Dual citizenship is ADDRESSED in Article 28…….Article 28

        Any person, at least one of whose parents was a citizen of Liberia at the time of the Person’s birth, shall be a citizen of Liberia; provided that any such person shall upon reaching maturity renounce any other citizenship acquired by virtue of one parent being a citizen of another country.

        The part we have on hand was in part addressed in the same Article…Let’s READ….. No citizen of the Republic shall be deprived of citizenship or nationality except as provided by law; no person shall be denied the right to change citizenship or nationality.

        The problem is A LAW took away one’s citizenship. Again, Liberia DOES NOT recognize DUAL CITIZENSHIP even with those with parents of two nationalities after maturity…because of this…….Oath of allegiance.

        Here’s the Law……
        Chapter 22. LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP

        § 22.1. Acts causing loss of citizenship.
        § 22.2. Citizenship lost solely from performance of act.
        § 22.3. Liberian woman marrying alien
        § 22.4. Certificate as to loss of Liberian citizenship.

        § 22.1. Acts causing loss of citizenship.
        From and after the effective date of this title, a person who is a citizen of Liberia whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his citizenship by —

        (a) Obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application, upon the application of a duly authorized agent, or through the naturalization of a parent having legal custody of such person; provided that citizenship shall not be lost by any person under this section as the result of the naturalization of a parent or parents while such person under the age of 21 years, unless such person shall fail to enter Liberia to establish a permanent residence prior to his twenty-third birthday; or

        (b) Taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof; or

        (c) Exercising a free choice to enter or serve in the armed forces of a foreign state, unless, prior to such entry or service, such entry or service is specifically authorized by the President;

        (d) Voting in a political election in a foreign state or voting in an election or plebiscite to determine the sovereignty of a foreign state over foreign territory; or

        (e) Making a formal renunciation of Liberian nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of Liberia in a foreign state in such form may be prescribed by the Secretary of State.

        § 22.2. Citizenship lost solely from performance of act.
        The loss of citizenship under section 22.1 of this title shall result solely from the performance by a citizen of the acts or fulfillment of the conditions specified in such section, and without the institution by the Government of any proceedings to nullify or cancel such citizenship.

        § 22.3. Liberian woman marrying alien.
        A Liberian woman who marries an alien retains her Liberian citizenship unless she renounces it by an affirmative act

        Should A LAW take away one Right without DUE PROCESS is the issue? Even the Constitution says NO…..

        Article 20(a) No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security of the person, property, privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in this Constitution and in accordance with DUE PROCESS of law. Justice shall be done without sale, denial or delay; and in all cases not arising in courts not of record, under courts-martial and upon impeachment, the parties shall have the right to trial by jury.

  2. Interesting article; unfortunately, the Dual Citizenship debate has been a challenge for both the government of Liberia and some well intentioned Liberians who possess both Liberian and other citizenships. The issue of dual citizenship has lingered in the corridors of the Legislature for awhile now, and seems like we’re only inclined to believe that believe that it’s as simple and easy to deal with it, as it relates to fellow Liberians in the western world or Diaspora. There is no doubt that Liberia needs her brains in the Diaspora, especially those who live in developed countries {Europe, Asia and the Americas}; unfortunately, we’re not considering developing countries where the attitude of other nationals would flux our country under the category of Naturalization, which is in fact another reason why the Dual Citizenship issue must be carefully handled.

    On the other hand, while it is true that Liberia needs her brains in the Diaspora to help in the building of the economy and other spheres of development, there is a serious lesson which hunts Liberia even greater – the issue of some dual citizens criminal minds whose behaviors have embarrassed Liberia over the years. For example, the case of Crokrum and her boyfriend, Johnson, which lingers on forever, simply because they’re American Citizens and Liberia doesn’t have a extradition treaty with the US, to bring them to Liberia to prosecute them. Besides, there are other cases of which we all know that fellow Liberians with dual citizenships have fled the country, having committed crimes, for hideouts.

