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Removal of Bodies ‘Not Relevant’

first_imgThe over 2,000 residents of Upper Johnsonville, Kpekpeh Town, near the Kissi Camp Community, outside Monrovia, are say they are suffering from the offensive smell of corpses recently dumped in the nearby Kpanwein River.In response, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Morris Dukuly, whose agency has now been tasked with the disposal of bodies, told this paper via mobile phone that there is no corpse exposed to create health hazard or environmental concerns for the residents.“We bought the parcel of land in question through my Deputy for Administration, and so, nobody tells anybody that the bodies will be removed since its being underground for over a week,” said Minister Dukuly.MIA Deputy for Administration, Rennie B. Jackson, who spoke through his Director for Communications, D. Emmanuel Wheinyue, failed to disclose the name of the person that reportedly sold that parcel of land to the MIA for burial of the dead Ebola victims as they claimed, and or the amount of money that allegedly changed hands.“The issues of who sold the land and the removal of the bodies from that area because of the environmental concerns are not relevant for now,” said Mr. Wheinyue, who failed to answer questions regarding whether residents can bury their deceased relative/s anywhere anytime once they have bought and deeded a parcel of land.Over a week ago, guarded by a heavily armed platoon of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as well as Police Support Unit (PSU) officers, two mini trucks conveyed corpses believed to be victims of Ebola at different locations across the country. The bodies were dumped on the west bank of the Kpanwein River. They were intended to be buried in mass graves dug by a hired yellow machine, but the machine unfortunately got stuck in the mud, where the property meets the mangrove.The Kpanwein River connects the Kpeh-Kpeh Town Community to Whein Town in the east and Chicken Soup Factory on Somalia Drive in the west, as well as Upper and Lower Johnsonville and many other communities.Since the first truckload of corpses arrived Saturday, August 2, residents of the nearby communities have vehemently rejected the use of their land for the disposal of the bodies. An aggrieved Kpeh-Kpeh Town resident, Carey Daniel, told the Daily Observer that the exact plot of land where the graves are dug is a wetland on the bank of the river that is the source of water for many surrounding communities. They fear that their wells – from which they get water for drinking and domestic use – might be contaminated, exposing them to other diseases.Two school teachers, who are also residents of the area, Emmanuel G. Wonleh, and William S. Zuogbay, are among other inhabitants that have expressed fear of contracting diseases apart from Ebola as a result of the offensive odor that saturates the air over Johnsonville.They are concerned as to when the government, through the authorities of the Ministries of Health and Social Welfare and Internal Affairs, will come to remove the bodies and take them to the crematorium in Marshall or at an appropriate cemetery for ‘proper burial.’The order to dump the corpses on the land came against the backdrop of the government’s recent announcement that it would “consider cremating” (burning) the corpses of those who have died from the deadly Ebola virus. In the wake of the pronouncement, the burial team from the MOH/SW and Internal Affairs on Saturday, August 2, dumped at least 45 bodies in Kissi Camp, near the Kpeh-kpeh Town Community, Upper Johnsonville, just northwest of the City of Paynesville. A resident, Carey Daniel, was among those allegedly brutalized by soldiers accompanying the burial team. Nursing his bruised left eye over the weekend, Daniel wondered as to who selected the land on which the bodies were dumped since the land designated for the disposal of the corpses in Johnsonville is privately owned, with cornerstones conspicuously (clearly) planted and marked.One of the landowners, a businessman, T. Emmanuel Cole, said he was never contacted regarding the use of the piece of land he had purchased with a probated deed for his son, Joseph F. Dolo (cornerstone marked: JFD). “I’m not asking them to pay me [money] for my land.  I’m going to take the authorities to task for illegally using my land to bury dead bodies,” he said.Enraged that they had not been informed prior to the dumping that their community would play host to such a burial site and the implications involved, youth from Kpeh-kpeh Town and nearby communities started felling trees across the road, denying passage to the vehicles en route to bury the dead. For his part, Johnsonville Township Commissioner, Melvin Bettie, told the Daily Observer that he was indirectly connected to the dumping of the bodies, because, when approached by the MOH/SW authority, he could not immediately provide a burial site for corpses. According to him, he was not the one who ordered the execution of the burial exercise, but “because of my job, I assigned the Land Commissioner to supervise the process.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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‘We Are Doomed for Failure, If…’

