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Legislative Beat

KUWAITI’S DEAL SEALED
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURS WITH SENATE

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CENTRAL BANK OF LIBERIA
MARKET BUYING AND SELLING RATES LIBERIAN DOLLARS PER US DOLLAR

FrontPage
www.frontpageafricaonline.com
VOL 8 NO.559 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26, 2014

BUYING TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2014 MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014 TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014 L$84.00/US$1 L$85.00/US$1 L$85.00/US$1

SELLING L$85.00/US$1 L$85.00/US$1 L$86.00/US$1

These are indicative rates based on results of daily surveys of the foreign exchange market in Monrovia and its environs. The rates are collected from the Forex Bureaux and the commercials banks. The rates are not set by the Central Bank of Liberia.
Source: Research, Policy and Planning Department, Central Bank Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia

FINANCE MINISTER KONNEH TAKES BLAME FOR BUDGET SHORTFALL, OUTLINES 2013/2014 BUDGET PERFORMANCE

PRICE L$40

“I AM THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, I AM RESPONSIBLE; YES, IT’S NOBODY; I AM TODAY THE MINISTER OF FINANCE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA IN CHARGE OF IMPLEMENTING OUR FISCAL POLICY. WHETHER THE NUMBERS CHANGE IN THE LEGISLATURE ON THE DRAFT BUDGET THAT WAS SUBMITTED TO THE LEGISLATURE, I AM THE CUSTODIAN OF THE NATIONAL BUDGET AND I AM RESPONSIBLE.” AMARA KONNEH FINANCE MINISTER.

RESPONSIBILITY’

‘I TAKE

Financial News 8a

See PG 2 & 3

A
Monrovia –

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

t the Era Supermarket in Sinkor, several employees could be seen wearing gloves as what the manager told FrontPageAfrica Tuesday, was a precautionary measure to thwart the potential spread of the deadly Ebola virus to Liberia from next door Guinea. Some offices around the city have been holding meetings with their employees to explain how to prevent the disease. As fear gripped the city, nurses and patients at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center were in panic mode after a patient from Ganta, Nimba County was brought down for treatment after experiencing bleeding nose. Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale when contacted immediately allayed fears when he told FrontPageAfrica that doctors at the hospital dismissed that the patient had Ebola. FrontPageAfrica has been unable to confirm another suspected case in the New Kru Town area. News of the rapid spread of the disease came as Canadian authorities on Tuesday isolated a man showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever resembling Ebola after travelling from Liberia. According to the Associated Press, the man who recently travelled to West Africa is seriously ill and being kept in isolation in a Canadian hospital with symptoms of a haemorrhagic fever resembling the Ebola virus. He fell ill after returning from the West African nation of Liberia, said Saskatchewan deputy chief medical health officer Dr Denise Werker on Monday. She said tests have been sent to the public health agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Results are expected on Tuesday, but Werker said they may be inconclusive. "All we know at this point is that we have a person who is critically ill who travelled from a country where these diseases occur," Werker said. "There is no risk to the general public at all about this." Werker was quoted as saying that health workers caring for the man at a hospital in the city of Saskatoon were taking precautions by wearing masks, gowns, gloves and boots. She said haemorrhagic fevers are not easily spread. But Canada’s health ministry later announced that the man, returning from Liberia was not infected with the Ebola virus. He was hospitalized and isolated on returning from West Africa with symptoms consistent with the virus. Haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola can be transmitted through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person, or objects that have been contaminated with infected secretions. The Ebola virus leads to severe haemorrhagic fever and internal bleeding and has no vaccine or specific treatment. Werker said the man showed no signs of illness while he was travelling. The incubation period for haemorrhagic fever is up to 21 days, she said. "Viral haemorrhagic fever is a generic name for a number of rather exotic diseases that are found in Africa," Werker said. This class of diseases includes Ebola haemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and yellow fever. Ebola is one of the most contagious viral diseases known, often resulting in death. The virus cannot be prevented with a vaccine and is untreatable with medication. Lawmakers Declare National Emergency Members of the National Legislature have greeted the news of suspected Ebola cases in Liberia with great deal of seriousness with both the Senate and the House of Representatives mandating their Health Committees to closely work with the Ministry of Health and Social

Welfare in tackling the disease. On Tuesday during their separate regular sessions, the issue of the outbreak of the disease was discussed with consensus for collaborative efforts with the Executive Branch of government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in tackling the spread of the disease. Senator Peter Coleman of Grand Kru County who once served as Minister of Health of Liberia told his colleagues to take seriously the current news of the spread of the virus in Liberia by making interventions in the best interest of the population. Senator Coleman also stressed isolation and confinement of affected persons as some of the surest ways of preventing the virus from spreading to others and the need to make National decision in terms of the provision of funding to the national emergency efforts. Also at the House of Representatives, a communication from Representative Eugene Fallah Kparkar (CDC, Foyah District), Lofa county where there are suspected cases of the disease was read in plenary. In the letter, Representative Kaprkar requested plenary to mandate the health committee to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to hasten the necessary preventive and remedial measures to protect Liberians against the deadly Ebola disease. The Lofa lawmaker stressed the need for an urgent effort to stop the spread of the deadly disease which has the propensity of wreaking havoc on impoverished Liberians. He referenced his visit in the border City of Foyah, Lofa County, his constituency and said; he was informed that two persons who were likely diagnosed of the virus have suddenly passed out. Representative Kparkar said:” I feel profoundly honor to