    Surely, there is an acute need for the Legislature to pass the Dual Citizenship bill, but with considerable cautions, especially in lieu of the foregoing intricacies.

    Sadly, Liberia doesn’t have nationalists as other African countries, which have considered the obvious to settle for dual citizenships of their respective countries.

    • Mr. Saar, your argument is too simplistic and full of falsehood. First there is no dual citizens in Liberia. The example you gave of Cronkrum and others is not true. Those individuals were not dual citizens because there is non in Liberia. Second dual citizen or not, a criminal is a criminal. The person can flee if he or she commits crime and you can’t do anything about it. So stop this old falsehood about Liberians in the Americas or Europe. These individual involved in these criminal activities are nothing but criminal and they should be treated as such.
      Let’s get to the big picture – Liberia needs it’s citizens to help uplift the country. Studies have shown that dual citizenship benefits overweight those examples you outlined.

  3. Good article and well researched. At least your arguments are based on facts well supported and I think this is what supporters should be doing, stating facts that are supported. With the number of African countries that allow some forms of dual citizenship increasing, it is just the matter of time for public opinion to outweigh dissenting views. But then again this is Liberia we talking about…

    That being said, I strongly believe that those of us in the diaspora owe it to ourselves and Liberia to convince our brothers back home that we are not a threat to them, but rather an asset to help transform the country. Few Liberians are doing just that but not enough. A research of mine shows that diaspora Liberians spent well over $2.5 billion between 2010 and 2015 in remittances that kept that nation afloat. This tells me that we do have a commending economic power to actually move the needle in terms of policy in Liberia. Sadly, we have not realized that enormous economic power.

    If only we can recognize that economic power and galvanize our resources (investment pool) to benefit the country, we can start investing in sectors such as banking, agriculture, real estate, construction, tourism etc. With this level of investment in the country, job creation will be on the rise and, believe me, our brothers back home will take us seriously and listen to us. Opposition to dual citizenship will be things of the past…

    While it is true that the likelihood of allowing dual citizenship in the country is promising, it is farfetched to think everything else will come that easy if the country continues on the current trajectory. Those of us in the diaspora need to rethink our strategies and augment them accordingly. We can either build a strong Liberia by collectively investing together and change the dynamics, or fail doing it by investing individually…it is our choice!

    • Zopon, am really interested in knowing where you got this $ 2.5 billion figure from cos the last time I checked the World Bank migration and remittances data for Liberia between 2010 and 2015, the figure stood at $ 2.437 billion which is far short of your $ 2.5 billion. What caught my attention about this was the outflow figures. It will interest you to know that during that same perion migration and remittances outflows from Liberia was $ 1.517 billion. This represents about 62% of total remittances inflows during that period. So, as you can see, more than half of the remittances that you claimed is coming to Liberia is also being return to the Diaspora. Don’t forget some of our Diaspora brothers and sisters upon returning and securing well paying jobs in Liberia, they still got to support their families in the diaspora and settle their mortgages which explain to some extent why such huge amount is also being send out.

      Whiles there are some countries around that have allowed dual citizenship, there are still so many countries (e.g. Belarus, Botswana, Cameroon, Gabon, Indonesia, India, Togo, Singapore, Madagascar, Malawi, Lesotho, and etc) which do not allow dual citizenship. Even countries like Ghana which allow dual citizenship, there is still some limit especially regarding holding of some public offices.

      I sincerely think that the issue of dual citizenship is one that must be approached with extreme care. As a country just returning from prolong civil war, we lack the institutional frameworks and capacity to handle the complexities that come with dual citizenship. We must firstly rebuild and strengthened our institutions and put in place the right frameworks that would allow every Liberian equal opportunities to develop their full potentials and contribute to the nation’s development.

      • Shadrack – you are right…I meant to say $2.4 billion which was inadvertently stated, but the info comes from numerous sources including http://www.usdexplorer.com. Thanks for your attention to details, which points out my error.

