PNC-led Coalition is in for another court battle for missing diamonds

first_imgThere is another matter headed for the courts; whether or not it would be another out-of-court settlement or court-ordered payout, in any event, millions of dollars are in the making for this miner, Khan, who is making it seem as though this PNC Government is never out of controversy and expensive payouts.Government seems to be embroiled in one scandal after another, with millions of taxpayers’ dollars being spent to bail it out of shame.The whereabouts of Mr Khan’s diamonds is another cold case that has been revived by the miner himself, after his diamonds were not returned to him.  The seized diamonds were in Police custody ever since they were recovered by the lawmen, after a purported robbery by thieves at Khan’s mining camp.The recovered items, according to a Police statement, were certified as authentic stones, and were left in the safe hands of the Force, or so it seemed. Now it is years later, and the rightful owner has not received his goods, worth approximately $53 million.Where are the diamonds? How did the diamonds slip out of the “safe hands” of the Police? These are searching questions for which this administration cannot provide answers. Mr Khan wants his property returned to him, or to be paid the cash value of the property.Now, rightfully, this matter started during the PPP/C’s time in office, which gave the administration a lead with which to go, so look at the way the Granger administration has responded. Government’s officials would have calculated that McDonald worked as Police Commissioner during that period, so he must be A PPP member, so let’s pin the blame on him.This commissioner, who is most hated by the PNC, then became the sole subject of Government’s investigation. Well, the maligned McDonald responded promptly and concisely, stating that he knows nothing of the gems; he had never seen, or had any dealings with, the diamonds.This stunner had the regime reeling, because they thought they had their man after all these years, but in reality they had run into a dead end. You see, theirs is the mistaken belief that Mr Floyd McDonald is a PPP/C member, therefore he is someone to “witch hunt” and to prosecute.This was just another PNC tactic used to turn people’s attention away from the truth, while shielding their criminal friends. Why didn’t they investigate their retired officer friends in the USA, who most likely are living the “good life” with the criminal proceeds of Khan’s diamonds?Those retired officers who were integral to the case, and provided so much details into the matter, why weren’t they brought back to face criminal charges? But like I said earlier, this is the way things are done in Guyana; The PNC would rather defend their thieves and con artists to the max, while the innocent taxpayer is funding that criminal enterprise.In a similar manner, they chose the Lindo Creek Massacre for investigation, hoping again to cover up another criminal act of one of their own, Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins.That special CoI was meant to uphold a rumour that the Joint Services, under orders from former President Jagdeo, deliberately killed the miners. This smoking gun of an inquiry turned out the total opposite to what they expected, because all evidence points to Fineman and his murderous gang conducting the assault.It is also public knowledge that Rondell “Fineman” Rawlins was a hired assassin with sly and slippery political giants as his mentors. The PNC are desperately trying to erase that image from people’s minds.To lay claim to my theory, who gave Fineman all pertinent information about the whereabouts of the Joint Services’ forces? Who provided him with camouflage military clothing, arms and ammunition? Who did?!  These are known facts that cannot be disputed, but instead of doing a thorough investigation into those areas, they are wracking their nerves seeking every secret cover-up they can find.The same could be said of the death of Courtney Crum-Ewing. Who are the persons responsible for that ghastly act? Could the PNC, who openly accused Mr Nandlall of plotting his demise, provide the evidence to support that claim?  Why can’t they furnish us with the information as to who did it? The majority of us know the answers to those questions, but we are waiting on those, the accusers, to come forward with their evidence.Finally, The PNC-led Coalition are desperately trying to create a clean, decent political party image to the public, one that people can trust and put their faith in. However, with these daily revelations of dark, ghoulish and horrific acts, that “good name” of the party is being called into question. Nothing pertaining to a good image is surfacing.Respectfully,Neil   Adamslast_img read more

