first_imgAs the raids on popular night spots continue, another unlicensed weapon was found, but this time at Palm Court, Main Street, Georgetown.According to Police, late Saturday, around 23:00h, ranks carried out a search at the popular Main Street establishment where an unlicensed .38 Special Revolver with four matching rounds was found on the person of a male patron. It was disclosed that the man will soon make an appearance at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.It was only last week that four men and a woman were arrested in the wee hours of Friday morning at a popular night spot in West Ruimveldt, Georgetown for possession of arms and ammunition.Guyana Times had reported that the five accused were found with two illegal firearms, several rounds of ammunition and a quantity of ganja. It was also reported that Police had swooped down at the Ballaz Wash Bay Bar some time between 01:30h and 02:30h where a search had been conducted.On Thursday last, an Annandale, East Coast Demerara man was taken into Police custody after he was found with two illegal handguns and several rounds of ammunition in his possession. According to reports, the 24-year-old, who was said to be unemployed, was arrested in South Ruimveldt, Georgetown after Police received a tip-off.last_img read more

first_imgProminent Liberians living in the commercial city of Ganta are calling on the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) to give accreditation to the Liberia International Christian College (LICC) to run a Bachelor’s degree program.The citizens made the call recently at the third graduation exercises of the institution.Taking the first turn in sending out the request to NCHE, J. Lanon Martor, District Education Officer of Meinpea Education District said at the end of every academic year over 800 students graduate from high school and most of them cannot afford to live in Monrovia.Mr. Martor said besides the high cost of education in Monrovia, it is difficult to have dwelling places couple with transportation.He added that the only state-run university is overpopulated that entering therein is very difficult.“With this condition, we are calling on the national government to see reason to grant LICC the accreditation for a Bachelor Degree program since it has the facility.  Most of our students graduating in Nimba cannot afford the living condition in Monrovia.  There are some Master’s degree earners here who can teach Bachelor’s degree candidates,” Mr. Martor stressed.Also making the same request, Bain-Garr Commissioner, Shirley Brown said Monrovia is not the only place every Liberian will have to acquire education.According to Commissioner Brown, decentralization of education will help government take more people from Monrovia to other areas in the country, thus easing the economic and other social constraints.Making the request to Nimba County District #1 lawmaker Jeremiah Koung, Commissioner Brown emphasized that students are willing to seek higher education, but because not many universities in the country to accommodate them, they are constrained to do other things than pursuing education.She said when LICC is granted degree status; most of the school-going youths will have the opportunity to acquire their education in the area they are at a low cost.“LICC has the facility and instructors who can teach our children here.  When this college is granted a degree status, it will help to reduce the population concentrated in Monrovia and people will not have problem with housing as it is in Monrovia,” Commissioner Brown said.The president of LICC, Dr. Sei Bour in an interview with the Daily Observer said the institution has the requisite facilities even more than some accredited universities operating in the country.“We are building two-storey building for the Agriculture College, and today we are dedicating this resource center that will comprise a library and a technology center.  Moreover, we have sent out some of our staff to get advance degrees to come and work here.  I can assure you that we have the capacity to operate a Bachelor program and our product will be solid and reliable in the job market,” Dr. Bour said.In response to the request, Nimba County District #1 Representative, Jeremiah Koung alluded to the fact the college has the needed facilities and can operate as a Bachelor Degree granting institution.Representative Koung assured the requestors that he would liaise with his colleagues and the Commission on Higher Education to consider all necessary reasons associated with the request to grant the institution the accreditation to offer Bachelor Degree.Liberia International Christian College is currently offering Associate of Art Degree to students who undergo its teaching for a period of three years.Courses offered by the institution include Education, Agriculture, Pastoral Theology and Business Management.  The school graduated 56 candidates during its third commencement convocation on July 6.LICC is the second college in Nimba that offers Associate of Art Degree, the first being the Nimba Community College that has not produce graduates yet.The former African Bible College is now accredited to offer Bachelor Degree and is not African Bible College University located in Yekepa.It also has more learning facilities with foreign instructors; however, it has impediment in attracting students because of the high tuition paid in the United States Dollar and its location.Unlike pre-war days when LAMCO was still operating, the area now has less population due to unimproved facilities in that local area.