express my sentiment of the highest esteem and also wish to express with utter dismay the alarming rate at which the deadly Ebola virus has begun to rage hell in Guinea. There is no doubt that this disease if not acted upon will have a spillover effect in neighboring countries.” Citizens want stronger government action Several residents of Monrovia and environs want stronger efforts on the part of the Government in tackling the disease with some calling for the closure of the two borders between Liberia and Guinea and also that of Sierra Leone. Cooper Ikpah, a Student of the University of Liberia wants the government to declare Lofa County and emergency zone and immediately close the border to prevent spread of the disease Said Ikpah “I think government should declare it as a situation of emergency so as to curtail the spread of the virus. Look my brother Ebola Virus is almost dangerous as the situation of war so for the government to take it lightly is worrisome. Government should declare Lofa now as an emergency zone; people who will be coming from Lofa to Town [Monrovia] should be tested because if this is not done those affected may spread it to other parts of the country”. The University student believes by closing the border, it will help prevent further spread of the deadly virus “The first decision that should be taking right now by the government is to close the border between Liberia and Guinea. Our country has a very weak health care system so to have Ebola outbreak in Liberia is very dangerous and worrisome. We need international partners to

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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come to our aid because we do not have the capacity to combat Ebola. Government should begin taking ridicule measures before this situation become alarming”. Gboto Brooks, a resident of Paynesville wants concrete action from the Government but does not agree for the closure of the borders with neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone. “This is sad news for our country that we have Ebola outbreak in parts of Lofa, I tend not to agree with people who say that our border should be closed. For the government to close the border between Liberia and Guinea is not a good decision because this decision will affect our economy and our relationship with Guinea. The issue is not about closing border but rather coordinating with the Guinea government and international organization like WHO to find a way that we all can solve this problem”, said Brooks. According to him, when the border is closed it will affect people who largely depend on trade to survive, saying “ I know this virus is deadly but we need to handle this situation without closing our borders in fact we need other countries support because we do not have trained medical practitioners to deal with this Ebola virus”. Alexander Mulbah, a citizen from the affected Lofa County residing in Monrovia who said he had just returned from Lofa two days ago said the news of Ebola is worrisome explaining that in Lofa people are afraid to shake hands for fear of contacting Ebola. Said Mulbah “Even while in Lofa let me be bold to you people in Lofa are worrying and panicking over this Ebola news. I was in Voinjama but let me inform you that when I got in Zorzor I could not even get down from the car I had put my car glass up because all of us were afraid. I tell you this news is very troubling I tell you our people are worrying especially the business people nobody is buying chicken, meat and other fresh animals people fear that they may contact it by eating them”. He said some information provided about the disease might not be true, “There are lots of information out there that are not truthful so we need the Ministry of Health to

provide the public with the proper and right information. Those who say the government is making this up are not serious, look my brother I saw how doctors were dressed or though I did not see any Ebola patient but Lofa is tense with the news”. Mulbah agrees with others that the border be closed until the situation improves. “I think for now we should close our border while weighing other options if Liberians will get affected by having interactions with Guineans than we need to close our border so as to save our state because the disease is spread through physical contact. If the border is closed that minimize the people coming from Guinea to Liberia and then the government can begin testing people in that region so as to identify people who are affected and begin giving them the necessary medical attention if this done this disease in a week or two it will spread in the whole of Lofa the border between Lofa and Guinea is just sometime car road”. Augustine Koyan also wants the Government to put in place the proper mechanisms in fighting the Ebola virus. Koyan said “This news is quit discouraging what I want for central government to do is to put the right mechanisms in place so as to get a trace of this Ebola and begin creating massive awareness so our people can take the necessary preventive measures. I think government should implore a measure where people from Guinea coming in Liberia can be tested because we cannot close the border most of our people depend on Guinea to trade because of the distance from Lofa to Monrovia”. Another citizen of affected Lofa County, Momo Teah, wants the border closed in order to protect citizens of Lofa County and prevent further spread. “For me we need to protect our citizens in Lofa County we urged national government to take action in that region by closing the border. This news as I learned can travel through the air so there should be restriction on people movement for now. We as citizens of Lofa County are appealing to the government so as to tackle this disease in a timely manner”.

He fears the disease will spread rapidly when not tackled, saying “If nothing is done to resolve this national problem it spread to Bong county, Margibi and to Monrovia so, this is a serious situation that should be addressed by this government without any delay in allocating funding to tackle this virus. I worry about government capacity in handling this disease so we are asking friendly nations and organizations to come to the aid of L Iberia. Government needs to put system into place so we do not have a case like what happening during the caterpillars’ invasion because this one has to do with our people lives”. Teah says corruption could hinder the fight against the delay Ebola and war against such on the part of those in authority. “We know that corruption is in this country and everybody want to get rich from every little thing so we as the government to set up a task force to headed by a civil society member so that any money generated cannot be misused”. The rising fears in the city comes just 24 hours after authorities reported 11 suspected Ebola cases and five deaths, after the deadly virus spread from neighboring Guinea where it killed at least 59 people. The cases were detected in the districts of Zorzor, Lofa and Foyah, near Liberia's northern border with Guinea, according to the health department. "The disease is reported to be spreading along the border with Liberia, specifically in the communities and towns close to Guinea towns of Guekedou, Nzerekore, Kissidougou and Macenta," the health department's chief medical officer, Bernice Dahn, told FrontPage Africa. "The team is already investigating the situation, tracing contacts, collecting blood samples and sensitizing local health authorities on the disease," Dahn added. The World Health Organization is in the process of "confirming these [suspected] cases to know what we are dealing with," according to WHO advisor to Liberia Peter Clement.