        The intent of my comments was not to build up narratives as to the inflows and outflows of remittances as there’s no room for that, but rather to point out the amount of inflows and how those of us in the diaspora could use our economic power (collectively) to compete with foreign corporations in the country (investments). It was meant to drive home the idea that it would be suicidal economically for Liberians in the diaspora to disenfranchise themselves of the nation’s economy, given the unrealized economic power it has.

        You and I seem to be on the same page; however, my research from the source above shows $1.274 billion outflows over the same period as opposed to $1.517 billion stated by you.

        The outflow is something that no nation can stop entirely, but it can be managed or minimized appreciably. It is the differential of the net outflows that is worrisome. But this is where the government comes in with enforceable policies that would disincentivize these outflows; rather encourage inflows.

        I do agree that dual citizenship is a delicate subject in Liberia, but how do you explain a Ghanaian whose country allows dual citizenship but is also a naturalized Liberian? Which of the citizenship does our law strip him of? Certainly, it cannot be the Ghanaian citizenship because our laws have no jurisdiction in Ghana. If our law cannot strip him of his Ghanaian citizenship, doesn’t it mean that in fact dual citizenship do exist in Liberia? Just a thought… I could be wrong.

      • Shadrack – you are right…I meant to say $2.4 billion which was inadvertently stated as $2.5b, but the info comes from http://www.usdexplorer.com. Thanks for your attention to details, which points out my error.

        The intent of my comments was not to build up narratives as to the inflows and outflows of remittances as there’s no room for that, but rather to point out the amount of inflows and how those of us in the diaspora could use our economic power (collectively) to compete (investments) with foreign companies in the country. It was meant to drive home the idea that it would be suicidal economically for Liberians in the diaspora to disenfranchise themselves of the nation’s economy, given the unrealized economic power it has.

        You and I seem to be on the same page; however, my research from the source above shows $1.274 billion outflows over the same period as opposed to $1.517 billion stated by you.

        The outflow is something that no nation can stop entirely, but it can be managed or minimized appreciably. It is the differential of the net outflows that is worrisome. But this is where the government comes in with enforceable policies that would disincentivize these outflows; rather encourage inflows.

        I do agree that dual citizenship is a delicate subject in Liberia, but how do you explain a Ghanaian whose country allows dual citizenship but is also a naturalized Liberian? Which of the citizenship does our law strip him of? Certainly, it cannot be the Ghanaian citizenship because our laws have no jurisdiction in Ghana. If our law cannot strip him of his Ghanaian citizenship, doesn’t it mean that in fact dual citizenship do exist in Liberia? Just a thought… I could be wrong.

  4. Why are some Liberians are not satisfy with being only Liberians? Will the dual citizens get
    some of the budget allocations for development in Liberia? This dual citizenship business is
    only a divided loyalty and they know very well what the Holy Bible says that you can not
    serve two masters. What percentage of their loyalty they can give the United? And per
    centage of their loyalty can they give to Liberia?