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgA Congolese nun who worked with Spanish Catholic missionaries in Liberia has died of Ebola, the charity she worked for said Saturday in Madrid. Chantal Pascaline died early Saturday “due to Ebola at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia,” the Liberian capital, the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God said in a statement. Pascaline worked with Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, 75, who being a Spanish national, was flown out of the country to Spain for special treatment.  He left Liberia on Thursday after contracting Ebola.Father Pajares’ country’s government said the same trial drugs that were tested on the US citizens—Dr. Kent Brantly and Nurse Nancy Writebol—who, too, contracted the deadly disease in Liberia, would also be tested on the Catholic priest.  The Hospitaller Brothers are in charge of the NGO that runs the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital, where the priest and the nuns worked. Spanish health authorities said Thursday that the priest — the first Ebola victim in the fast-spreading outbreak to be evacuated to Europe — was in stable condition with no sign of bleeding. The hospital is not providing medical updates for the missionary, at his request. A weakened Pajares arrived in Madrid aboard a special hospital plane along with 65-year-old Spanish nun Juliana Bonoha Bohe. The nun had been cleared of Ebola before leaving Liberia, but doctors at Madrid’s La Paz-Carlos III hospital repeated the blood test on Thursday and said they would do so again in four days. The Hospitaller Brothers asked Madrid on Tuesday to “urgently” repatriate Pajares, Bonoha Bohe, Pascaline, and a Guinean-born nun, Paciencia Melgar, who was also infected with the virus. But officials said they would evacuate only the Spanish nationals.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgOpposition walkout… Opposition Leader says explanation “nonsensical”Responding to the claims made by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) about their allegedOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo expressing his displeasure on Wednesday night at D’Urban Parkmistreatment at the recently held independence flag raising ceremony, Minister within the Education Ministry, Nicolette Henry, on Friday said the Party members left the D’Urban Park event while her officials were trying to have them seated together as requested.On Wednesday evening, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo expressed disappointment that his Party was left embarrassed when members turned up at the D’Urban Park arena to be a part of the activities, but could not because most of the Members of Parliament (MPs) were left standing without any seats.He said effort was made to correct the situation, but after some 30 minutes standing, nothing was done. They all dubbed the situation disrespectful, and the group, led by Jagdeo, walked out of the event.But on Friday, Minister Nicolette Henry, who had responsibility for the staging of the event, said the parliamentary Opposition was invited to all state events and confirmed its attendance to the flag raising ceremony.She said after accepting the invitation, the Opposition was briefed by her on Tuesday, May 24, on the time of arrival, entrance to be used and seating arrangements. Based on the arrangement, the Opposition Leader was expected to be seated in the Presidential Section with all other past Presidents and Prime Ministers. All other PPP members were to be seated in the other VIP section.According to Henry, the Opposition Leader did arrive, but not at the time he was expected to. He also used an entrance that he was not supposed to use.Explaining the details of what transpired on Wednesday evening, Minister Henry said Jagdeo arrived at 21:55h and used the South Western entrance (Hadfield Street).She said had it not been for the Police insistence on using the North-western entrance, this would have resulted in the Opposition and President Granger arriving on the tarmac at the same time.According to her, the other members remained standing in the passage and had indicated that they would only sit when they could be assigned seats together. However, according to her, this was not told to the usher.“Upon my arriving in the Presidential Section, the Opposition Leader indicated there were concerns with the seating. I assured him I will address this immediately, so I proceeded by personally asking other invited persons to give up their seats to ensure the Opposition members were all seated together.”She said as soon as the persons began to give up their seats, the Opposition walked out.“In the circumstances, I wish to state that as the organiser of this event, I apologise for any inconvenience, embarrassment or distress this incident may have caused”, Henry said in a statement on Friday.But Jagdeo, immediately told Guyana Times that the Minister’s response was “nonsensical.” In fact, most of the things she stated were untrue, the former Head of State said.Meanwhile, the PPP/C in a statement issued on Friday afternoon said that Minister Henry’s statement on the incident is “a poor effort to extricate the Government from the disrespectful treatment of the parliamentary Opposition.”According to the Party, the Minister seemed to have difficulty comprehending the issue at hand. “The Minister gave all assurances on May 24 to the Leader of the Opposition and a large group of PPP/C MPs and again on May 25, with the Chief Whip [Gail Teixeira] that seats for all PPP/C MPs and their spouses were reserved for the flag raising in the VIP section and that “we should not worry, everything was taken care of,” the statement said.According to the Party, the Minister was advised that the PPP/C MPs were attending the event in one bus to reduce any logistical problems.last_img read more