FrontPage COMMENTARY E DITORIAL DRAFTING THE SIRLEAF QUARANTINE
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Commentary

BEST REMEDY FOR EBOLA
Liberia Health Authorities Must Not Take Emerging Crisis lightly

T

LEADERSHIP SO FAR…
Robert Kpadeh, rkdestine03@gmail.com, Contributing Writer

LIKE A FAST-MOVING torpedo, the deadly Ebola virus hit the shores of West Africa and in only a matter of days; several deaths have been reported in both Guinea and Liberia with fears that the disease could reach next door Sierra Leone. Guinea's southern districts Macenta, Kissidougou and Gueckedou - which border with Sierra Leone - have been particularly affected by the outbreak. AROUND MONROVIA, several businesses are taking precautions. Supermarkets are ensuring that their employees wear gloves and hand sanitizers are flying off the shelves of stores and supermarkets as many consumers heed warnings from the Ministry of Health to wash their hands, avoid handshakes, kissing and sexual activities. SOME OFFICES are holding meetings with their employees to explain how to prevent the disease. IN GBARNGA, Bong County, Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy has advised residents in the county to avoid shaking hands, casual sex and do-it-yourself burials to reduce the chance of contracting the deadly Ebola virus after an outbreak killed at least five people in neighboring Lofa County and put many more at risk. Polson-Mappy’s advice came as scared patients and health workers Tuesday reportedly fled the Tellewoyan hospital in Voinjama district, Lofa County to Bong County. A FrontPageAfrica correspondent in the county says the Superintendent is trying to alter people's behavior in a bid to stop the virus spreading. “We discourage the shaking of hands because that can cause contact through sweat which can cause problems ... and avoid promiscuity because these sicknesses can also be transmitted through sex,” she said in a public statement. THIS IS NECESSARY in the wake of acknowledgement from health authorities Tuesday that some eleven suspected cases of Ebola and five deaths, after the deadly virus spread from neighboring Guinea where it killed at least 59 people. HEALTH AUTHORITIES say the cases were detected in the districts of Zorzor, Lofa and Foyah, near Liberia's northern border with Guinea, according to the health department. "The disease is reported to be spreading along the border with Liberia, specifically in the communities and towns close to Guinea towns of Guekedou, Nzerekore, Kissidougou and Macenta," the health department's chief medical officer, Bernice Dahn, told FrontPage Africa. "The team is already investigating the situation, tracing contacts, collecting blood samples and sensitizing local health authorities on the disease," Dahn added. AT THE JOHN F. KENNEDY Medical Center, fear gripped some areas of the hospital after a patient from Ganta was brought down for treatment after experiencing bleeding nose. Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale allayed fears when he told FrontPageAfrica that doctors at the hospital dismissed that the patient had Ebola. FrontPageAfrica has been unable to confirm another suspected case in the New Kru Town area. WHILE WE ARE encouraged by the initial steps taken by health authorities, we feel strongly that serious measures must be put in place to ensure that areas with high cases of suspected Ebola be quarantined to deter the disease from spreading in more areas of the country.