    P. Allison Tarlue, Sr.

  5. I am happy that most Liberians are taking the time to discuss the issue of dual nationalities. The purpose of my various articles on this subject, is to engage the thinking of my fellow Liberians. Let us as Liberians debate this issue in our respective newspapers and through public or other intellectual forums. In my view, a real debate must entail two opposing attributes…those who are in favor and those who are against the implementation of dual citizenship in our country…. If there are fears and apprehensions, let us bring them out into the open –public- arena. This will help us to address some of these drawbacks. But, I must caution my fellow countrymen, that our opposing debate must be based on research and not on mere sentiments.
    Dual citizenship challenges one of the most stable and long-lasting assumptions of the modern era, namely that the nation-state constitutes the highest institution and the largest group of people – what Rupert Emerson (1960) calls a “terminal political community” – to which an individual can affirm allegiance. This notion of singular nationhood, which helped modern states to maintain their authority for centuries, has been weakening over the past few decades of economic and cultural globalization. The rise of dual citizenship is a particularly glaring element of this larger process of change, since it explicitly contradicts the concept and reality of singular membership in one national community.
    Interestingly, whenever my son goes to school, when he calls his name…his friends will ask him.”so your parents are from Africa, which part of Africa?” And he will usually have answered them with pride and says,” yes, they are from Liberia.”. “So, you are a Liberia?’, “Yes”, my son will usually reply. “I am a Liberian”, although he was born here in the United States, but he still carries his nationality deep within his mind. He believed and have consciously convinced himself that he is a Liberian. There are other hundreds of Liberian families who go through the same experience. It will be wrong to take this reality away from him. With so many Liberian children born outside of Liberia, will be fair to deny them of their heritage and nationality? Who knows what some of these children will become tomorrow? Liberia as a nation, might be blessed by their talents and professionalism.
    The institution of dual nationality in Liberia, is not about the attainment of government jobs or positions, as others would want us to believe, it is about something greater than that. In the 1990s, it has been reported that countries like Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Brazil passed dual citizenship laws granting their expatriates the right to naturalize in the receiving country without losing their nationality of origin. It is about time that Liberia, follow the examples of countries in the West African sub-region….

    On the question of corruptions, can someone on this forum presents statistics, regarding those Liberians with dual nationalities who perpetuated corrupt activities while in the employment of the Liberian Government compare to those who don’t have?

  6. Shadrack, outflow of remittances coming from Liberia are made of Lebanese (a worthy class in Liberia), Indian community (2nd worthy class) Nigerians, Ghanaians and large number of other nationals living and working in Liberia. I believe if one conducts a micro statistical analysis of individuals sending money out of the Liberian economy, perhaps Liberians’ outflow remittances may contribute a numinous percentage of 0.0001%. Just to give you a rough statistics. Let us do close research on these numbers.

  7. We wonder why Liberia is so underdeveloped but the answer lies right here in this issue of dual citizenship. The country does not have the institutions to produce certified professionals in the various sciences. There is no serious school of engineering, no serious school of technology, no proper research methodologies in the few universities that we have. Who is going to develop the country? Where will the creative and innovative ideas come from?

    Many of the young Liberians in the diaspora who by God’s Devine plan, were born in the U.S and other developed countries around the world by Liberian parents or escaped Liberia during the height of our unciviled war, have acquired real practical skills that could help to transform Liberia. It is sad that our so-called leaders, many of whom are incompetent, do NOT see the need to embrace talent. They should have, if they were visionaries, provided some types of incentives to in fact encourage skilled Liberians from all over this world to return to Liberia to contribute in taking care of our collective MOTHER, Liberia. What a shame!

  8. Mr. Bargblor, That is exactly what the group advocates of dual citizenship want. This group still
    does not tell what percentage of their loyalty is for Liberia and what for the United States. I
    commented before but was either taken out. That too is not the way to. You think everybody
    in Liberia will support the dual citizenship? Not at all! Therefore, those who are not in support
    of it must be heard.

    There are, of course, ,some security implications involved into this dual citizenship. It has some-
    thing to do with a citizen’s loyalty to his or her country. This is, indeed, a divided loyalty to one’s
    country. I just can not see any much benefit coming from it. To me, anyone who wants to be a
    citizen of the United States, let him or her go ahead as was done normally before. But to make
    it official to be both Liberian and American at the same time promises no benefit at all just for
    being that.

    Liberians in the United States are sending their remittances to family in Liberia without any
    hindrances. Some of them even bought land and build or bought houses without any punishment
    from the United States nor from Liberia. Hence, I see nothing new to be added after one becomes
    a citizen of the United States and at the same time citizen of Liberia; except for ulterior motive
    which Liberian-Americans have shown in Liberia.

