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Saturday, July 20, 2024

LIBERIA: U.S. REPORT SAYS PRESIDENT WEAH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FREQUENTLY ENGAGED IN CORRUPT PRACTICES WITH IMPUNITY 

Date:

MONROVIA – The United States government has released its 2022 Human Rights Report on Liberia. The U.S. annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – the Human Rights Report – cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements.

U.S. Secretary Of State Anthony Blinken released the 2022 human rights report on Monday, March 20, 2023.

According to the US report, under Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency, in the Weah-led government, the report stated that the law provides criminal penalties for bribery, abuse of office, economic sabotage, and other corruption-related offenses committed by officials, but the government did not implement the law effectively.

The report disclosed that an anti-corruption commission was established by law in 2008 with a mandate to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption, as well as to educate the public regarding the ills of corruption.

The report stated further that on July 22, the legislature enacted an amended law that gives a new anti-corruption commission more powers and establishes an open and competitive process for selecting commissioners.  The new law remained under judicial review at year’s end.  There were numerous reports of government corruption during the year.  Officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.

The report stated that on August 15, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff Nathaniel Farlo McGill, Solicitor General and Chief Prosecutor Sayma Syrenius Cephus, and National Port Authority Director Bill Teh Twehway were sanctioned under international law for their involvement in corrupt practices while serving as government officials.  All three subsequently resigned in September.  This was the third consecutive year in which senior government officials were sanctioned for corruption.

In 2021, President Weah suspended Presidential Special Projects Coordinator Makenneh Keita for allegedly soliciting five million dollars from a businessman who was exploring investment opportunities.  On March 22, the LNP cleared Keita of corruption charges.

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