first_imgMontserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif is warning her colleague Legislators that unless they start to adequately capacitate their staffers through empowerment and build their human resource capacity, the Legislature is doomed to failure.Senator Doe-Sherif, who chairs the Senate’s Committee on Transport, was speaking Monday at program marking the launch of the Legislative Information Service (LIS) Electronic/E-Newsletter and official Facebook for the purpose of disseminating critical information to Members of the Legislature and the public on the work of LIS; as well capturing and lifting ‘cutting edge’ activities at the Legislature.The launch of the program according to LIS, spotlighted what it called “Effective Service Delivery in the Public Sector in General and the Legislature in Particular.”Senator Doe-Sherif emphasized the need for the LIS staff and others working for the Legislature to be capacitated and supported in the manner and form to be compared to none.“When we are elected as Senators or Representatives we do not have all the technical knowhow or the knowledge to run our offices effectively; that is why we hire people to form part of our staff to help us run our offices. But if we as Senators and Representatives do not capacitate these people; empower them, build their human resource capacity, I think we are doomed to failure.“It is incumbent upon all of us that we support you financially, morally and physically, through individual means and take it through the different Chambers and then the leaderships,” Sen. Doe Sherif said about LIS staff.She assured LIS of support from the Legislature and promised to champion their cause.“Maybe this initiative will help to reduce the amount of failure we have around here. And so I want to be the first person to give you a laptop to support the LIS and also a cash donation of US$500.”Speaking earlier, the Director of LIS McCarthy Weh asserted that Liberia as a country is undertaking its transformation program called “The Agenda for Transformation,” and that for that transformation to be very successful there is a need to embark on critical reforms.“We think individual institutions in Liberia must embark on critical reforms, and we think the Legislature must take the lead in this critical reform. Meaningful national transformation requires critical institutional reform,” Director Weh emphasized.“We are saying that the Legislature must make it mandatory for both Chambers to run an electronic voting system; we think by now there is no reason why constituents of lawmakers who are outside of Monrovia cannot know how a particular member votes on a particular issue.”Director Weh challenged the legislature on the need to do more: “There is something in strategic management called competitive advantage. If there is need for competitive advantage between and among the three branches of Government of the staffers let us do it. If the Executive thinks that their staffers can work, let the Legislators too show that their staffers can work; for you to do that, you have to support your department.”The LIS boss regretted the absence of House Speaker Alex Tyler and Senate Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley, who according to the program sheet, were expected to make special remarks.“This is why I wanted the Speaker and the Pro Tempore to be present, your department needs your support; we are qualified, competent and have all the requisite qualifications that our colleagues at the executive branch of Government have; your Chief of Staff that run your offices are qualified people, so let us support them,” he asserted.Before the close of the program, Senator Doe-Sherif officially launched a newsletter titled “REFORM 2 TRANSFORM” with the click of a laptop “send” button.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Liberia, World Bank Sign US$30M Financing Deal

first_imgThe World Bank Group and the Liberian Government have penned two financing agreements extending US$30 million to the Government of Liberia to help with the country’s recovery program through the budget, amidst the Ebola outbreak.The money will also help support Liberia’s medium-term strategy to strengthen its transparency and accountability mechanisms, expand the economy, increase access to quality education and improve health services that are critical to fighting the current Ebola epidemic.The financing, which is also expected to support the Second Poverty Reduction Support Operation (PRSDPO II), includes a US$20 million International Development Association (IDA) credit and a US$10 million grant allocated from the World Bank Group’s IDA Crisis Response Window. The IDA is designed to help low-income [poorest] countries respond to exceptionally severe crises in a timely, transparent and predictable way. Speaking at the signing ceremony in the conference room of the Ministry of Finance &Development Planning (MFDP) in Monrovia on Thursday, November 20, World Bank Country Manager, Ms. Inguna Dobraja, said the Second Poverty Reduction Support Operation is the second in the programmatic series of four single trench operations to support the implementation of the government’s programs approved by the World Bank Board of Directors on November 