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Liberia Consoles Turkey After Deadly Terror Attack
Date Uploaded: Jul 01, 2016

 President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 

 

 

Liberia Consoles Turkey After Deadly Terror Attack

MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  has sent a condolence message to the Government and people of the Republic of Turkey, following a deadly terror attack at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport late Tuesday, June 28.

Turkey is observing a national day of mourning after a gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport killed 41 people, including 13 foreign nationals.

Officials say 239 people were injured, with 41 still in intensive care.

Late Tuesday, June 28, three attackers arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance. They blew themselves up after police fired back.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, in the condolence message to her Turkish counterpart, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Pesident of the Republic of Turkey, President Sirleaf, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia and in her own name, extended heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of Turkey, particularly the bereaved families for the irreparable loss sustained. 

“As we join you and the rest of the world in condemning such heinous and inhumane act, we in Liberia, wish to assure you that Liberia stands by you, during this period of grief and national mourning,” the Liberian leader assured Turkish President Erdoğan.

While expressing her deepest sympathy to the Turkish President, President Sirleaf indicated that it is her sincere prayer that Allah, The Most Gracious and Most Merciful, will grant him, the people of Turkey, and the families of the victims the fortitude to endure such irreparable loss.

LINA PR/PTK

 
Society-Terrorism-Attack
Liberia Consoles Turkey After Deadly Terror Attack
MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  has sent a condolence message to the Government and people of the Republic of Turkey, following a deadly terror attack at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport late Tuesday, June 28.
Turkey is observing a national day of mourning after a gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport killed 41 people, including 13 foreign nationals.
Officials say 239 people were injured, with 41 still in intensive care.
Late Tuesday, June 28, three attackers arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance. They blew themselves up after police fired back.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, in the condolence message to her Turkish counterpart, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Pesident of the Republic of Turkey, President Sirleaf, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia and in her own name, extended heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of Turkey, particularly the bereaved families for the irreparable loss sustained. 
“As we join you and the rest of the world in condemning such heinous and inhumane act, we in Liberia, wish to assure you that Liberia stands by you, during this period of grief and national mourning,” the Liberian leader assured Turkish President Erdoğan.
While expressing her deepest sympathy to the Turkish President, President Sirleaf indicated that it is her sincere prayer that Allah, The Most Gracious and Most Merciful, will grant him, the people of Turkey, and the families of the victims the fortitude to endure such irreparable loss.
LINA PR/PTK
 
 
Politics-U.S.-Commendation
New U.S. Envoy Elder Extols Pres. Sirleaf’s Leadership, Graft Fight

MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - The new United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Ann Elder, has praised President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her exceptional leadership in lifting Liberia up, giving Liberia a powerful and respected voice on the continent and giving Liberians confidence in a brighter future.

She also extolled the Liberian leader in the fight against corruption and assured more U.S. support to Liberia.

According to an Executive Mansion release, Ambassador Elder spoke recently when she presented her Letters of Credence to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.

In the words of Ambassador Elder, "President Sirleaf has demonstrated vision and courage in addressing the challenges to Liberia’s progress, especially in the areas of education, security, and governance."

She applauded each effort by the Liberian government to bring to light corrupt practices that cripple Liberia’s prospects for growth and threaten the vital trust between a society and the state amid continuing, comprehensive, and transparent effort to combat this very serious problem, which the American Envoy said she believes can be a seminal moment in Liberia’s journey to sustainable peace and
prosperity.

Ambassador Elder noted the need to celebrate the close relationship between the Unites States and Liberia in the wake of the visit of the First Lady of the United States First Lady, Michelle Obama, to be followed by a delegation from the United States Congress.

She observed that these crucial trips reflect a reaffirmation of the long history between the United States and Liberia.

 
“These high-level contacts are also a reflection of the very high esteem in which leaders in the United States and around the world hold you, Madame President,” the American diplomat pointed out.