    SUPREME COURT OF LIBERIA TO HEAR THE DUAL CITIZENSHIP ISSUE
    Once again, the Supreme Court of Liberia is attempting another shameful and disgraceful
    act which, I believe, will or may not be checked. The first one was the Code of Conduct that
    the Court endorsed, performing the function of the National Legislature, the only Body
    empowered by the Constitution to do so. I can’t imagine the President of Liberia going to
    the Supreme Court of Liberia, the Chief Justice-in-fact asking him to sign a bill to become
    Law of the country. This is making mockery of Democracy, leaving the citizens to wonder
    where in the world will they go for redress.

    DUAL CITIZENSHIP
    Does it not sounds to these honorable men and women that it is very bad for some citizens of
    a country- yea Liberians to be divided in their loyalty? Why would the Supreme Court of
    Liberia even spends the resourceful time and money to be paid for by Liberians just to hear
    that some citizens want to divide their loyalty to the country Liberia? Courts in some parts
    of the Western World have been praised for refusing to hear this kind of unproductive issue
    or case. the question: “Will the Supreme Court of Liberia allow divided loyalty by Liberians?”

  9. P. Allison Tarlue, Sr. May 21, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Mr. Bargblor, That is exactly what the group advocates of dual citizenship want. This group still
    does not tell what percentage of their loyalty is for Liberia and what for the United States. I
    commented before but was either taken out. That too is not the way to go. You think everybody
    in Liberia will support the dual citizenship? Not at all! Therefore, those who are not in support
    of it must be heard.

    There are, of course, ,some security implications involved into this dual citizenship. It has some-
    thing to do with a citizen’s loyalty to his or her country. This is, indeed, a divided loyalty to one’s
    country. I just can not see any much benefit coming from it. To me, anyone who wants to be a
    citizen of the United States, let him or her go ahead as was done normally before. But to make
    it official to be both Liberian and American at the same time promises no benefit at all just for
    being that.

    Liberians in the United States are sending their remittances to family in Liberia without any
    hindrances. Some of them even bought land and build or bought houses without any punishment
    from the United States nor from Liberia. Hence, I see nothing new to be added after one becomes
    a citizen of the United States and at the same time citizen of Liberia; except for ulterior motive
    which Liberian-Americans have shown in Liberia.

    SUPREME COURT OF LIBERIA TO HEAR THE DUAL CITIZENSHIP ISSUE
    Once again, the Supreme Court of Liberia is attempting another shameful and disgraceful
    act which, I believe, will or may not be checked. The first one was the Code of Conduct that
    the Court endorsed, performing the function of the National Legislature, the only Body
    empowered by the Constitution to do so. I can’t imagine the President of Liberia going to
    the Supreme Court of Liberia, the Chief Justice-in-fact asking him to sign a bill to become
    Law of the country. This is making mockery of Democracy, leaving the citizens to wonder
    where in the world will they go for redress.

    DUAL CITIZENSHIP
    Does it not sounds to these honorable men and women that it is very bad for some citizens of
    a country- yea Liberians to be divided in their loyalty? Why would the Supreme Court of
    Liberia even spends the resourceful time and money to be paid for by Liberians just to hear
    that some citizens want to divide their loyalty to the country Liberia? Courts in some parts
    of the Western World have been praised for refusing to hear this kind of unproductive issue
    or case. the question: “Will the Supreme Court of Liberia allow divided loyalty by Liberians?”