12, 2014. She explained that although the original amount of this World Bank budget support operation to Liberia was US$10 million, the Bank realized the enormous economic challenges the Ebola outbreak has created on almost all government development programs and activities. “Therefore, the Bank decided to increase the amount of budget support to US$30 million, including US$10 million grand funding from a special IDA Response Window,” said Ms. Dobraja. “The World Bank is mobilizing nearly US$1 billion in financing for the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis: US$518 million for emergency response and to help speed up the development of foreign health workers to affected countries. The funding is helping the three countries hardest hit by the epidemic to contain the spread of infections, help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis and improve public health systems,” she added. “Of the US$518 million,” Ms. Dobraja said, “US$117 million is already disbursed to countries and implementing agencies, including US$52 million for Liberia.” The World Bank Country Manager pledged the Bank’s commitment to continuing its financial support to Liberia during and after the Ebola crisis.The Liberian economy has been hit hard by the Ebola epidemic and the related health crisis, significantly slowing down economic activities, declining investments in various sectors and increasing unemployment. “Our economy is struggling to adjust to the impact of the Ebola epidemic and this budgetary support provided by the World Bank Group is going to help us finance budget deficit and get the economy running,” said Finance Minister Amara M. Konneh. Minister Konneh disclosed that government and partners have re-adjusted the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) downward for 2014, from 2.5 percent to 0.4 percent. With economic growth now in negative, Minister Konneh called for increased fiscal discipline in government and increased external budgetary support to finance the deficit. “Our economy is at crossroads. It now calls for strict adherence to fiscal discipline by public officials,” he said. Mr. Konneh, however, clarified that economic decline is not due to bad government policies, but the Ebola virus outbreak. “We appreciate the World Bank Group’s support to the worst Ebola-affected countries-Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone amidst the huge fiscal deficit, declining revenues and increased public spending caused by the Ebola outbreak,” he added. Konneh acknowledged the World Bank as the largest donor to the Government of Liberia during this Ebola epidemic.The nearly US$1 billion that the World Bank Group is mobilizing for countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis, includes more than US$500 million for the emergency response and to help speed up the deployment of foreign health workers to the countries, and at least US$450 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to enable trade, investment and employment in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.The US$10 million grant agreement signed on Thursday is part of the PRSDPO II part of previous pledges from the Bank Group for the emergency response to Ebola.The Ebola epidemic, centered in West Africa, has infected more than 13,000 people and killed nearly 5,000.The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which was established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people living on less than US$2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about US$18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Parliamentary inconveniences

first_imgDear Editor,Since the beginning of the eleventh biennial Parliament of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, nationals and non-nationals alike, have been experiencing complete chaos, without any solution in sight.Ill-advised police officers are assisting in creating “bottle necks” in the central commercial areas, which greatly reduce business activities in the city. The dislocation of car and bus parks to facilitate the Parliamentary sitting causes commuters to become confused and displaced, often leading to an upsurge in criminal activities; especially robbery of vulnerable school children and women; often without any hope of their valuables being returned or their attacker(s) being arrested and charged.In closing I wish to suggest one of the following:1) The Police Force’s traffic department should study the commercial map of central Georgetown to reduce the amount of traffic blockage Parliamentary sittings impose on the main thoroughfare of the busy city.2) An increased police presence is needed to assist road users to get to their various destinations in a safe and timely manner.3) Relocating the Parliamentary sitting to a venue on the outskirts of Georgetown, which will result in little to no disruption to road users, businessmen/women, school children and customers alike.Sincerely,Eshelle O Cambridgelast_img read more

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Guyanese people given an opportunity to fix a mistake