That National Dialogue on Domestic Violence (Part 2)

first_imgDear Editor,The Caribbean Voice is inviting the First Lady to become lead partner in the Lay Counsellor Training Programme to be launched next year. With the First Lady in charge, this programme can truly be national in scope, and result in gatekeepers being in all communities — individuals who can proactively tackle all forms of abuse and suicide.Also, The Caribbean Voice is considering a national campaign to address domestic/intimate partner violence and femicide. Elements of this campaign are expected to include flyers (200,000 flyers) and posters (10,000), as well as focus groups across Guyana supported by the lay counsellor programme, our ongoing workshops, information dissemination and advocacy.Again, with the First Lady as lead partner in this effort, tremendous success can be achieved.We also urge the First Lady to include a module on mental health in all training programmes planned by her office. This would be more cost effective than separate mental health training. Besides, given that upwards of 200,000 Guyanese suffer from one or more mental health-related issues; that both suicide and all forms of abuse have mental health components; and that hundreds of thousands of other Guyanese have to deal with loved ones who suffer from mental health issues, mental health training becomes a critical necessity.The bottom line is that much of what we have had so far is rhetoric, pageantry, photo ops, and similar arid activities that waste scarce resources without impacting the issue in any fundamental way. So please, Madam First Lady, please do use this National Dialogue opportunity to start a process of concrete change.As a woman, wife and mother, you can far better empathise with the plight of our women folk; and as the First Lady, you have the capacity and scope to transform talk into action; not piece-meal, selectively and ad hoc, but concertedly, nationally and continually.Sincerely,The Caribbean Voicelast_img read more

“We are interested in efficiency” – Granger

first_imgWales Estate closureEven as feasibility studies into the use of cane-lands at Wales, West Bank Demerara, continues, Government is assuring that the move to diversify the West Demerara estate will see not only the sugar industry benefitting but the workers there as well.Speaking on the weekly televised programme, The Public Interest, President David Granger pointed out that the closure of estates has been dated back to over a century-and-a-half ago. He noted that unproductive factories have been shut down and there have been amalgamations.“This is a normal economic function, this is not punitive,” the Head of State remarked while adding that government is pushing to have an efficient sugar industry. He went on to say that it was against this backdrop that the decision was made to have the entire West Demerara amalgamated and similarly the East Coast Demerara.“We are not interested in putting sugar workers on the streets, we are interested in efficiency and we are looking to amalgamation. So if something is not functioning efficiently, it will be considered for shutting down or modification but we want to save workers’ jobs, we want to save the sugar industry. That’s what we want to do,” President Granger declared.Despite mounting concerns and criticisms over the closure of the estates, government is going ahead with its decision. To this end, several feasibility studies are being conducted at Wales to determine the future of the estate lands.One of the companies conducting the studies is AquaSol Inc, a United States-based aquaculture consulting company which offers expert opinions, technology transfer, and aquaculture project management services to new and existing aquaculture projects worldwide.Agriculture Minister Noel Holder told Guyana Times on Sunday that the studies are on track and the findings will be ready for its August monthend deadline.Wales, West Demerara Estate FactoryPreviously, the Minister had stated that research thus far indicates that the cane-lands are suitable for the cultivation of orchard and citrus crops, while other parts can be used for aquaculture and dairy farming.Nevertheless, Holder had posited that whatever decision is taken by government on the estate it will be done with the 17,000 workers and private cane farmers in mind.In this regard, he explained that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is also exploring leasing some of the lands to members of the community, particularly those who will not be accommodated at Uitvlugt, in order to get them more involved in agricultural activities.Meanwhile, there have been many calls from stakeholders for government to reverse its decision to close the estates. In fact back in May, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) filed a court case against GuySuCo and an interim injunction was subsequently granted in favour of the unions, barring the sugar company and/or their servants/agents, from proceeding to implement the decision to sever the employment of workers from the Wales Estate, unless consultations with the workers were held.With many of the workers being against the move to transfer to Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara, they opted for severance packages instead. However, using the injunction as its justification, GuySuCo said it was unable to pay the 105 Wales sugar workers their severance packages even though the workers on March 22 received letters that stated they would have been paid on May 4.GAWU has however rejected the sugar corporation’s stance, noting that the agreement between the workers and GuySuCo was reached before the May 6 injunction was granted.Moreover, Guyana Times was told in June that the workers have petitioned the Wales Estate manager for payment in lieu of work for the time they have been unemployed. Some 99 workers were involved in that petition.This newspaper understands the workers are contending that their severance packages were approved since March 22, 2016, and as such, are requesting that they be paid from April 22 up to the point at which they will be paid their redundancy allowance. The petition, along with letters sent to the estate’s manager, was seen by this publication.“I hereby request that I be paid my redundancy allowance and payment in lieu of work from April 22, 2016 up to the point of the payment of my redundancy allowance in keeping with Clause 6(2)(i) of the Collective Labour Agreement between my Union, GAWU, and the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc,” one of the letters stated.last_img read more

Messy Economy: Who’s to Blame?