  10. FELLOW LIBERIANS,
    WE HAVE HEARD ENOUGH AND CONTINUED TO LEARNED MORE ABOUT THE DIVISIONS WITHIN OUR SOCIETY. OUR ROOTS ARE IN LIBERIA AND NOTHING CAN CHANGE THAT EVEN IF WE WERE TO ARGUE ANOTHER 100 YEARS TO PROVE WHAT IS A FACT. HOWEVER, I WISH TO TELL MY FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF LIBERIA THAT ” ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”. WE ARE ALL ONE FAMILY WHICH IS MEANT TO HELP OUR NATIVE HOMELAND AND PEOPLE TO OVERCOME THE HATRED, CORRUPTION AND ILLITERACY WITHIN OUR SOCIETY.
    LIBERIA NEEDS ALL HER SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF SOUND-MINDED VISION TO CHANGE THE OLD CONCEPTS EMBEDDED IN OUR PEOPLE TO A NEW IDEOLOGY OF MODERN TIME WHEREIN WE MUST EMBRACE NATIONALISM, LOVE AND RESPECT FOR EVERY CITIZEN. WE HAVE BEEN SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH AND LOST, JUDGING OUR ANCESTORS FOR THEIR DECISIONS TO ESTABLISH A GREAT AFRICAN NATION FOR THE PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE OF ALL FREED MEN OF COLOR, AND SIMILARLY NOW IN THIS MODERN ERA OF OUR TIME.
    MANY LIBERIANS ARE BEING REJECTED BY THOSE WHO HAVE UNWILLINGLY ACCEPTED THE CONCEPTS, AND WITH RESISTANCE WOULD CONTINUE TO BE IGNORANT TO THE REALITIES OF SUSTAINING PEACE, AND LEFT BEHIND IN THE DARK WILDERNESS FOR MANY MORE DECADES IF WE DON’T CONFRONT THESE MANY CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES WHICH SCHOLARS HAVE DESCRIBED AS THE DESTRUCTIVE ELEMENTS OF DIVISION AND NATION BUILDING. REFERENCES CAN BE MADE TO THE RECENT BY THE MOVEMENT FOR ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT, CALLING UPON ALL LIBERIANS TO BE VERY DISCRETE IN THEIR CHOICE FOR THE LEADERSHIP OF THEIR COUNTRY IN THE FORTHCOMING NATIONAL GENERAL ELECTIONS.

    LEADERSHIP MATTERS IN THESE DREADFUL SITUATIONS, AND TOGETHER WE CAN ONLY HOPE FOR PEACE, JUSTICE AND PROSPERITY. MAY LIBERIA BE BLESSED WITH AN EXCELLENT TEAM OF INNOVATIVE LEADERS THAT MIGHT BE THE ANSWERS TO ALL OUR PRAYERS.

  11. Liberians with dual citizenship ARE NOT DE-FACTO CITIZENS OF LIBERIA AT ALL. THEY ARE SIMPLY NOT CITIZENS OF LIBERIA, PERIOD! THEY MAY BE DE FACTO CITIZENS OF COUNTRIES WHERE THEY ACQUIRED THEIR NEW CITIZENSHIP AND ABANDONED THEIR THEN LIBERIAN CITIZENSHIP!

  12. Back on the dual citizenship
    Mr. Edmond Bargblor’s publication about the dual citizenship appears interesting. However, those
    countries he named or listed in his article, he did not list or name their correspondence benefits
    to substantiate his either argument or what he intended to present. Are those countries Mr.
    Bargblor listed will able to list how many roads, hospitals, clinics, and budgetary portions their
    respective countries have received the countries with which they maintain dual citizenship? Were
    their respective countries able to receive educational assistance simply because of the dual
    citizenship? When the answer is in the positive, we still like to see and if proven, then Liberia
    may look into it with expectation, of course. If not, then why pursuing for divided loyalty?

  13. An answer to your QUESTION is, NOT YET. We, in the Disaporas are still making the case. It is very interesting that you posted this Question because Liberians in the Disaporas demand answers as to why we are denied to be a part of a Country, we were born. People in Authority or Government in Liberia have motives to continue the old ways of governing therefore they do reject new ideas from diasporas Liberians who are exposed to innovative leaderships that are transparent and effective for change. These Ideas also reject Corruptions that are the ongoing epidemics within the current Administration. It is obvious that our inclusions will introduce reforms in Government, stop corruption and their ways of life. We will continue to argue our case and hope, the public will understand that Liberia of tomorrow must be given a chance to new ideas from those who are exposed to real DEVELOPMENTS. Who are they? The Liberian Diasporas.

