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Friday, July 19, 2024

U.S. EMBASSY: MISLEADING INFORMATION PURPORTING TO REPRESENT THE EMBASSY’S POSITION ON THE MULTI-USER RAIL MODEL 

Date:

MONROVIA – The U.S. Embassy through Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy says the Embassy’s attention has been drawn to potentially misleading information purporting to represent the Embassy’s position on the Multi-User Rail Model issues, put forth by those who may favor one company’s interests over those of another.

A statement issued by the Embassy in Monrovia yesterday, said following years of negotiations and policy debate, President George Weah on October 17, 2022, signed an executive order directing the establishment of a National Railway Authority, which would appoint an independent rail operator and ensure multiple eligible user rail access, among other duties.

According to the statement, the U.S. Embassy welcomed the Liberian government’s decision and the much-needed clarity it has provided for the development of an independent operator, multi-user rail model, adding such a system could lead to significant investments by multiple mining companies in the rail corridor, and to significant economic benefit for the people of Liberia.

The statement stated that in response to President Weah’s policy decision to open the rail to multiple users, the Embassy has been exploring U.S. private and public sector investment options that could directly support the Liberian government’s goals of independent, professional rail operatorship as well as broader rail access that could include cargo and passenger service.

The US Embassy’s statement stated further that because the government and private stakeholders are now deliberating the next steps in the rail and mining development process, we believe it is timely and necessary to restate our long-held position that multiple corporate interests can and should be accommodated on the rail, in line with the Liberian government’s stated policy.

In this new policy environment, any deal that favors one corporate interest at the expense of others is only likely to set back the rail and mining development process rather than move it forward through the parliamentary approval process, the statement concluded.

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