o put this discussion in clear context, it is reasonably compelling for us to reminiscent Liberia’s immediate untold and despicable past (where comes the country?). I have repeatedly argued here and in foreign domiciles that it is not the height we have climbed but the depth we have come as a people and Nation that matters most, for if we realize from whence we come, we may certainly tend to appreciate where we are today. Liberia’s economic and socio-politico history is replete with excesses and other forms of unfavorable accounts and any Liberian knowing the country history, would certainly agree with me. The stability of our democracy was punctuated repeatedly, our economy severely harmed by economic plunderers and political bamboozlers, and our governance structures grossly undermined and saddled by all forms of odds ranging from gross ineptitude to cronyism and patronage. All of these vices pinned down the country for decades until 1989 when the nation and its people were unfortunately dragged into a rather bloody civil upheaval that lasted well over a decade—today, the scars of that crisis still remains fresh on our minds. I mean a bloodletting that callously engulfed the nation and claimed the lives of close to three hundred thousand people and damaged millions of dollars worth of infrastructure leaving Liberia a tattered country we are now struggling to rebuild under the responsible stewardship of Nobel Laureate, Dr. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. After years of madness committed by ourselves, terror inflated on each other, Liberia ended up a wrecked and pariah (failed) State as thousands of its surviving citizens stood staggering in wanton despair and hopelessness. The country lost its place within the comity of nations, international confidence sadly evaporated while poverty took its toll on the people as they craved and squealed for a dawn of a new day. President Sirleaf in 2006 gallantly mustered the courage and took over as President after competing in a bruising presidential election in which she stood as the foremost female-giant candidate in the 2005 general and presidential elections. She ultimately and proudly became the first female President on the African Continent taking over a war shattered nation and hopeless surviving citizens. There and then she knew she had to grapple with rising expectations from citizens long yarning for good governance, basic social services, economic emancipation, peace, justice and freedoms. The President knew she would have to stand firmer and her faith would have to grow stronger than ever. She would have to rebrand the imperial and blurred image of the Liberian presidency as she promised in her first inaugural address, “…gone are the days of imperial presidency. We will take the Presidency to the people”, President Sirleaf loudly asserted. Today, this writer can argue that Sirleaf has brought so much stature, integrity and respectability to the office of President, values that were lacking for many years. On the international front, the Liberian Leader firstly needed to unshackle Liberia’s doomed international image, disprove doubts and reassure the international community that Liberia has changed course and would be lifted once more from the dungeon of self destruction and with a determined, selfless and visionary leadership, the country would once again join ranks with member States of the civilized confederacy. It was quite a daunting task to rebrand a doomed nation, but President Sirleaf was ready and prepared for the mission. There were ‘doubting Thomases’ as usual but she did not look at them nor lend ears to them. Madam President buckled her belt onboard several aircrafts relentlessly flying countless hours around the world telling nations that the paradigm has shifted in Liberia and a new dawn has unraveled, yes, the country was ready for business. She never pause a moment addressing global forums echoing the case of the Liberian people who stood desperate for economic and political revival. The President worked the hardest in her first term. She performed the mission so excellently and we all can see and even the blind in our society can feel that Liberia international image has been convincingly rebranded. Today, Liberia is reaping tangible benefits as result of the immeasurable
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efforts the President invested in lifting the country and its people from the gutters of shame and despair. Over US$14 billion in foreign direct investments have come to the country. The likes of Mittal Steel, BHP Biliton, China Union, Golden Veroleum, Sasa Goa of the Western Cluster, Sime Dirby, Golden Veroleum(GVL) et’ al are here. All of these investments come in response to the kind of ambiance President Sirleaf has created here. She is not witch-hunting opposition Leaders, not gunning down critical journalists and civil society advocates and there are no summery killings, as such, the country is calmed and people are once more breathing the fresh air of freedom. The fundamental values of the country have been restored fully; they include, free expression, free speech, free association, rule of law and of course the straight adherence to all protocols and conventions the country have affixed its signature to. The traditional values of the Country have also been restored with power now being devolved on the people. President Sirleaf over sometime last year signed onto the act granting autonomy to the Tradition Council of Liberia thus bringing back nobility and honorability to our Traditional Leaders. The power of the Chiefs, Elders and Zoes will once again reign in our Towns, Villages, Clans and hamlets. The President has been commended for such milestone achievement. I must indicate here, that previous leaders had similar opportunity to do same but they willfully chose the contrary at the detriment of our people in other words, they failed the Liberian people (History can be our judge on that). President Sirleaf over the last eight years has enviably demonstrated brilliant, responsible, accountable, sensitive and matured leadership much to the desire of the Liberian people, the International community as well as the country development partners. Liberia is no more a failed State. Its post war recovery processes have been remarkable and record oriented. Its fiscal management has being quite transparent thus heralding the need for debt relief. Over US$4 billion debt burden which became economic suffocation or strangulation for a post war country and its ravaged citizenry was pardoned ultimately making Liberia the first post war nation with the fastest debt relief in this era (the IMF/World Bank said). Our fiscal system is now open and is subject to public scrutiny. Our national budget meets legislative approval before coming into operation. International confidence in Liberia is once more restored and Liberians are feeling the ripple effect. President Sirleaf is now viewed as the most venerated and emulative leader on the African Continent especially as she sat on the United National Panel to focus the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) with British Prime Minister David Cameroun and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. She is current Chair of the African Peer Review, a Panel set up by the A.U. to review governance in African countries. I guess only a President who commands the respect and confidence of his/her colleagues can be trusted with such herculean and honorable task. All of these good things are happening simply because President Sirleaf has conducted the affairs of her country in an extraordinary and unprecedented manner and I am sure that while all may not be rosy now, many are a bit pleased with the level of transformation that has taken place in their country. The International community too is convinced evident of the massive International cooperation Liberia currently enjoys. In Conclusion, under the doctrine of international dimension, a new trend in global politics, a nation gets more attention from the global community squarely contingent on the kind of quality leadership shown by its President. Free speech, free press, rule of law, transparency, a wholesome functioning civil society are fundamental benchmarks a contemporary nation must meet in order to be endeared to the heart of the International Community. Liberia is doing well on these lines but we however acknowledge that there are challenges. President Sirleaf has undoubtedly paid her dues in these regards, as such; she must be credited for a blossoming Liberia today. No doubt, she will surely be remembered for serving her country with distinction.

THIS IS NECESSARY to curb a crossover effect from neighboring Guinea where authorities there have registered almost 100 infections since the virus was first reported in February as the outbreak reached "epidemic proportions". EBOLA IS NO laughing matter because unlike the HIV AIDS virus which can be treated, Ebola is one of the most contagious viral diseases known, often resulting in death because it cannot be prevented with a vaccine and is untreatable with medication.

THESE IS WHY authorities must seriously consider the possibility of quarantining suspected cases from the rest of the society in a bid to keep the virus from spreading. Strong care must be taken in transferring patients from one part of the country to the next. THIS IS NECESSARY because Liberia, currently embroiled in an economic impasse does not have the funds needed to curtail such a serious medical dilemma. The sooner authorities explore the quarantine possibility the better Liberia could be to prepare itself for the worst.

FrontPage

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR STORIES ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB

COMMENTS FROM FPA ONLINE
‘TERRORIST’ PROVOCATEUR: HENRY COSTA LAST WORD EN ROUTE TO JAIL

The Editor,

WHEN POLITICS TURN ‘POLITRICKS’

Send your letters and comments to: editor@frontpageafricaonline.com
YOU WRITE; WE PUBLISH; THEY READ!