The American third successive female Ambassador since the ascendancy of President Sirleaf to the helm of power indicated that she arrived at a crucial point in Liberia’s history, especially as UNMIL continues its long-envisioned transfer of security responsibilities to Liberian forces, and discussions accelerate regarding what the future configuration of the United Nations in Liberia will be.

She said throughout the process, the United States has remained committed to working with Liberia to strengthen and professionalize its security forces.

 
She said the United States was proud of its contributions to help establish the Armed Forces of Liberia as a military committed to civilian rule and as a force for good, adding that through USAID and INL programs, the U.S. has helped Liberia to strengthen its Justice system, National Police, Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, and Prison system.

Amid Liberia’s Presidential election, Ambassador Elder renewed the United States’ commitment to strongly work with the administration of President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia to help ensure a just and peaceful transfer of power.

 
She said Liberia is ready and capable of doing so.
LINA PR/TSS/PTK
 
Economy-Legislature-Bill
Senate Passes Financial Autonomy Bill
By Wilfred Gortor, LINA

MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - A draft bill seeking to grant financial autonomy to the National Legislature of Liberia has been ratified by the Liberian Senate, and forwarded to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

The bill entitled: "An Act Granting Financial Autonomy to the Legislature" was presented to the Liberian Senate on Tuesday by Bong County Senator Jewel Taylor.

When ratified by the House of Representatives, the bill will grant the Legislature an authority similar to that of the Executive and Judiciary branches of government to exercise autonomy, thus experiencing leverage, latitude and decisiveness in decision-making and program implementation.

The passage of the bill on Thursday follows advice and recommendation from an ad-hoc committee chaired by Sinoe County Senator Joseph Nagbe.

The bill is also intended to grant each House of the Legislature the power to have a finance section headed by a Director of Finance who will work in consultation with the head of the secretariats of both Houses for the efficient administration of the Legislative budget as enshrined in the bill.

As contained in Section Four of the draft bill, the Director of the Legislative Budget will be assisted by the Directors of Finance of both Houses of the Legislature in submitting the budget of the Legislature to the Bureau of the Budget, and shall ensure its inclusion in the structure of the national budget within the context of said national budget.

Without prejudice to the authority, rights and duties of the General Auditing Commission of Liberia, the bill says, it will also grant the right to the leadership of any of the two Houses of the Legislature to subject its books of accounts to an audit by an independent auditor who is a member of the Liberia Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The bill, among other things, seeks primarily to enhance the smooth administration of the Legislature as opposed to the bureaucratic processes currently being experienced by the body under the current financial administrative arrangement.
LINA WSG/TSS/PTK
 
Society-Education-WAEC
Education Ministry Says “No Graduation” Before WAEC Results
By Stephen N. Sonpon, LINA Intern

MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) – The Ministry of Education says graduation for both private and public schools will depend on students passing the national examinations administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

 
Making the disclosure Thursday at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing in Monrovia, Deputy Education Minister for Instruction, Dr. Ronelle A. Horton, said there can be no graduation before WAEC results are released.
 
According to Dr. Horton, national examinations set academic standards for schools and serve as an assessment tool for students across the country.
 
Horton indicated that passing the 12th Grade WAEC exams certifies students’ mastery of the knowledge and skills required by the national curriculum.
 
She noted that to allow students who have not passed the WAEC exams to graduate is to undermine the integrity of the country’s educational system.
 
Horton also reminded school administrators and the public that there should be no additional fees for graduation for 12th Grade students following the release of WAEC results.
 
The Deputy Education Minister urged administrators of public school to abide by the schedule of permitted fees for secondary students set out in the current academic calendar, noting that schools charging graduation fees are violating the ministry’s directive and could be subject to sanctions.
 
Deputy Minister Horton noted that passing the WAEC and graduating from Grade 12 is a wonderful achievement, and that the Ministry will join schools and communities to congratulate graduating students when WAEC results are released.
LINA SNS/TSS/PTK
 
Politics-Diplomacy-Brown
Envoy Brown Presents Letter Of Credence To UN Chief Ban
 
MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - The Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations, Ambassador Lewis Brown II, has presented his letter of credence to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon,
Presenting the letters, the Liberian diplomat promised to work closely with the Secretariat of the world's body, its various agencies as well as the Membership to advance the cherished goals of the organization, while ensuring that Liberia's interests are protected and promoted.
 