  14. Firstly, I must commend the author of this article for his tireless effort in producing such document. There was no argument about dual-nationality prior to the civil war. the issue became a point of discussion mainly, after the 2005 elections. Dual-citizenship will not bring anything to the country, it will not make a professional Liberian in the US to leave $150,000.us per annum job to settle for $25,000.00usd. The govt reached a decision to attract qualified Liberians in the diaspora to return home and help. Those Liberians were the only ones qualified under the Senior Executive Services(ses), all degrees/qualifications not from uncle sam’s village were relegated. Even some people who were bus drivers in the US became manager director for govt transport company. Dual-citizenship is just a smokescreen for some people to find sanctuary in the US when they commit wrong at home. There are countless Liberians working in key positions with their foreign nationalities with no problem. There are some Liberians who love to call unnecessary attention to themselves. How many Liberians are being denied private sector jobs at home because of the US passports? none, absolutely. It is the ministerial jobs where the problem is.In order to make dual-nationality a reality, here are my simple suggestions for analysis:
    1. Liberians in the diaspora(US, EU, AUSTRALIA,CANADA, ETC) should register with the Embassy-Liberian and return 1% of their annual income as income tax to Govt and also0.01% as NASSCORP premium
    2. Those who return their tax should be allowed to participate in all elections in Liberia by voting for their respective candidates at the Embassy
    3. Those who return income tax should be given free Liberian visas at all times when visiting home
    US constitution does not allow any of its citizens to be extradited to stand trial any where outside of its territory. The issue of accountability remains key if the dual-nationality must work.
    For too long, some Liberians treat their country like nothing; they loot and pillage, and take their loots abroad to enjoy.Check the Gyude Bryant’s regime, top guys at the Maritime looted almost a million Euros and absconded to the US, then the Cockrum and the countless others. Our problem in Liberia is not dual-nationality but lack of patriotism. Do we need dual-citizenship before a group of Liberian medical professional can open a polyclinic as we see in Ghana?In ghana, you can see beautiful housing complexes built by Ghanaians in the diaspora, why can’t we see that here?most hotels and restaurants in ghana, sierra leone, nigeria, etc are owned by their own citizens, what is happening to Liberia?

  15. P. Allison Tarlue, Sr. May 17, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Why are some Liberians not satisfy with being only Liberians? Will the dual citizens get
    some of the budget allocations for development in Liberia? This dual citizenship business is
    only a divided loyalty and they know very well what the Holy Bible says that you can not
    serve two masters. What percentage of their loyalty they can give the United States? And
    percentage of their loyalty can they give to Liberia?

  16. Liberia, a country so wealthy, yet so poor; occupied by a people so educated, yet succumbed to ignorance and hate. …

  17. The author Mr. Mr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor article reads “Have Liberians with dual citizenship become de facto second class citizen in their country6 of birth.” It’s clearly evident that the author of this passionate article didn’t do his research.

    Facts: The Republic of Liberia does not recognize dual-citizenship. Therefore, obtaining foreign citizenship doesn’t mean that you or anyone else should be legally regarded as full citizens of the republic of Liberia. If you didn’t obtain the appropriate documents for the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, you’re merely an illegal alien residing or working in Liberia.

    Again, until the law is changed, the Republic of Liberia does not recognize dual-citizenship (meaning, if your parents were/are Liberians and you were born at maternity center or any of the hospitals in Liberia), but traveled to the United States and took the Oath of Allegiance to become a naturalized citizen, you technically took the Oath and renounced and abjured absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign state, or sovereignty of which you were a citizen. Therefore, you’re no longer a citizen of the Republic of Liberia.

    In my opinion, I think the law should be changed to recognize dual citizenship. However, unlit the law is changed, you aren’t a “de facto second class citizen”, but a foreign national who is living without authorization in the republic of Liberia of which you are no longer a citizen.

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