first_imgDear Editor,History will confirm that team Granger acted and operated in a manner that was totally incompetent, lazy and corrupt over the last 4 years and 5 months. The evidence will confirm that when it came to making decisions for the Guyanese people, team Granger was an absolute clown show. Thus, this statement from Mr David Granger that if he is re-elected, he will launch a “decade of development” starting in 2020. This is nothing but a continuation of this circus. To bolster my conclusion, let us reflect on the last 4 years and 5 months under Mr Granger’s rule (almost half of a decade). What has he done with this valuable time to help the Guyanese people?In May 2015, if one is to read page 49 of the APNU/AFC Manifesto, it says clearly that the Prime Minister shall have responsibilities for “Domestic Affairs and Chairing the Cabinet”. Never done. How can you trust a man with such low integrity who even cons his own Prime Minister? What would such a man do to the ordinary Guyanese?In May 2015, Mr Granger promised on page 13 of the APNU/AFC Manifesto, that he will “create vocational and business schools which will directly reduce the unemployment rate, especially among youth”. Like so many other empty promises, again not done! And there are dozens more of such empty promises that border on outright untruths after half of the decade. So why does Mr Granger believe that the people will trust him with a new decade to inflict even more policy damage on their human development?The question that is on many people’s minds is this – is the Guyanese economy heading to the ICU over the next under 3 months under this clueless David Granger? The facts tell a story that even the best propagandist cannot wash away.The table below measures the GNI per person. By definition, the Gross National Income (GNI) measures income earned that flows into a local economy only. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the other hand, measures the income earned within the country boundaries even if those funds are subsequently lifted out of the country to take overseas. So GDP includes all of Exxon spending on its Guyanese investments even if that cash ends up in Holland, USA, Singapore or Trinidad to develop those countries rather than Guyana. The facts will reveal that so far, less than 1.5 per cent of the spending on this Stabroek oil Block, actually landed in Guyana since 2015. So why all of this “hurrah” about “first oil”? There is nothing to celebrate for Guyana, cash-wise.The table below computes the actual growth in the wealth of the people during three periods that were dominated by Jagdeo, Ramotar, and Granger. You, the reader, be the judge.Any right-minded person will know that history shapes the future choices. After looking at the indicators of real growth in wealth for the average Guyanese, over the comparative 4-year periods under three different Presidents, why would anyone with an iota of sanity want to classify the Granger period as deserving four (4) more years? You have to be totally ridiculous to think this is what “backward never; forward ever” looks like?There are four (4) fundamental questions to consider when voting in 2020:1. Who has added more cash to the personal pocket of the average Guyanese?2. Who has a track record of making empty promises and not delivering on those promises?3. Who sat down and allowed the Guyanese economy to be taken into an economic ICU?4. Who is clueless about how to resuscitate this economy?History may suggest that team Granger was an electoral mistake, but what is clear is that March 2020 has given the Guyanese people an opportunity to fix this mistake. It is time to bring this parade of these policy lunatics to an end.With regardsSasenarine Singhlast_img read more

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The Jubilee “walkout” through neutral lens

first_img… visitor complains of poor seating arrangementsA public debate has erupted over the “walkout” executed by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Parliamentary Opposition at the momentous 50th Independence Anniversary Flag Raising ceremony over the infamous unavailability of seats, and it appears that there were other special invitees who were greeted with the same catastrophe.According to a viral post on social media, the momentous night was marred with confusion as ushers were running around helter-skelter, trying to locate available seats to place special invited guests as they arrived for the ceremony.After experiencing over 20 minutes of this turmoil, the PPP/C Members of Parliament disappointedly left the celebrations, and some immediately took to social media to vent annoyance.Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry in her public apology insinuated that the PPP/C Members ought to be blamed for the outcome of the situation, insisting that though other spectators were giving up their seats, the Opposition seemed firm in wanting to leave.While some social media users are arguing that the PPP/C behaved rather petty, others are asserting that the organisers must take responsibility for the calamitous seating arrangements.Weighing in on the trending deliberations, a Canadian-based Guyanese identified as Yolande Anne Gittens on Facebook, shared her perspective on what occurred during the ceremony.Gittens explained that she belonged to a party of nine with the exact VIP tickets however, Minister Henry, who took up the mantle to oversee the entrances, directed only four of the group to proceed up the stairs and then instructed an usher to escort the remainder to the bleachers.Gittens expressed that her colleagues were naturally confused, pointing out that the situation was only resolved following a confrontation.