The Reader's Page

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JAY WION WORKS AT NPRC “Brother Costa, we are with you regardless. We admire your courage despite the brutal repression of this regime to s suppress free speech. Soon these same people will trade sleeping. place with you. They are desperate to stop the inevitable but time is not on their side. This is another chapter in our turbulent history toward true democracy, and we will get there. Your sacrifice is noted. Be strong. No jail can break the ideal of freedom. We learn from. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela not to give in. We shall overcome one day. Your brother in the struggle, Jerry Wehtee Wion, also fighting from this part of the world for our freedom.” MATTHEW GEORGE WENTWORTH INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY “Melba, Ellen is the worst president Liberia ever had. You absolutely right. Believe me Melba,when i say Ellen and her entourage days are numbers. We won't allow that woman her corrupt officials to mortgage Liberia. When it's take us 1000 of years, Ellen and her children will pay the price. Excuse me for using profanity. When that dump ass refuse to relinquish the presidency, Liberia will be in stage of lawlessness. It's is time to ANNUAL the Liberian government.” BETTY WYREN WORKS AT RETIRED “Woods Nyanton is right it is time to stand up to the government. Let's see 3,000,000 people in Liberia and your jails hold how many people? Right now Liberia must look like a joke to the rest of the world. How can the government be so scared of one man. Being able to disagree in a democracy is a fundamental right. All the government is doing is turning Henry Costa into another Martin Luther King, Jr. or Henry Mandela. Mr. Brewer, I hate to tell you this but you have been sucked in by your government also. Once you understand you really don't live in a democracy all these incidents will fall into place for you, an intelligent man. God bless Henry Costa who does care about the Liberian people.” SYLVESTER MOSES · TOP COMMENTER “We hope that cool headedness prevails in this issue, the aspirations of ordinary citizens will not be served by distractions, tensions and crises. Liberia is now a democracy striving toward rule of law, so we’re a heartened that Mr. Costa was not grabbed from his bed by soldiers. Under the cover of darkness, and dragged to an undisclosed location. It is imperative he gets his bail soon because the alleged manner of denial was suspicious, and could dampen the transparency with which Director Sirleaf has acted in this case. Meanwhile, supporters of Costa should advise him to remain the serious and entertaining journalist he is, and not allow peace-loving people to consider him an agitator. The last thing the poor needs in Liberia is instability and chaos that will freeze the efforts of small business holders and Liberians engaged in other economic, social and developmental activities. Once again, we must remind our fellow Liberians that the Arab Spring is now an Arab Winter with deaths, refugee camps and suffering replacing the original singing.” DEGAN BALLAYAN · WORKS AT UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS “After viewing Mr. Costa's arrest video and the numerous comments that followed, I am afraid to say the inevitable is creeping again at our doors in Liberia. What we have here is a tall glass of water filled up to the rim, sitting at the edge of a shaking table that has only three legs instead of four legs. Sooner or later, this tall glass of water is going to be bombed either intentionally or by accident, causing the glass of water to turn over or be wasted. The table might even crumble. The only logical way to avoid this unnecessary accident is to remove this tall glass of water from the shaking table to a safe place or keep it in our hands if we must. Liberia is no longer interested in any form of war or chaos.

It would seem that almost everything in nowadays Liberia is being politicized and almost every Liberian has become a politician. From health care, education, electricity, water, roads, the economy, agriculture, communication to every other thing that has to do with human existence in Liberia have been politicized. It is certainly interesting even though annoying how people tend to play politics with everything in this country sometimes leaving many to wonder which way, Liberia. What is even more vexing and inconceivable is the rather vague attempt by some Liberians to present themselves as experts on every issue being discussed by the experts themselves thereby sparking unwarranted confrontations which is why the nation has noticeably being noisy in recent times. Political commentators and scholars view politics in two folds. That it is the act of responsible governance of a State where policy are carved by state actors and implemented for the betterment of the State and its people, and the second view is where there are those who are out of government but have vested interest in government thereby charging themselves with the responsibility of checkmating the conduct of government and critically challenging its policies, programs and implementation. These people could be members of the opposition community, civil society agents, the press and interest groups. So politics is a decent act intended to lift people and society to the pedestal of fresh hopes and aspiration, and not retrogress or retard the forward march of society and its people. It is not an act of tricks and deception as being perceived by others but rather an act of intelligence and shrewdness. So to be a bit simplistic; politics is a fundamental exchange and disagreement that must invariably ensue between government and interested parties on views, policies and programs. And when we talk about policies, we mean policies on the economy, healthcare, education, infrastructure, foreign affairs, jobs and the provision of public services. And these exchanges must be civil, intelligent, factual and issuebased not, unruly, uncouth, preposterous, lies, rumors, rude and distasteful as we see around here these days. In honest, most of what we see and hear these days in Liberia is sheer ‘politricks’ and not politics—In fact I term it as political demagoguery. Political demagoguery is the act of utter falsehood, barefaced deceit, crude manipulation and the sheer display of naked pretense. It is a style of politicking practiced by lazy and malcontent politicians with the devilish aim of inciting the citizens against their government and Leaders. It is a repugnant means of hustling State power at the expense of a sitting president and government. And finally, it is a cunning way of gaining popularity by spewing despicable and inflammatory messages against a sitting government and its officials. Of course this is exactly what we see in this country on a daily basis—people spewing inflammatory messages and heralding consummate lies for the singular purpose of inciting the citizenry against the government. My friends, this is not politics, it is ‘Politricks’. It does not help any country grow and glow, it rather impede the growth of a nation especially a nation like ours that is still struggling to stabilize and reposition itself from the bruises of a fifteen-year bloodbath. The time is now for us to redefine politics and reframe from the decadent style of ‘Politricks’, for it has never helped

