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Saturday, July 13, 2024

LIBERIA SETS DEADLINE FOR REISSUANCE OF DIPLOMATIC, OFFICIAL, AND SERVICE PASSPORTS AMID CORRUPTION CONCERNS

Date:

MONROVIA – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the leadership of Minister Sara Beysolow-Nyanti, has announced a deadline for the reissuance of Diplomatic, Official, and Service passports. The deadline for returning passports with a duration of more than two years is set for April 18, 2024.

In a statement issued today, Minister Beysolow-Nyanti urged all holders of these passports to return them to the Ministry by the specified deadline. This announcement comes in the wake of concerns about the rampant sale of Liberian diplomatic passports to non-Liberians by corrupt officials within the Foreign Ministry.

Minister Beysolow-Nyanti has been vocal in her efforts to address this issue, calling for the voluntary surrender of Liberian diplomatic passports to rectify the country’s flawed record-keeping system regarding passport holders. A former Passport Director had previously exposed this scandal, revealing that foreign ministry officials have been engaging in the illicit practice of selling passports to criminals and ineligible individuals.

The Ministry’s announcement also serves as a reminder to all Liberian citizens and non-Liberians who are not eligible for Diplomatic, Official, and Service passports to comply with the reissuance process. Holders of multiple passports are advised to act accordingly.

For further information on eligibility and the reissuance process, individuals are encouraged to contact the Legal Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Reissuance of these passports will be based on eligibility and will be free of charge for Liberian citizens.

Liberians residing outside the country holding Diplomatic, Official, or Service passports are advised to report to the nearest Liberian embassy or consulate to comply with the reissuance process.

The Ministry regrets any inconvenience this action may cause to Liberians at home and abroad. “Everyone concerned or affected must comply with this notification to avoid any inconvenience at ports of departure and entry,” the announcement concluded.

Many observers had hoped that President Boakai would take decisive action to clean up the Foreign Ministry and replace those involved in the illicit sale of passports. However, the reappointment of individuals implicated in this scandal raises questions about the government’s commitment to tackling this issue head-on.

The Liberian people deserve transparency and accountability in matters of national security. It is imperative that President Boakai takes immediate action to address these deep-rooted issues within the Foreign Ministry. The sale of Liberian diplomatic passports to criminals and non-Liberians undermines the integrity of the nation’s passport system and poses a serious threat to national security.

Socrates Smythe Saywon
Socrates Smythe Saywon is a Liberian journalist. You can contact me at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or reach out via email at saywonsocrates@smartnewsliberia.com or saywonsocrates3@gmail.com.

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