“Confused at our apparent relegation, we milled around unsure of how to proceed, but certain that we weren’t going to go where we were being herded off to like cattle. A standoff at the OK Corral was brewing. Thankfully, it was circumvented by the intervention of the Colonel. We re-joined the rest of our party, and settled in to witness a significant and historic moment in our beloved Guyana’s nationhood,” the post read.However, Gittens and company were completely dumbfounded over the choice of attire by those who were allowed to be seated in the “VIP area”.“Get-ups and they can only really be described as such, ranged from shorts, armless vests and sneakers to a backless fuchsia top with the entire back of a black and white polka dot bra fully exposed. We will not discuss the malodorous smells emitting from some of them. There were rubber slippers, and sneakers a plenty. There was a young man who appeared to be of unsound mind pacing back and forth. This was mentioned to an usher in order for her to get security, unfortunately this did not change anything,” she lamented.From there, Gittens reported that things went rapidly downhill with chaos reigning over the seating arrangements for other special invitees.“An usher came with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, and was worrying about where she was going to seat him. Eventually, he was seated in the area reserved for the Joint Services. What was even more appalling was the fact that no seating appeared to have been reserved for recipients of National Awards. One such person received a pass for her vehicle and was able to park in the stadium, but when she was ushered to the bleachers, there were no seats.She was forced to stand on the tarmac for the entire ceremony. Dr Vibert Cambridge, a recipient, also had no assigned seat. He was eventually given a seat meant for someone else,” she related in her observation.According to Gittens, the blooper of the night came when the Opposition Members were left standing among the crowd because there was no reserved seating—for the Opposition.“There is just no excuse whatsoever for that misstep. I’ve heard all sorts of explanations. Those range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Excuses included the Opposition wasn’t interested in the events; to it’s a learning curve (we had 50 years to get it right); to the minister was set up by a man (name given) who said that seats were reserved for the opposition; to clerks in her office illegally printed tickets. In this vein, reports are that 1500 tickets were distributed and there were only 500 seats. Excuses aside, as the person responsible for the event, don’t you personally ensure that for that section at least everything is as it should be? I hold no brief for the PPP, but the lack of seating is wholly unacceptable,” Gittens unreservedly expressed.She continued, “So too were former heads of the Guyana Defence Force randomly seated in different areas. When enquires were made of the ushers as to whether they had had a rehearsal, I was told no, there was only a briefing that morning. Further, we weren’t given any programmes on arrival, and when we enquired of an usher, we were blithely informed that there were only 30 for the government ministers. About 45 minutes later, programmes magically appeared.”The Guyanese who returned to take part in her homeland’s jubilee celebrations also said she was far from impressed at the performances that night.“Simply put, there was no wow factor or substance befitting such an occasion. The dancing children, as well as the military and police marching bands put their best feet forward. However, there was no imagination put into the programme. This was the perfect opportunity to showcase Guyana from then to now. So much more could’ve been done. I dare say that the Bishops’ High School culture day held earlier, had a more organised, entertaining, and better thought out show. So much more could’ve been done,” her post further stated.In closing, the disappointed spectator posited that the buck stops at Minister Henry, and in this regard, she said a sincere apology is warranted.last_img read more

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Nominees under consideration –Teixeira