us—it actually harmed us and continue to harm us. For instance, fortnight ago, a Lawmaker from Grand Bassa Country loudly argued on the Public radio that the Administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has done absolutely nothing for the country. But here is the irony; this Lawmaker comes from a county with arguably the best paved road in the country which was built by the Sirleaf led government. He rides on this road almost every weekend and enjoys the comfort of the road. There is also a community college currently operating in his county thus easing the educational burden of young people in that county which is also built by this government; his county sea Port has return to full scale operation with Mittal Steel shipping ores from there as well as other economic activities currently taking place across the county not forgetting the Equatorial Palm millions of U.S. dollars investment there, yet, he argues that this government has done nothing absolutely. Can such legislator be taken serious? Now this is what I call ‘Politricks’ not Politics my people. It is a total misrepresentation of the fact and shameless lie intended to paint a grimy picture of the administration. Such preposition can only come from the belly of a fundamentally lazy politician. This Bassa lawmaker can do far better than this. The truth of the matter is that the country still faces challenges, however notwithstanding, a whole lot has happened. The country has made remarkable progress. Liberia has returned to civility with the civil rights of its people respected and protected. There is freedom of expression and freedom of the press now. There is an immeasurable political freedom thus providing the ambiance for opposition politicians to freely espouse dissent opinions. The country is celebrating ten years of solid and unhindered peace simply because the Government has shown unprecedented tolerance to dissents. These are things that were not happening here and we must be bold and fair to our consciences to say them and credit the government for them even if you don’t like President Sirleaf as a President. A onetime broken and pariah nation has become a destination for foreign direct investments. This is because the government has equated itself in a manner that commends international confidence, yet some one interposed that nothing has happened. Even the blind people in our society are feeling the fresh air of change; how come these people with sight are saying nothing has happened? Or could they be struggling and battling with optical problems? This is comical to say the least. But again this is what a nation gets when few of its selfish and unproductive citizens sadly and callously embark and engage in the nasty game of ‘Politricks’. In conclusion, this writer encourages the political debate and divergent of opinions but plead that we all do that with truth-telling being our guide, for politics is not about telling lies and pointless agitation. He welcomes dissents but challenge the opposition and critics to recalibrate their style of politicking. He admonishes them to advance debates that represent the facts and foundation on fundamentalism, not mere and baseless utterances—cheap talks if you may. Is it not bizarre, disingenuous, ludicrous, unthinkable and appalling for anyone to argue that this government has done nothing since it came to power? Someone please give me an answer!! Robert Kpadeh, rkdestine03@gmail.com, Contributing Writer,

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Rodney D. Sieh, Managing Editor, 0886-738-666; 077-936-138, editor@FrontPageAfricaonline.com; rodney.sieh@FrontPageAfricaonline.com Wade C. L. Williams, News Desk Chief, wade. williams@frontpageafricaonline.com; 0880664793 Francis F.B. Mulbah, Layout Editor; 0886639382 REPORTERS Sports Editor, Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@ frontpageafricaonline.com, 0886236528 Henry Karmo, henry.karmo@frontpageafricaonline. com Al-varney Rogers al.rogers@frontpageafricaonline. com, 0886-304498

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hile Acknowledging the existence of a U.S. Government funded report on governance labeled “Sensitive But Unclassified”(SBU) which was recently obtained by FrontPageAfrica and used as the backdrop for a number of publications this week, to highlight several governance lapses in the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led government, the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia says FrontPageAfrica

LIBERIA GOVERNANCE STAKEHOLDER SURVEY THE REPORT LIBERIA’S STAKEHOLDERS DID NOT WANT YOU TO SEE
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quoted selectively from the document and took many things out of context. The US Embassy statement reads: Recent articles in Front Page Africa (FPA) quote a U.S. Government funded report on governance. This was a report intended for internal use to assist us in project development. The U.S. Government conducts such assessments in countries where it works to better understand the

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impact of our programming and assistance. Unfortunately, the newspaper quoted selectively from the document, taking many things out of context. We urge all members of the media to remain objective in their reporting. Beginning today, we will begin publishing verbatim in both online and print, the entire 124-page LEAKED document and let our readers judge the report and its context for themselves.

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Monroviainance Minister Amara Konneh says, he takes responsibility for the shortfall in the 2013/2014 budget. Speaking to journalists at a special press briefing organized by the Ministry of Information, Minister Konneh says as head of the institution responsible for crafting the budget, he takes the blame. Critics yelled as the Liberian economy landed in the red for the third time, due to yet another budget shortfall in fiscal year 2013/2014, this time, US$47 million something that was announced through a Ministry of Finance January 2014 notification calling on the heads of government ministries and agencies to tighten their belts for the long haul. Despite claims in some quarters that the legislature was partly to blame for this year’s shortfall due to the changes made to the draft budget submitted to it by the ministry, Konneh has put himself in the line of fire for the shortfall. “I am the minister of finance, I am responsible; yes, it’s nobody; I am today the minister of finance of the republic of Liberia in charge of implementing our fiscal policy. Whether the numbers change in the legislature on the draft budget that was submitted to the legislature, I am the custodian of the national budget and I am responsible,” says Konneh. “And that is why I am working with my colleagues across the government to make sure that the government continues to operate; continues to invest in the public sector programs to keep the economy stable.” Term misunderstood Minister Konneh says the approved budget for FY2013/2014 amounted to US$582.9 million, which was revised downward to US$560.3m, based on assessed revenue risks. He says when the term ‘revenue shortfall’ is used it means that the government expected to generate a particular amount but was not able to do so. The minister says that people often misinterpret the term budget shortfall attributing it to something that has continuously occurred over a period of three years; something the minister said is erroneous adding that the government is on track in achieving the goals it set out. “We sense that, in some quarters, the term is being misunderstood as being an overall reduction in the revenue generated, as compared to previous years, which is not the case,” says Konneh. “In fact, overall, the Government has steadily increased its revenue intake over the last four years. In FY10/11, the total revenue collected was US$387.9 million; in FY11/12, collections amounted to US$477.2 million; in FY12/13, the total revenue collected was US$559 million. Today, once again, we project US$560.3m come June 30th. And based on that number, we have already collected US$344.5m. However, it is important to make sure you know why the US$22m shortfall occurred, in which areas, and

‘I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY’
Wade C. L. Williams, wade.williams@frontpageafricaonline.com