first_imgSimply Thinking ThoughtsIn my thinking thoughts last night, I reflected on President Sirleaf’s 2015 Annual Message and the declaration that Education would now be TOP PRIORITY. Immediately the speech, pundits and critics began to raise concerns over why so late in her leadership since it is commonplace that the development and existence of all nations depend on educational systems. Howbeit, whatever reasons these critics propound to quench their thirst for answers, in my opinion, declaring education top priority is similar to declaring war on Trojan Horses which have been the conduits for infiltration into our noble profession; hence we should rather embrace the President’s declaration with much zeal and resolve.Infiltration Via the Trojan HorseMy 11thgrade History teacher Bona Deng at the W. V. S. Tubman High School was the first to introduce the story of the Trojan Horse. It is a tale from the Trojan War about the ploy that the Greeks used to enter the City of Troyafter numerous attempts, and won the war (1200 B.C.).According to the canonic version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse as a truce and gift to the people of Troy, and hid a select force of men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek forces crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had not actually gone away. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.This anecdote is simply to denote how all kinds of people who do not possess the qualifications and capacity have infiltrated the education sector through several means specifically concealed in Trojan Horses.Presently, the education sector is bridled by the foibles and idiosyncrasies of under-achievers and people who do not know anything about education but are in the driver seats.  You find these people comfortably situated, without any remorse of their ineptitude, at every level of the education sector ranging from school secretariats, NGO education projects, classrooms and almost everywhere you cough “education”.There are therefore uncountable number of ways or “Trojan Horses” through which these infiltrators entered the sector and have brought shame and disgrace to it.Via Compromised and Misplaced Education Workers“Since I cannot find anything in my area, I will just go teach”.  “Uncle, if I can’t fit anywhere, just send me to Education let me be doing something there”.  These statements and people who comply or compromise with them are simply grossly unpatriotic, wicked and possessing no intention to improve education in Liberia and the livelihood of this nation state.Some education leaders are simply deliberately misplaced. These infiltrated the sector when the disciplines they chose did not reap anticipated results. Either they did not read well, or they squeezed their ways through college. For example, some people obtained degrees in Management, Political Science or Sociology just to find out later that employment in those areas could not come by easily.  To survive, they disguised as teachers, in spite of their gross ignorance and limitations, and entered the gates of this noble profession, destroyed it and exposed it to ridicule. These very people are still dishing out poison to our children, and mismanaging education, while genuine and proven education technicians are berated, overlooked, and shamed.Via Private Schools and NGO Recruitment ProcessesAnother means by which Trojan Horses grant entry to unqualified people into the profession is the way private schools, as well as local and international non-governmental organizations (NGO) recruit staff for education ventures without Ministry of Education’s (MOE) involvement.MOE usually never participates in the scrutiny of credentials of private school teachers, neither those of local and international education managers to determine if they possess the requisite pedagogical orientation, professional savvy, instructional delivery tenacity, and relevant experience before they are unleashed into the Liberian educational sector. Before I am remiss, some private sector staff are exceptionally savvy in education project leadership and possess rich experiences; I just happen to carry this hunch that at least their suitability should be archived by the MOE to ascertain they are not contents of Trojan Horses.Via Substandard Teacher Training ProgramsA common entry into the profession is via substandard teacher training programs. Immediately the cessation of hostilities during the 1990 war, all and sundry organizations launched education programs resulting to high demands for teachers.Consequently, people were trained in substandard training programs, pre-maturely certified and dumped into classrooms. These people still hold their sub-standard certificates and creating havoc in classrooms because nowhere in the world can genuine teacher training take place in 6 weeks.Conclusion: Attack the Trojan HorsesThe crux of the matter is that the education sector is faced with so many challenges due to infiltration by people who do not have the passion, requisite capacity and qualifications. In the Trojan Horse story, Education Sector represents the formidable City of Troy which failed to fall to the Greeks.Back in the day, like Troy, although teaching did not make much money, it was a noble and revered profession that turned applicants away because they were not qualified to be educators. All of the unqualified, unfit, mediocre people you find operating education today are the forces that hid in Trojan Horses pretending as if it was a gift, and at nightfall, came out and destroyed Troy.I am sure you have heard the assertion, “If you want to die poor, be a teacher”.  