According to a dispatch from New York, Ambassador Brown made the remarks Thursday, June 30, when he presented his Letters of Credence to the Secretary-General at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York.
The Liberian Permanent Representative conveyed, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Government and people of Liberia, immense gratitude to the United Nations family, as well as bilateral, regional and other multilateral partners for the continued support to consolidating Liberia's peace, security and stability.  
 
He indicated that "Liberians remain grateful and are determined to continue efforts toward consolidating their peace, security and the stability of their country."
 
The Liberian envoy welcomed the turning over of full security responsibilities to the Government of Liberia, saying, "This is another affirmation of renewed confidence in Liberia's continued progress since the end of its conflict in 2003."
 
He urged the United Nations and the entire international community to remain engaged with the country as it works to deepen the progress already made.
 
Receiving Ambassador Brown's credentials, the UN Secretary-General expressed appreciation about Liberia's progress toward consolidating its peace, security and stability, pointing out that because of the progress already made, the UNMIL has been able to achieve the final stage of its peace keeping mission.
 
He praised the determination of the Liberian people and the farsighted leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf toward the achievement of this milestone.
 
In a related development , the UN Secretary-General welcomes the full assumption today by the Government of Liberia of its national security responsibilities from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), in accordance with Security Council resolution 2239(2015).
 
He paid tribute to the determination of the people and the Government of Liberia to work towards lasting peace after the end of conflict that led to the deployment of UNMIL in October 2003.
 
He urged partners to remain engaged and to continue assisting the Government of Liberia to consolidate peace.
LINA PR/PTK
 
 
Economy-Legislature-Loans
House Ratifies Key Loan, Financing Agreements
By Wilfred Gortor, LINA
 
MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - The House of Representatives Thursday ratified two loan agreements in the amounts of US$20 million and US$12 million signed between Liberia and the OPEC Fund for International Development and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa respectively.
 
The House also ratified on Thursday, two financing agreements in the amount of  42,700,000 Special Drawing Rights, which is equivalent to US$60 million and 7,200,00 Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which is also equivalent to US$10 million.
 
The two financing agreements were signed between Liberia and the International Development Association and were presented along with the loan agreements to the Legislature by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  
 
A Special Drawing Right (SDR) is an international reserve asset, created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1969 to supplement the existing official reserves of member countries.
 
The SDR is neither a currency, nor a claim on the IMF, but it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of the IMF members.
 
The ratification of the agreements was based upon a recommendation contained in a report from the House joint committees on Ways, Means and Finance, Judiciary, Youth and Sports and Public Works and Rural Development.
 
The committees recommended in their report to the House plenary on Thursday, that having reviewed and analyzed the financing and loan agreements which were submitted by President Sirleaf, they were convinced that the agreements were in the best interest of the people of Liberia.
 
The Committees stressed that the agreements will yield increased social benefits for Liberia and its inhabitants as well as improve the nation's economy, among other benefits.
The agreements are to be forwarded to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.
LINA WSG/PTK
 
Economy-U.S.-Growth
US Notes Challenges Facing Liberia's Economic Growth - Envoy

MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - The new United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Ann Elder, says the United States recognizes that one of the greatest challenges facing Liberia is re-establishing the economic growth interrupted by the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

This, she intimated, is not just an issue of recovery, but also an issue of depressed world markets for the commodity sectors upon which Liberia depends.

The United States, she said, is making a significant contribution to this recovery through the Millennium Challenge Corporation compact to support rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee power plant and revitalization of roads key to increasing markets.

“To complement the Compact, we will align roads programs under USAID and power program under Power Africa. I commit to you that I will seek the necessary support to repair the runway at Roberts International Airport as a vital link to economic growth,” she reassured.