FINANCE MINISTER KONNEH TAKES BLAME FOR BUDGET SHORTFALL, OUTLINES 2013/2014 BUDGET PERFORMANCE

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what steps we are taking to meet our new target of US$560.3m.” Reasons for shortfall Minister Konneh says some of the government’s projections for the various kinds of revenue were exceedingly ambitious, and were based on the assumption that the good performance of the FY2012/2013 within each revenue category would continue, although some of those revenues were only onetime payments. He says Legislative adjustments to the original draft budget unrealistically increased targets and in other cases, poor infrastructure, bureaucracy and bottlenecks in the executive branch hindered timely realization of the amount projected and this resulted into dire consequences. “On the tax revenue side income and profit taxes, especially withholding taxes on nonresidents were over projected based on last year’s good performance owing to nonrecurrent investment activities in the telecommunications and mining sectors,” says Minister Konneh. “For tax on goods and services, maritime revenue fell short by US$3m from our target of US$22.5m down to US$19.4m; and motor vehicle taxes were

over-projected by US$2.6m over the initial US$5.87m targeted in the draft budget submitted to the Legislature.” The minister of Finance also disclosed that tax on international trade suffered due to a nearly 20% decline or US$163m loss in customs duties on international trade. He says Duty exemptions largely on capital equipment imported by mining and agriculture concessions and road contractors also contributed to the decline. “By March 14th, 2014 we had projected a collection of US$115.6m, but we actually collected $105.2m, a shortfall of $10.4m. A re-forecast of our Customs revenue has also reduced the budget by US$4m of export revenue on round logs from the forestry sector,” says Minister Konneh. Continued Konneh: “Non-tax revenue fell short by US$2m, due to lower than expected realization of property income tax, especially rents from the forestry sector, which were hindered by infrastructure challenges such as bad roads and equipment challenges in the ports, and administrative bottlenecks, which we are working hard with our colleagues to address. Lastly, to date, we have only met half (or US$10.6M) of our US$21.5M

target in administrative fees from Ministries and Agencies.” Stringent measures taken Minister Konneh says in the face of these revenue shortfalls, the ministry of finance introduced some stringent technical, administrative and legal measures to recover tax revenues for the remainder of the fiscal year. He says the ministry has set up a revenue mobilization task force, increased tax awareness and reorganized its tax administration personnel to ensure the most effective distribution of talent and responsibility in order to meet the government’s revenue targets going forward. “We have identified and met with delinquent taxpayers to give them time to settle their tax obligations to the GoL and we are working with the Ministry of Justice and the Board of Tax Appeals to prepare litigation against those who fail to pay their taxes.” The finance minister outlined what he calls short-term measures intended to improve revenue collection, with specific emphasis on Spot verification of taxpayers to validate their payments adding that with this action, the ministry expects

improvement in collection of taxes on income, goods and services. Minister Konneh says the ministry has also embarked on a major crackdown on delinquent taxpayers, including publishing the list of persons, businesses and public institutions with outstanding tax obligations also initiating legal proceedings against them to recover taxes owed the government. Minister Konneh says the ministry under his leadership has also introduced an enforcement of internal controls at the systems level and stronger coordination within the team to mitigate risks thereby undertaking an anti-smuggling operation, on the customs side, by monitoring of transshipment through the border. He says the ministry is also conducting rigorous post clearance audits to close revenue leakages resulting from dishonesty among some taxpayers. The finance minister says the ministry will need the help of colleagues in government to see the plan work and is therefore working with other officials in the Inter-Ministerial Concessions Commission to remove the infrastructure and bureaucratic bottlenecks in the forestry sector adding that it is

already yielding results. “We are also working with our colleagues in the public sector by providing support to enable them perform,” says Konneh. “So far, this intervention has reversed the declining trend in motor vehicle revenue since August 2013, resulting in improved performance in quarter three. We have also seen improvement in the forestry sector where, for the first time, we have doubled forestry revenue from US$700,000 – US$1.4m between February and March 2014.” Minister Konneh assured that due to these measures, the government’s revenue generation seems promising for the remainder of fiscal year 2013/2014. “Moreover, despite challenges with the execution of our budget given the pressure of competing investment priorities and recurrent demand, we have seen an improvement in our budget performance comparing allotment and disbursement records for the twelve month period ending February 2013 to the same period ending February 2014,” say Minister Konneh. “This analysis is relevant because it tells the rate at which allotted funds are being disbursed to spending entities. The difference between allotment and disbursement was much higher in FY 2012/13. Conversely, we have seen this gap significantly narrowed in FY 2013/2014. This is a significant progress and demonstrates that spending entities are now given allotments for which they have absorptive capacity and which are in line with the trend in revenue generation and cash forecasting.” Minister Konneh maintains that generally, the government has been able to stabilize expenditure on employee compensation, with slight reductions in both allotment and disbursement over the last two fiscal cycles. “Consumption of fixed capital has significantly reduced in allotment but has seen substantially high disbursement in FY 2013/2014,” he says. Continued Konneh: “By February 2013, we had allotted US$394 million and disbursed US$308 million during the same period. This fiscal year as at February 2014, we had allotted less than US $371 million, but had disbursed more US$322 million, pointing to a contraction in the gap between allotment and disbursement. So, what we have accomplished over this period, as demonstrated by the budget performance analysis, is to ensure some level of stability within our fiscal space by tightening the procedures and rules around our budget and expenditure processes.”