Unfortunately, those who make these assertions are the ones who are hiding in Trojan Horses and entering education, sitting in the decision-making saddles, serving as drum majors, or at the helm of education policy management; these people can be found at all levels from teachers to consultants.Now, since President Sirleaf has declared that Education is top priority, I believe the first thing to do is to attack the Trojan Horses and destroy their abilities to serve as conduits and make war.  To these ends, all conscientious Liberians and professional educators must get off the fence and wage war and wage it with all their bodies, minds and souls, on Trojan Horses wherever they are found.No more should we stand by and allow our profession to be derailed while we are ridiculed. WE MUST POSSESS THIS TOP PRIORITY; WE MUST BATTLE WITH TROJAN HORSES and improve the quality of education in Liberia.I am simply thinking thoughts.About the authorThe Rivercess Village man, Moses Blonkanjay Jackson is a triple Ivy League product, and a Jesuit protégé; Mr.  Jackson is a Yale University Mathematics Curriculum Fellow, and a University of Pennsylvania Physics Curriculum Fellow. Mr. Jackson holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Master of Education with Secondary Mathematics concentration from Saint Joseph’s University. Blonkanjay is currently serving as Assistant Minister for Teacher Education.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last Thursday led an array of personalities, including government officials to perform a dedication of the newly constructed modern housing units in Gbengbar Town, around the VOA Junction in Paynesville City, outside Monrovia. The complex, which comprises several modern designed houses, is constructed by Premier Developers JV Company, a wholly Liberian owned company, headed by its president and chief executive officer (CEO), Floyd Thomas.  In her statement, President Sirleaf said the initiative is a dream come true for the government and people of Liberia, adding, “This is an example of what it takes to build our country.” She said it was a dream come true because, while living in Abidjan, La Cote d’Ivoire as a refugee, Premier Developers JV Company CEO Thomas conceived the idea of bringing to the country, Liberian-owned private investments that would include construction of housing units to be purchased at an affordable rate by residents. By this venture, Madam Sirleaf believes that Mr. Thomas is encouraging other compatriots to invest at home as part of the strategies to alleviate the constraints of acquiring land and at the same time building a house.  According to the President, the construction of the new housing units signifies that a group of Liberians with expertise can come together, incorporating the young ones with talents and skills to carry on infrastructural development.  She then urged the management of Premier Developers to construct more of such housing units, especially for low income earners in other parts of the country to alleviate the serious housing problem facing ordinary Liberians. President Sirleaf then encouraged Liberians living abroad to return home and follow the good example of Premier Developers to work and build Liberia rather than coming home to take the country’s meager resources away. She has meanwhile assured the management of the Premier Homes her government’s commitment to providing social services, including the provision of safe drinking water and electricity for those who will be privileged to acquire any of the newly constructed units.Earlier in their respective remarks, Mr. John Davies, President of Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) and Director-general of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation (NASSCORP), Dewitt VonBallmoos also commended the management and staff of Premier Developers JV Company for undertaking such a venture.  They promised to ensure that the dream of the Premier Estate is sustained. For her part, Paynesville City Mayor, Cyvette Gibson, lauded the new housing estate as a much welcomed development. Also speaking, Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper pledged his support to the project and promised to lobby with residents of Margibi to provide the needed land space for the construction of similar modern homes, which he believes will be at the purchasing advantage of low income earners. He is the Senate Chair on Public Works. The dedication was also attended by the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps, Guinean Ambassador, Abdoulaye Doré,  The Premier Homes is one of Liberia’s post war developers, under the canopy of the Developers JV Company. With the motto: “Buying offers freedom from rising rents; affordability is a key factor,” the Premier Estate has amenities such as a gated community, perimeter and individual home fence, guard house with security, paved streets and landscaping.  