first_imgThere is confusion and noise in the country over the challenging state of the economy particularly as the Liberian dollar continues to depreciate against the United States dollar. Amid this confusion and noise, fingers are being pointed at the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) for doing little or nothing to arrest the situation on the foreign exchange market. The rate currently stands at L$88.5 to US$1. Critics of the Ministry of Finance accused it of failing to finance critical government projects and failing to provide fiscal backing for the monetary side of the economy. The CBL is charged of pursuing bad monetary policy by allegedly infusing more money into the economy. The two institutions have denied these allegations and chided their accusers to provide evidence.  As the economy undergoes this hysterical period, the government has repeatedly said that it does not have control over the exchange rate. Many people describe the government’s pronouncement as a blatant demonstration of a lack of commitment or will to ensuring macroeconomic stability.But economic and financial experts believe that stability in the money market requires a greater responsibility from the private sector than just the government alone. They argued that as a free enterprise or market economy, the government does not produce or sell. Others are, however, of the view that the private sector needs stronger and committed government protection in order to take its place in the economy; a situation, they say, remains a promise from the government. Comparatively, it is the private sector that is creating more demand for the US dollar than the government.  In the face of this debate, a financial expert has anonymously warned that unless the economy can shift towards manufacturing to raise the needed foreign exchange to pay for its balance of payments (BoP), the foreign exchange market will get worse.The unfolding situation points to the fact that an attempt by the government to set the rate, as some people would want,  would lead to the creation of a ‘black market’ by unscrupulous individuals.What a mess!  Though the CBL makes a weekly US$1.5 million auction and deals directly with registered businesses and Forex bureaus, the Bank does not have enough US dollars to meet the demand of the market, which needs over a billion dollars per quarter to import. The Bank’s foreign reserves position is estimated at about US$250 million, while the government of Liberia’s fiscal budget is to the tune of about US$580million.The most professional way the Bank is handling this situation is to allow the market forces of supply and demand to dictate the exchange rate to a larger extent.In microeconomics, supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market.It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers (at current price) will equal the quantity supplied by producers (at current price), resulting in an economic equilibrium for price and quantity.Therefore, the four basic laws of supply and demand must be looked at. These laws state: if demand increases (demand curve shifts to the right) and supply remains unchanged, a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price; if demand decreases (demand curve shifts to the left) supply remains unchanged, a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price; if demand remains unchanged and supply increases (supply curve shifts to the right), a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price, and if demand remains unchanged and supply decreases (supply curve shifts to the left), a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.For our discussion on the money market in Liberia, we take the first law knowing that the demand for the US dollars has increased with supply remaining mainly unchanged. The shortage in the supply and availability of the US dollars in the market has led to a higher equilibrium price for the US dollars. Our Business Desk attempts to discuss some of the factors responsible for the increased demand for US dollars.Trade Deficit as a factor Responsible for Huge US dollar DemandLiberia is an import-dependent economy. Meaning, the economy imports more goods than its exports. According to CBL’s 2013 third quarter report, total import payments rose by 19.7% to US$300.5 million; while rubber and iron ore exports recorded a combined 81.1% of total export receipts from 78.1%; representing about 20.6% decline.Their combined export receipts recorded was US$99.5 million at end-September, 2013 from US$125.4 million at end-June 2013. The CBL reported that the key driver of the country’s trade deficit was its huge import receipts, which is further exacerbated by its sole reliance on rubber and iron ore as its key export commodities.The Bank acknowledged the decline as a troubling sign for the economy and immediately published a recommendation for the government to pursue a swift policy action aimed at widening the country’s export base towards non-traditional exports in order to reverse its sole dependence on iron ore and rubber.It also traced the problem to the volatility of global prices of iron ore and rubber, which exposes the country to susceptible external shocks. Rubber and iron ore are Liberia’s chief export commodities.Liberia’s Deteriorating Balance of PaymentsIt has been observed that the Liberian economy is not strong enough to generate needed foreign exchange earnings to settle its balance of payments (BoP). The BoP is a statement that summarizes an economy’s transactions with the rest of the world for a specified time period. Also known as balance of international payments, BoP encompasses all transactions between a country’s residents and its nonresidents involving goods, services and income; financial claims on and liabilities to the rest of the world; and transfers.Last year, the CBL has released a provisional statistics of Liberia’s overall BoP highlighting a deficit of about US$216.5 million.The statistics, which was curled from the Bank’s third quarter Economic &Financial Bulletin, published the US$216.5 million from a revised surplus of US$38.0 at the end of the previous quarter.According to the Bank, the overall BoP deteriorated on an annualized basis by US$338.0 million at the end of September, 2013 from a surplus of US$121.5 million at the end of September, 2012.Tax Requirement in US Dollar by GOLAnother key factor is tax requirement in US dollars by the Government of Liberia. The GOL’s policy of collecting a very large segment of tax revenue in US dollar from the private sector also creates demand for the US dollar because businesses and other taxpayers required to pay their taxes in US dollar have to find the US dollar to pay their taxes. It must be registered, however, that the situation in the foreign exchange market, which is creating hardship for vast majority of the Liberian people, cannot be blamed on the government alone.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ETU at ‘540’ Dedicated, But not Many Patients Expected, Doctors Say