She said the United States cooperation with Liberia and its neighbours on health programs has been unparalleled in the modern era; indicating that the Ebola PREVAIL studies show an excellent example of what can be achieved through cooperation on crucial research to benefit not only Liberia, but the world.

“The opening in Liberia of a permanent presence of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reflects our long-term commitment to working with Liberia to strengthen the health system. Under the Global Health Security Agenda, we expect to work with Liberia in fulfilling a comprehensive five-year plan, including expanding essential lab capacity and developing protocols for rapid reaction to emerging infectious diseases,” Elder noted.

She said through the PEPFAR Program, the United States was able to augment medical education through a new Peace Corps Program that will bring doctors and nurses to Liberia to train medical personnel.

Meanwhile, the US envoy has said the National Elections Commission (NEC) has proven its ability to carry out free and fair elections.

 
She, however, observed that they will face new challenges as they mobilize logistical infrastructure previously available through the U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Said Ambassador Elder: “Our Mission has already begun planning and implementing our election-related programs and will expand our programming as the elections draw near.”

Amid Liberia’s Presidential election, Ambassador Elder renewed the United States’ commitment to strongly work with the administration of President Sirleaf and the people of Liberia to help ensure a just and peaceful transfer of power.

 
She said Liberia is ready and capable of doing so.

Touching on education, the U.S. diplomat assured that the visit of First Lady Michelle Obama will further echo President Sirleaf’s sentiments on education and highlight the importance of equal access to education for all members of the Liberian society.

According to the U.S. envoy, Liberia will prosper only through an educated workforce pointing out that the United States will support Liberia’s education efforts through its USAID and Peace Corps programs.

Concluding, she said the key to ensuring Africa and Liberia’s youth bulge becomes a powerful asset, versus a challenge, is to educate this generation to become a capable workforce attracting private industries.
She said this asset must productively engage citizens who feel a responsibility to contribute to making their communities and public sector operate more transparently and efficiently.
LINA PR/TSS/PTK
 
Society-Terrorism-TFC
TFC Expresses Shock Over The June 28 Bomb Attacks At Istanbul Airport

MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) -The Liberia-Turkey Friendship Cooperation (LTFC) has expressed shock over the June 28 gun and bomb attacks at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport that killed at least 41 people and injured more than 230 others.

The LTFC condemned and described perpetrators of the attack and their allies as cowards who cannot civilly express or disagree with others, but choose to thread the path of violence as a means of sending a message or expressing a grievance.

The leadership of the LTFC in press release lamented that perpetrators of the terror have no justifiable reasons for raining terror on others and called on the United States Government, European Union and other international actors to combine efforts in combating terrorism that is attempting to cause global panic.

Meanwhile, the group has extended deepest condolences to the bereaved families, victims and the Government of Turkey and prayed for wisdom, courage and strength during this difficult period in the nation’s history.

The group believes Turkey’s emergency team response following the deadly attack was exemplary, and urged the Government of Liberia to set up a disaster fund and team that will be ready to respond to national emergencies.

The LTFC is at the same time calling on the Government of Liberia and the Republic of Turkey to further strengthen their relations in fighting terrorism.

The LTFC is a non-profit and non-partisan organization which serves the needs and provides firsthand information about Liberian and Turkish culture and ways of life.
LINA PR/RD/TSS/PTK
 
Politics-ECOWAS-Agenda
Conteh Outlines Pres. Sirleaf’s ECOWAS Four-Point Agenda

MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria and Permanent Representative to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh, has outlined the priorities of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the current Chair of ECOWAS.

A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says the Ambassador re-echoed the President’s priorities in a four-point agenda, drawn from the acceptance speech she delivered after being elected on a white ballot as the new chairperson of ECOWAS at the 49thOrdinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Dakar, Senegal on June 4.

As the current Chair of the Permanent Representatives of Member States of ECOWAS, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and ECOWAS invited the Liberian envoy to preside at the ECOWAS-ICRC Annual Review Meeting on the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law Treaties in West Africa.

A five-man Liberian delegation is attending the meeting which opened on Tuesday, June 28, and will end on Friday, July 1.