first_imgBY SHEMUEL FANFAIRAs the delay in the establishment of the Local Government Commission (LGC) continues, the nominees fromPPP Chief Whip Gail Teixeiraboth Government and the Opposition are yet to be announced. In an interview with Guyana Times on Tuesday, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) Gail Teixeira stated that the Opposition’s nominees are still being considered.“We haven’t concluded our names as yet, we are finalising [them],” she noted. The PPP/C Chief Whip expressed that in a “relatively short while” the names will be confirmed and submitted to the Commission.When asked about the justifications for the delay, the MP reiterated that her Party could not trace the letter which would have informed Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on the submission of PPP/C’s nominees.“The letter which was said to have been sent, we could not trace it, we had to ask back the Minister for it and we got it last week, so we are working on it,” Teixeira expressed.Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan concurred being aware of the Opposition’s complaints that the “original correspondence” had been misplaced and noted that he is still waiting on the Opposition to submit their names for the LGC.When asked about the names of Government’s selected nominees for the Commission, the Communities Minister posited that one collective announcement will be made as soon as the Opposition Leader submits his names for the Commission.Government had promised that the Commission would be functioning from early 2016, but after months of delays and reiterated calls for the body’s establishment, Bulkan stated this month that the LGC will be operationalised by early July. Among its objectives, the Commission will be tasked with monitoring and assessing the performance of the local government organs, administering disciplinary action, and implementing policies such as tax collection. Minister Bulkan will no longer issue directives on local government matters, such as employment but rather, this will fall under the preview of the Local Government Commission.Bulkan had told Guyana Times that nominees for Government’s side would have been known by last week Wednesday but he pointed out that he had not heard word from the Opposition on their nominees for LGC posts.“We have not received a response from him (the Opposition Leader) as yet,” Bulkan told this publication last week.In response, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo told this newspaper that he suspected that the PPP/C nominees would have been chosen by Friday last. Chief Whip Gail Teixeira had earlier this month contended that although Minister Bulkan was “constantly reminded”, the Opposition Leader had not received a formal letter.“The Minister of Communities has to trigger the action to write the Leader of the Opposition to say according to section so and so of the Act… I’ve raised this matter over and over again,” Teixeira had explained in Party press conference.At that time, she noted that three sittings had passed but there were no moves on the matter. Guyana’s Local Government Elections were held in March.last_img read more

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AFL Commences Regional, Community Isolations

first_imgThe Liberian government, through the Armed Forces of Liberia, has begun to isolate regions and communities that may be considered as sites that are severely hit by the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia.The soldiers have set up a blockades stopping people from entering or leaving some regions, counties and communities affected by the Ebola outbreak.Addressing the nation late Wednesday night on the state-owned Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) when she declared a 90-day state of emergency,  President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said under the state of emergency, the government will institute extraordinary measures including, if need be, the suspension of certain rights and privileges as mandated by the Constitution. These extraordinary measures, it is believed, have to do with free movement and assembly.AFL personnel on Wednesday, August 6, began setting up blockades stopping people from the Western region that includes Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Gbarpolu counties, from entering Montserrado, including Monrovia. Similar measures are also being taken in Lofa County where the Ebola virus first hit when it crossed over from Guinea.It is also reported that government will today begin isolating communities in Monrovia and its environs.The military blockade is stopping people from the western region, where Ebola is prevalent.Counties in this region largely rely on Monrovia for their goods.These measures by the government are in compliance with an agreement reached at a MRU Summit in Conakry, Guinea last week.  The MRU leaders, Presidents Sirleaf, Alpha Condé of Guinea, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and Ivorian Health Minister, Dr. Raymonde Goudou Koffie, representing President Alhassan Ouattara, signed a Joint Declaration.  The first three MRU countries, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, are affected by the virus.The MRU Summit, among other things, agreed to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicenter of the outbreak at the regional and intra country levels, considered the world’s worst-ever outbreak of the disease.This move, according to the leaders, is aimed at eradicating the deadly disease that has already claimed the lives of over 900 persons. In Liberia, there are over 500 cases reported with 271 fatalities.On Wednesday, residents of Tubmanburg were alarmed over the presence of several personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) who were being transported in the city in truckloads.  