first_imgA 300-bed Ebola Treatment Center, located at the New Ministry of Defense building in Congo Town, Monrovia, was last Friday dedicated by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, but doctors told reporters they don’t expect a flood of patients.“540,” the name of the community that hosts the Ministry of Defense building and new ETU in Congo Town, boasts 20 doctors, among them Cubans, 28 nurses and 68 other specialized medical professionals, including psycho-social counselors. Human resource officer, Lavele Sumbo told the Daily Observer that the center would receive patients beginning this week.  “Though the center can accommodate 300 persons,” Sumbo said, “we intend to admit ten patients a week.” He said the intent is to restrict the center to 100 patients to ensure proper care, due to the delicate nature of the disease. “It will also depend on the number of Ebola infested patients that will be brought to the center,” Sumbo said.  Health workers and doctors at the center held a meeting yesterday, preparing to receive its first patients, beginning today, Monday, November 3.  They, however, told the Daily Observer that with the positive decline of the infection and the lower report of Ebola victims, “We don’t expect to receive a rush of patients to this center.” Sumbo, who has worked at the J.F.K Medical Center as a nurse throughout the Ebola fight, expressed the hope that with the decline of infections, it would provide the center much capacity to care for the predicted few expected at the center. The united front to defeat the Ebola Virus Disease has been successful, simply because health workers and doctors were prepared to stake their lives to save their fellow Liberians. He recalled during the crisis period when Ebola victims were more than could be helped, “We could only do what was necessary by not abandoning our fellow Liberians who were in need in that critical period. “When I saw the recovery of more than one hundred infected Liberians,” Sumbo recalled, “I knew that the war against the Ebola Virus Disease was winnable.” Physician Assistant Lawrence Doe, who had trained in the People’s Republic of China said, “The fight against the Ebola Virus Disease” was a serious challenge to the medical profession. With reference to the dedicated ETU, Doe said that since the opening last Friday, there has not been any rush of patients, and as a result, there is a high hope that the center would not be overwhelmed. He could, however, not be specific about any prediction of the number expected, but Doe said a couple of weeks from now could make all the difference regarding the number of patients that would be cared for. The new Ministry of Defense building got the nickname 540, according to residents, as a result of former combatants who were housed there during President Charles Taylor’s administration, and were each paid US$540.00 a month.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Nimba Oldest Traditional Midwife in Nimba Laid to Rest