It is a premium residential subdivision that offers middle to high income homes for sale, equipped with first class amenities and facilities.“We have several well-designed home models to choose from,” Mr. Thomas said. He also acknowledged authorities of the LBDI, NASSCORP, and Guarantee Trust Bank. Some of the estate plans are ready to buy and the homes are being designed and well-constructed in accordance with high standards of construction. The Premier Estate is constructed on 25 acres of land with a  workforce of 75, some of them, procurement staffers including seasoned Liberian engineers and architects.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgAs health, education, and social-infrastructure development remain focus points for Margibi development agenda Rep. Ben A. Fofana has said that approximately USD1.5m has been disbursed over the years to promote education and empowerment for youth of Margibi County.The amount includes scholarships, allotment for elementary, junior and senior high schools, and support for university education at home and abroad.Funds were accrued from personal contributions, donations and cuts from the Margibi County Development Fund, (CDF) with support from the County Legislative Caucus, Rep. Fofana said.He said additional USD 3,700 is being used on rehabilitation of damaged schools in the county to include Lanco Lapaye Senior High and the Kakata Junior and Senior High Schools, while construction on the modern police deport has begun.He spoke to the Daily Observer at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia last week.Rep. Fofana said under construction is a women’s center in Kakata as a means to empower women in Margibi.Also under rehabilitation, he said is the Bola–Gibi Bridge to ease transportation difficulties, while plains are underway to pave major streets in Kakata and its environs, including the Ben A. Fofana Bridge.In the works is the construction of a radio station that when completed will serve Margibi County and nearby   towns and villages, he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has postponed the kickoff of the 2014/2015 national league for the second time.On Wednesday, May 13, clubs from the 1st, 2nd and female divisions were expected to happily begin their football journey after over 10 months of non-football activities due to the Ebola outbreak.The continuous rescheduling of the league after the Super Cup finals, between FC Fassell and BYC, on Friday, March 20, is unprecedented in Liberian football since the initiation of the 1st division league in 1956.The announcement of the second deferment of the league was made on Sunday by the commentator during the derby between BYC 1 and Mighty Barrolle.LFA president Musa Bility, Secretary General B. Alphonso Armah and the chairman of the Competition Committee Ansu Dorley affected the disclosure for the postponement of the league.The trio remained tip-lipped on the reasons for the deferment when quizzed, but have again reassured football fans for the third time on heaving a sigh of relief on a “sooner date.”In June 2014, the LFA suspended all football activities as preventive measure against the deadly Ebola virus and in February 2015 lifted ban on football activities and scheduled the reopening of league on March 15.Mr. Bility said all football activities could resume given the level of improvement in the fight against Ebola in the country.The LFA boss said the football house would begin the enforcement of CAF-mandated Club Licensing System before the resumption on March 15.Disappointingly, the Executive Committee, through Mr. Bility deferred the League opening upon the completion of CAF Licensing Club System.A fortnight ago, the LFA First Instant Board, chaired by Competition Committee head, Ansu Dorley announced the names of clubs which fully complied and qualified for clearances as well as de-registered unqualified clubs.The Competition Committee announced that the 2014/2015 league would begin on Wednesday, May 13 and was also confirmed Bility on several interviews with reporters.Meanwhile, the postponement of the resumption of the 2014/2015 League has been received with mixed reaction with many stakeholders describing the delay as mainly owing to the lack of sponsorship.It may be recalled that in 2010 the LFA and Cellcom GSM Company entered into a 3-year deal, which ended in 2014.last_img read more

first_imgUnited Network of Young Peace Builders, with headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, announced last week the appointment of Ms. Gwendolyn S. Myers of Liberia as Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa.Myers is Founder & Executive Director of a non-profit organization, Messengers of Peace (MOP) Liberia Inc., and was named a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum. She is expected to serve alongside two other Regional Focal Point Coordinators for East and Southern Africa on a Regional Advocacy Team (RAT) to monitor advocacy activities related to the implementation of the Amman Youth Declaration as well as the work of youths in peace building in general. That includes mapping key stakeholders in the region and assisting in the coordination of advocacy activities by linking-up individuals or organizations that plan to execute similar activities, like outreach in schools, workshops, among others. The focal points