This was prior to declaration of the State of Emergency by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.In Lofa, according to county sources, the Ministry of National Defense Thursday deployed armed personnel of the AFL. The AFL troops are stationed in Voinjama, where the Telewoyan Hospital is located and Foya Districts, respectively.Reports from Foya Care Center also say that out of over 30 persons that were admitted from Barkedu, the seat of Quadu Gboni District, since the outbreak, 9 have died and the others are responding to treatment.Thursday, according to health workers, six persons were transported from Quadu Gboni (4 from Barkedu Town and 2 from Wormanor Town) to the Foya Care Center.Barkedu town, which is the biggest town in Quadu Gboni District and the center of the outbreak in Quadu Gboni District, is located an hour’s drive from Voinjama City.  And it is predominantly inhabited by Muslims from the Mandingo tribe. There are calls from many citizens of the county that Barkedu Town, which is known as one of the epicenters of the Ebola virus outbreak, should be quarantined.   President Sirleaf, when declaring the State of Emergency, said the virus threat continues to grow as a result of ignorance, poverty as well as entrenched religious and cultural practices, which continue to exacerbate the spread of the disease, especially in the counties.Some stakeholders in the health sector have accused government of not being proactive enough in handling the situation, declaring the State of Emergency at a time when several Liberians have already been victimized by the virus.Many have said that while the State of Emergency is necessary, people should have been given ample time to prepare. Residents of Tubmanburg had begun to complain of the shortage of rice, the national staple, and other commodities.Meanwhile it is reported that Sierra Leone is ahead of Liberia in implementing the MRU agreement. In Sierra Leone the security forces have now imposed a complete blockade of the eastern region that has been hit by Ebola.The head of the police in the east of the country said police and soldiers had imposed a “complete blockade” of the Kenema and Kailahun districts.No vehicles or persons are being allowed in or out of the districts, except those bringing in essential foods and medicines.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Nettie Peters’ Alleged Killer Testifies

first_imgJefferson Dahn, who is accused of stabbing to death Antoinette Nettie Peters, took the witness stand, on Thursday June 5, alleging that the victim was murdered by her boyfriend, Bonfrer Adidee, a Ugandan UNMIL civilian staff.Dahn, a private security guard employed by Adidee, was indicted for allegedly murdering Nettie in early January 2013.Testifying in the murder case at Criminal Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice, defendant Dahn explained that while he was performing his normal duty, his bossman, Adidee, approached him and said he wanted him, Dahn, to do something for him.He alleged that Adidee did not tell him what he Adidee wanted him (Dahn) to do during the discussion.Instead, he asked him to open the compound gate, got into his vehicle and left that morning for work at the UNMIL head office.Following his departure, Dahn further alleged that the victim, Nettie asked him to buy her a Comium scratch card, which, according to him, he did, but was gone for several hours.He claimed that before leaving the compound, he left the gate key with the victim.He also explained to the court that after he returned with the scratch card, he met the compound locked and he decided to knock on the gate.Surprisingly, he claimed, his boss Adidee, who had left for work, opened the gate and asked him to enter the compound.When he entered, Dahn alleged Adidee asked him where he was coming from.“And I answered him that Nettie sent me to buy her scratch card,” Dahn explained to the Court.“He instructed me to follow him into his living room, and I did,” Dahn further narrated.When both of them entered the living room, Dahn alleged that Adidee asked him to go in his bed room and bring Nettie outside.“I refused to obey his order and asked him since I started work with him, he had never asked us to do such a thing. Why it is that he wants me to do that,” the defendant further alleged.Dahn claimed that after he refused to bring Nettie outside of Adidee’s bedroom, his bossman offered a dell laptop, two phones and a bag containing US$600, but he again refused the offer.He further claimed that the UNMIL staff also left his bundle of key with him, but could not say what he wanted him to do with the keys.While he and Adidee were in the living room, Dahn alleged that his UNMIL bossman said to him, “Dahn go bring two glasses, which I did.”The Defendant in his testimony alleged that when brought the two glasses to Adidee, he (Adidee) asked him to open his freezer (ice box) and bring to him a bottle of juice, which he did.“Adidee took the bottle of juice and put it into the two glasses and asked both of us to drink.”After drinking the juice, Dahn alleged “I fell asleep in his living room, and upon waking up I could not see anyone, neither hear a voice.”He added, “While sitting in the living room, it was when I saw blood spreading from Adidee’s room into the living room.”“I then took the bundle of key and opened the door, and it was when I saw Nettie lying on the floor dead,” defendant Dahn explained to the court.“I hurriedly came outside and called one of my friends, Nickerson Tomah, and I explained everything that had happened in the compound to him.”Closing arguments are to follow on a date yet to be announced by the Court, after which the jury will render its verdict.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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‘Worst Than the Past’