first_imgOne of Nimba County’s oldest and most renowned  traditional midwifes and mother of Chief Justice Francis Korkpor was last Saturday laid  to rest in her home town of Zao Township in Nimba County.The late Mother Kou Suah Korkpor, affectionately known as Ma Suah, did not acquire formal education, but she was a highly knowledgeable woman who was respected and noted for her wisdom.  She over the years had a substantial input on national decisions that led unity and harmony amongst her kinsmen and women.The late Ma Suah was one of the first women in Nimba County who was trained in the area of traditional midwifery. This led to her active role in the safe delivery of thousands of children in the nearby towns and villages.According to her life sketch, read at the funeral, she truly touched the lives of many and contributed her quota to the growth of their community and the nation at large.The celebration of her life and home going was well attended by high profile government officials including her son, His Honor Francis S. Korkpor, Chief Justice Republic of Liberia, Grand Bassa Senator and Senate President Protemp of Liberia, Gbehzongar Findley, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, His Honor Kabinah Jan’neh , Members of the Nimba Legislative Caucus, led by Senator Thomas Grupee and Forestry Development Authority Managing Director Harrison KarnweaSome of the nation’s leading lawyers and politicians, Counselor Varney G. Sherman, Chairman of Unity Party, and Liberty Party founder and former standard bearer Counselor Charles Walker Brumskine, also attended the funeral.Hundreds of sons and daughters of Nimba County also turned out to pay their last respects to their fallen matriarch and midwife, Ma Kou Suah Korkpor.The late mother Korkpor was born on January 18, 1923, unto the blessed union of Mr. and Mrs Goyo Myers in Yeela Town, Bong County, Republic of Liberia.She was baptized a Methodist at an early age and became a devout member of the United Methodist Church.The late Ma Kou Suah Korkpor leaves to mourn her loss, her children: His Honor Francis S. Korkpor Sr. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia, Mrs. Kou Gondoun, Paye, Tei, Melvin, Belleh, Tutu and her surviving brother Mr. Albert Myers of the USA.  Also surviving her are step children, several grand  great and great great grand children, nieces, nephew, cousins and many other relatives and friends in Liberia and the Diaspora.She died on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at the hour of two a.m. at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Ganta City, Nimba County after a protracted illness.In his acknowledgment, Chief Justice Korkpor thanked all sympathizers, including the Government of Liberia and Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as well as government officials who made their way from Monrovia to the village for the funeral service and the burial.He said, he had not expected  the ceremony to be as big as it was due to the current Ebola crisis Liberia faces.  He, therefore, expressed heartfelt thanks to all for their concern and expressions of sympathy at the home going of their late Mother, Kou Suah Korkpor.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Lawmakers Frown at Public Works Minister for “Single-Sourcing” 34 Contracts

first_imgMembers of the House of Representatives have expressed shock and disappointment over the sole sourcing of 34 contracts by the Ministry of Public Works. The contracts were mainly sourced out from 2011-2014.Representatives Edwin M. Snowe, William Dakel and Munah Pelham-Young blood frown at the reception of the “No Objection Request” by the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) from the Public Works Ministry under the so-called international permissible method of procuring goods and services.These lawmakers believed that the single-sourcing of the contracts is inarguably the result of the poor quality of roads and infrastructure project across the country.The lawmakers’ frustration triggered during report delivered by Public Works Minister Antoinette Week on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, the 35th sitting of the 3rd session of the House of Representatives of the 53rd Legislature.The lawmakers also expressed discontent over the money allotted on the marking of roads, such as the Buchanan Road, which is over US$500,000.During her 4-hour deliberation, Madam Weeks told the lawmakers that about 72 percent of all contracts given by the Public Works were singled-sourced without any form of bidding.“34 out of 34 or one hundred percent of these civil works contracts reviewed were singled-sourced without any bidding, but with a no objection approval received by the Ministry of Public Works from the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC),” Minister Weeks said.The Public Works Minister argued that a “sole-sourcing” is an international permissible method of procuring goods and services.Howbeit, in order to seek detailed and in-depth answers from the single sourcing and the marking of roads and the completion of the 16-page report; the Public Works Minister is expected to reappear on Thursday, June 12, 2014.Meanwhile, critics say former Public Works Minister, Samuel Kofi Woods needs to be summoned and asked “Why he can’t be held in contempt for initiating the single-sourcing of 34 contracts.”Mr. Woods, who was known as President Sirleaf’s “loyal servant”—quoting her own words— resigned in May 2013 in quiet mood.Woods, a consummate rights advocate, came to the helm of the Ministry of Public Works in 2009 after serving at the Ministry of Labor for three years.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