They are Lofa County Senator Steve Zargo, Senate Chair on Defense and Security, Gbarpolu County Representative Alfred G. Koiwood, House Chair on Security, Attorney Reuben C. Sirleaf, Legal Counsel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Commissioner Benoni Knuckles of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms and Mr. Charles G. Kpan, Deputy Director of ICRC-Liberia.

Ambassador Conteh, in his opening remarks Tuesday, stated that President Sirleaf prioritized the Four-Point Agenda within the context of ECOWAS Vision 2020 and the ongoing implementation of the Strategic Plan of the Community.

According to the dispatch, he explained that the priorities focus on progress that could be consolidated during 2016 and 2017 and were done in consultation with the Authority of Heads of State and Government and through cooperation and collaboration with ECOWAS institutions and the support of development partners and other stakeholders.

He named them as Consolidating the Region’s Peace and Security Architecture, Concluding Negotiations and Legal Actions To Enhance Trade Integration, Achieving Transformation of ECOWAS Vision 2020 Through Agriculture and Infrastructure and Financial Stability of the Community Institutions.

“The outcome of this Annual Meeting will be very central to this Agenda, especially the one concerning the ratification and domestication of ECOWAS Protocols and other treaties for the enhancement of regional peace and security architecture,” Ambassador Conteh stated.

He also disclosed that Liberia is on the verge of ratifying the Kampala Convention which is now before the National Legislature.

The Liberian Ambassador also chaired the sessions on Internal Displacement and the AU Convention for the Protection and Assistance to IDPs in Africa (Kampala Convention) and Private Military Companies and Security Sector Reform.

At the same time, Mr. Karl Anton Mattli, Head of Delegation, ICRC-Nigeria, in his opening statement reminded participants that with two ongoing non-international armed conflicts in the sub-region, it is critically important that the ECOWAS Commission and the ICRC continue to support ECOWAS Member States in taking steps to domesticate and implement IHL treaties.

Also, a statement from the ECOWAS Commissioner on Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, revealed that ECOWAS has fruitfully collaborated with the ICRC in the pursuit of its common agenda in instituting respect for the rule of the laws in West Africa.

The Annual Review Meeting on the promotion of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Implementation in West Africa is a joint collaboration between the ICRC and the ECOWAS Commission.

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two bodies in 2001 and the adoption by ECOWAS of the Plan of Action for Implementation of the IHL in 2012, the objective of the Annual meeting has been the review of implementation by Member States of the ECOWAS Plan of Action on Implementation of IHL (focused on key IHL-related treaties), and provision of technical support for their implementation within ECOWAS Member States.

The Annual Meeting has also served as a platform for participants and experts from ECOWAS Member States to network and exchange views and experiences on contemporary IHL issues of concern and humanitarian challenges in the region.
LINA PR/TSS/PTK
 
Health-Motorcyclists-Warning
Nyenswah Warns Motorcyclists Not To Use PPEs As Raincoats
By Robert Dixon, LINA

MONROVIA, June 30 (LINA) - Deputy Health Minister for Disease, Surveillance and Epidemic Control, Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, has warned motorcyclists to stop using the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as raincoats.

PPE is referred to as protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection when performing certain duties.

Mr. Nyenswah gave the warning Tuesday in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County at a ceremony marking the handing over of logistics, infrastructure and assets deployed during the Ebola outbreak response in Liberia to the Government by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

He told the gathering that Liberia’s development partners and friendly nations spent millions of United States dollars to purchase the PPEs for Liberia during the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic, and as such it was not prudent for motorcyclists to use them as raincoats.

According to him, for motorcyclist to be in the constant habit of using the PPEs as raincoats will not present a good image of Liberia because huge amounts were spent to purchase them for Liberia, adding, “Our donors will not be happy with us if they continue to see motorcyclists using it as raincoats.”

He called on officers of the Liberia National Police to arrest and turn over to the Ministry of Justice any motorcyclists caught using the PPEs as raincoats for prosecution.
LINA RD/TSS/PTK
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