will also be responsible for reporting those activities to the UNOY International Secretariat in the Netherlands, which will feed into an online strategy.Ms. Myers would advocate for regional integration as a strategic prerequisite for sustainable peace and accelerated growth and development.Gwendolyn has extensive experience in managing programs for young people through a well-established coaching and mentoring program for adolescent girls and the establishment of peace clubs in schools and poor communities in and around Monrovia. As Liberia’s Ambassador to the World Peace is Possible Foundation in the Netherlands, a 2015/2016 Center for Women Faith & Leadership Fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement, USA, Ms. Myers comes to the network with a wealth of knowledge and experience in peace advocacy.Ms. Myers holds a B.Sc degree in Biology & Chemistry from the Mother Patern College of Health Sciences, Liberia, and a Graduate Certificate in Peace Building & Leadership from the Women’s Peace Building Leadership Cohort Program at the Center for Justice and Peace Building, Eastern Mennonite University, VA, USA. Gwendolyn S. Myers has over seven years of experience working in peace and non-violence education among in and out of school youth as well using various media such as radio, print and community outreach to implement and evaluate peace programs. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Cllr. Benedict F. Sannoh, has reaffirmed government’s commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the wake of United Nations Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) drawdown by next year, adding, “We are ready to take over the mantle of the security sector as UNMIL operations come to an end by June, 2016.”Minister Sannoh made the statement recently at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism regular press briefing, held in Monrovia.He said as part of government’s preparations, the security sector is being stepped up through the institution of some “relatively independent and vibrant” activities.He meanwhile frowned on those who over the past months have harbored the sentiment that the departure of UNMIL will leave a security vacuum in the country, believing that the government will not secure peace and stability in the absence of international peacekeepers.“This thinking on the parts of some the citizens,’’ he said, “is unfortunate and can be characterized as perceptions and speculations.’’ He spoke of his own disappointment in some Liberians, especially those in positions of influence that have also joined people with the sentiments that the country lacks the capacity to maintain its own national peace and security.According to Minister Sannoh, maintaining Liberia’s stability is now the responsibility of every citizen, and not the exclusive domain of the police and security forces. “If Liberians want peace and stability, they can have it. The achievement of national security goals does not rest exclusively on the police, the immigration, and the drug enforcement agency that provide physical security or on members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) that provides military security. It rests on all of us as a people, a community, leaders, and not only in the Executive, but also in the Legislature and in the Judiciary,’’ he said.Cllr. Sannoh used the occasion and reaffirmed Liberia’s potential to maintain internal peace and security when UNMIL leaves the country’s security sector by June next year. He, however, admitted that the country is faced with threats such as local, national, regional and global security concerns which pose internal threat to the country’s security.Amongst the internal threats, the Justice Minister named existing land disputes, ethnic divisions, pervasive poverty, and high levels of unemployment, exacerbated by the legacies of civil wars, as factors that make the country vulnerable to internal conflicts. These security concerns, Minister Sannoh said, were further exacerbated by the Ebola virus crisis.Apart of the Ebola threat, he named threats, including terrorism and transnational organized crime, “because the West African region has increasingly become the route for illicit drug transshipment from Latin America and Asia to major western countries.”“As you are quite aware, drug trafficking brings with it the threats of drug cartel related corruption, violence and instability as witnessed elsewhere in the world. The continuous flow of small arms and light weapons in the sub region also pose a threat to the security of Liberia,” he said.For his part, UNMIL Deputy SRSG for Rule of Law, Waldemar Very, said Liberia’s job, with support from UNMIL and partners, is to deliver on the priorities, in the days ahead, for UNMIL’s departure. “This will require sustained commitment until the finish line. And the good news is that government, at the highest levels and across ministries, is fully committed to the comprehensive security transition plan.’’ The plan, he said, is closely aligned with the phased drawdown of UNMIL. But the government’s transition plan covers far more than the transfer of residual tasks still performed by the Mission. More importantly for the long term stability of Liberia, the plan addresses remaining security sector needs and establishes the foundations for a professional and accountable security sector that is responsive to the communities it serves. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more