10 Indicted over FI Bank’s Missing US$1.2M

first_imgThe grand jury for Montserrado County has finally indicted 10 former employees of the First International Bank (FIB) in connection with the alleged disappearance of US$1.2 million, which was allegedly stolen from the bank.The accused were charged with the commission of the crime, money laundering, theft of property, criminal conspiracy and facilitation and forgery.Those employees charged are Jermaine Tegli, head of operations, Beyan Dadzi, resident auditor, Richard Gboyah, head of operations, Victoria Yanguba, resident auditor,  Africanus Freeman, cash officer and Kebbeh Kulah, also cash officer,Others include; Roberts Cummings, Angie Brooks, Aurelia Tamba and Ngadi Warity, all tellers of the bank.They are expected to go on trial in early November, according to the court document.The court document said that between the period January 2012 to February 2013, the defendants allegedly used withdrawal slips filled in, approved, signed and in some instances not signed and without the knowledge and participation of the customers diverted an amount of US$1,220,028.54 from the bank.It further alleged that Co-defendants Jermaine Tegil and Africanus Freeman, without any authorization, fraudulently used the bank’s manager’s checks account to withdraw the total amount of US$1,102,859.21.According to the document, co-defendant Africanus Freeman, who served as cash officer, posted an amount to the system in excess of amounts actually paid to MoniGram and Western Union’s customers and thereafter converted the amount fraudulently posted.  The bank lost US$1,269,102.75.Co-defendants Robert Cummings, Jermaine Tegli, and Africanus Freeman converted to their own use and benefit the amount of US$8,924.29 which was in the custody of co-defendant Cummings as a teller and which was illegally withdrawn and paid out to co-defendant Freeman and Tegli upon their request for an IOU.Also on March 21, 2013, while counting money collected on March 21, 2013 in the vault, the defendants allegedly took US$248,309 and LD$40,349,285 (equivalent to US$576,418.36 at the rate of LD$70), which went missing from the vault of the bank without any authorization or document in support of its removal.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Muslims Urged to Remember Liberia in Prayers

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on all Muslims in Liberia to observe the holy month of Ramadan with a sense of commitment to the faith of Islam, bearing in mind love for country at all times. “Islam, as a religion of peace embodies love for fellow humankind,” she said.According to an Executive Mansion release, in a statement to the Muslim community to mark the start of Ramadan across the nation, she wished Muslims well as they begin the fulfillment of one of the five pillars of Islam, the Holy Ramadan.She urged them to remember Liberia in their prayers. “As you isolate yourself in the next 30 days to fast and pray, we implore you to remember our country, as well as its continued longing for peace and stability,” President Sirleaf admonished, reminding them that all Muslims were fully supportive of the fight against Ebola as was evidenced by their supplications during the country’s most difficult time.Madam Sirleaf appealed to Muslims to let their moment of peaceful sanctity inspire and bring hope to Liberia and its people. “Let the spirit of Ramadan truly manifest itself that indeed Islam begets peace and tranquility for humankind,” she urged, adding, “May the essence of Ramadan purify all our hearts.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Peace Is Achieved by What We Do or Say’

first_imgVice President Joseph Boakai has told a delegation of “peace agents,” from across Liberia and other nations that peace can be achieved by what one does or says.Vice President Boakai who made the assertion yesterdayformally declared open a national stakeholders workshop on peace, security and justice in West Africa. The two-day workshop involves traditional leaders, including town chiefs. The stakeholders’ seminar, which ends today, is the first of a four-day workshop. The last session, which is the International Stakeholders Workshop, is expected, to begin on Thursday, July 2, and ends Friday, July 3rd.VP Boakai told the audience that the workshop and its “attendant intellectual frameworks, all make a useful tool.” “But we cannot consider this as an end in itself;” and appealed to the participants that long after the close of the workshop, “all stakeholders will continue to make additional impactful efforts in promoting peace, security and justice in communities, institutions and organizations.”Organizers’ concept note states that the contributions of chiefs and other social groups or systems to peace, security and justice, sometime receive little attention and is poorly understood, particularly in international circles and this can have important effects.They added: “To contribute to greater understanding and discussion of these questions, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana, along with the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, have set out to investigate the nature and scope of the interaction of state, non-state and internationalproviders of peace, security and justice in more detail.”The aim of the national stakeholders’ workshop is for participants to consider their own and each other’s contributions to peace, security and justice, to explore the nature of their engagements with each other, and to discuss what potential there might be for better engagement. The stakeholders’ gathering, which is being held under the theme, “Understanding and Working with Local Sources of Peace, Security and Justice in West Africa,” is being sponsored by the Australian Government, through KAIPTC in collaboration with the University of Queensland. Earlier, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Stephen Neufville stated that the workshop forms part of a two-year project for national actors in the provision of peace, security and justice. “It is very timely and important because the people of Liberia and the region at large are going through times in which the contributions of all stakeholders and their strong collaboration to provide and promote peace, security and justice are strongly needed,” he added.For his part, Major General Obed B. Akwa, Commandant of KAIPTC, said the idea of holding the conference is to research into the role of traditional leaders in peace and security. According to him, the role of traditional institutions in peace and security situations can not be overemphasized. He added “Because there are some areas within our country that you can’t find the regular soldier, police or state security agency operating yet there is peace and tranquillity. The reason is that we have traditional security institutions, which are able to bring about this peace and security through their usual normal practices.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more