first_imgThe opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) has termed as “worst” the condition of the state under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf than past governments.Addressing a news conference on Monday in Monrovia, MPC through its political leader Simeon Freeman noted that Liberia’s economic, education and governance systems have broken down as though they did not exist in the past.”Today, Liberia, like the late 80s, is a place of huge capital flight, huge trade deficit, extremely low employment and especially high youth unemployment rate, non-performing educational institutions, very poor infrastructure and non-existing health delivery structure,” the MPC former standard bearer stated.According to Mr. Freeman, outlook of the Liberian economy deprives any well-meaning Liberians of the possibilities to live a standardized and well-organized life that will provide for his/her family.“There is no opportunity for Liberian businesses in terms of capital because of the high interest rate associated with loans from commercial banks,” he said.He added, “Liberians have never competed with Asian and Middle Eastern businesses for several reasons [than is happening now].”Giving his justification, he further said foreigners have access to small interest rate loans from the banks than Liberians.He also stated that the lack of government’s resources to initiate, develop and prosper a non-existent Liberian private sector, and government jobs have historically been a means of employment and wealth creation for some in isolation of the rest of Liberians from the wealth creation chain.Commenting on the education system, MPC termed Madam Sirleaf’s approach as “replicating similar trends of yester-years when the largest employer was government. The maintenance of the same system guaranteed that government will be the largest employer. The largest colleges at our universities are mainly political or arts-related courses while national support to university education is extremely dismal.”“A good quality education in Liberia should cost a minimum of $2,000 per annum,” Freeman said. “This cost,” according to him, “automatically discounts the US$10 million government support to the University of Liberia. When support to education is dismal and the educational focus is non-technical, Government will certainly remain the largest employer,” the MPC leader asserted.The party believes that the negative situation facing Liberia as allegedly created by Madam Sirleaf has greatly deteriorated the image of Liberia.MPC: “Liberian students have a long history of massive failures in WAEC exams and that has worsened under Ellen. Liberia has a history of extremely poor health delivery system and that has worsened under Ellen.Liberia has historically been a source of huge Foreign Direct Investment with little or no benefit to its people; huge benefit to public servants and poor FDI corporate tax payment history. It is worst under Ellen because every natural resource of Liberia has been mortgaged for peanuts to the detriment of the country and in many instances to very shady companies.Liberia has long been a place of growth without development. That indication has worsened under Ellen. While shady investments appeared to have propped up growth, the resultant impact of growth on development is not forthcoming.Liberia has historically been one of the poorest economies in the world.”President Sirleaf very recently told the nation that conditions surrounding the country’s recovery process have made Liberians to fall far behind.Addressing the nation on the state of the economy on Wednesday, May 28, President Sirleaf stated the difficulties in the recovery process have been a result of constraint on the part of government to prioritize everything at the same time.“Our continued post-conflict recovery process is of such that we must continue to do everything at the same time,” she said.The Liberian leader likened the post-conflict recovery process to driving an old bus while at the same time repairing its many deficient and dysfunctional parts.“As we know, for the past years our bus has been parked, some of the parts have gotten rusty, some are unusable, and many of our people were left stranded and abandoned on the sides of the road. From opportunity to morality, our children, and in many respects ourselves, have fallen too far behind,” President Sirleaf stated.The President’s statement that day is, however, in sharp contrast with several comments made earlier that the country has now been placed on the right trajectory for economic growth and infrastructural development.It must be noted, however, that much efforts have been made to restore the country’s damage infrastructures, power, roads, ports and other facilities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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