 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

KUWAITI’S DEAL SEALED House of Representatives concurs with Senate

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Henry Karmo (0886522495) henrykarmo47@gmail.com

COSTA BACK ON THE AIR Tough-Talking Radio Host
Returns on 102.7 Today

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Monroviafforts by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to convince the National Legislature to ratify the loan agreement for the rehabilitation of the Port of Greenville in Sinoe County days after appointing her son Robert Sirleaf as Liberia’s oil envoy to that Arab Nation has yielded result with a concurrence by the House of Representatives with the Senate on the loan agreement. Last month President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wrote the Legislature to ratify the loan agreement between the Port of Greenville and the Kuwait Arab Economic Development barely two weeks after the appointment of Robert as special envoy to the Arab nation to lead government’s negotiation efforts on petroleum products. During Tuesday march 25, 2014 session at the House of Representatives, the Ways Means and Finance Committee chaired by Representative Emmanuel Nuquay of Margibi County and the Judiciary Committee chaired by Bomi County Representative Gayah Karmo submitted their reports to plenary in response to a mandate given them by the body requesting the two committees to investigate the loan agreement and advise the body before ratification. In the two committees report among several findings it stated that the interest of 1.5% to be paid on the loan principal of four million (4,000,000) Kuwaiti Dinar (US$14,000,000.00) as viewed by the committees as favorable to the purpose of the pending project. The Committees also stated that given the interest amount, the project is feasible and the

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Monroviahe international charity Save the Children has constructed an eleven-room clinic in Tucker-ta Margibi County to cater to the health needs of thousands of Liberians in that part of the country. The clinic, worth nearly sixty-thousand United States Dollars and has a catchment population of over six thousand. The construction of the health facility is in continuation of the charity’s numerous assistances to Liberia’s struggling health sector, which is making frantic efforts at recovery, following years of conflict that destroyed every infrastructure of the country. Save the Children’s timely intervention was desperately needed by the community as the old Tucker-ta Clinic which was very close to the main road, had been earmarked for demolition to give way to the Liberian Government’s current road expansion exercise taking place on the KakataGbarnga highway. Though the eleven-room facility has not been fully furnished and officially turned over to the Liberian Government through the Margibi County Health Team, health workers have already started attending to sick people, including pregnant women at the facility. Tucker-ta residents described the construction of the clinic as a timely intervention as some five deliveries have already happened within its walls. According to the residents it would have been very difficult for them to have access to health care had the clinic not been completed in time to replace the old structure which a philanthropic resident of Tucker-ta donated for use by the Ministry of Health as a clinic in the area years ago.” The Certified Midwife and the Officer in Charge at the Tucker-ta Clinic in separate interviews with reporters praised Save the Children for the construction of the clinic and called for more support to equip the facility. According to them even though, Save the Children built the clinic, it is no longer fully supporting the facility and that was reason enough for the government to do more to keep the facility functional. CM Karlegar L. Cooper said: “The old clinic was very tight, no lights and

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government of Liberia (the guarantor) stands to benefit from a reasonable repayment condition. The legislative Committees also claimed that the additional charge of 0.5% per annum on the amount withdrawn and on the balance of said loan is considered to be realistic, in meeting the cost of administration and implementation of the project. The joint committee in their report also said, the amount of the loan is sufficient to undertake the project. “This amount will ensure that the port of Greenville rehabilitation is carried on properly, and completion of the facility will bring enormous relief to the country,” the Committees stated in the report to plenary. According to the Committees the scheduled amortization plan, provided in the annex to said agreement for the loan

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repayment, the loan amount shall be repaid in a reasonable time frame a total of (44) payments on a semi-annual basis shall be made to complete repayment within a 22 year-period. “In view of the above analysis, honorable speaker, Honorable deputy speaker, distinguished colleagues, we are of the overwhelming conviction that plenary should approve the loan agreement because it will make significant impact on the country’s development,” the Committees recommended. The US$14 Million project involves the rehabilitation works required to fully re-open the port of Greenville, shipwreck removal, construction of the port, roads, container yard and shoreline fence, according to the President in a communication to the legislature. In her February communication the President told the lawmakers

that the project will also include service boat ramp, rehabilitation of the port buildings and utility networks, and the installation of security system and navigational aid. The project is also expected to include the procurement of marine’s crafts and Cargo handling equipment consultancy service for the design and supervision of the civil works and institutional support. “In view of the above and with the aim of bolstering economic activities along the southeastern corridor of Liberia, thereby contributing to the economic and social development of our nation, I ask for ratification of the loan agreement,” stated President Sirleaf in the letter dated February 17, 2014 and addressed to the House of Representatives in session.

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no ventilation. We did screening and delivery in one small room. There was no privacy for patients because it was just one room for pregnant women and those in labor. It was not conducive at all medically, but we just had to manage. At this new clinic however, we have enough space-separate rooms for screening, delivery and the post partum. So we are grateful to Save the Children and we hope they can continue to support us.” “What would have happened if this clinic was not completed in time to accommodate pregnant women who delivered here last week, just when the old clinic was about to be demolished? Some of them could have died or lost their babies,” the CM added. For his part, the Officer- In- Charge, Thomas Duncan said the community was overwhelmingly happy about the construction of the new clinic. Mr. Duncan who is the screener at the Tucker-ta Clinic described the facility as very spacious for the up to fifty patients they treat daily. Mr. Duncan appealed to Save the Children not to forget the clinic it spent so much money to construct. “It remains my hope that the government will support us so that we can continue to provide free medical services to the impoverished population of this community. Meeting Millennium Development Goals numbers four and five as well as other health related MDGs has been of great concern to Save the Children’s health Program, which has been involved with supporting the Liberian Government with health infrastructure development, training health workers, and providing equipment to supported health facilities. The charity is known in the health sector for its strong support to helping the Liberian Government reduce maternal and newborn deaths and working with other local and international partners to advocate for increased health budget. It helped the Ministry of Health develop and adopt policies on the usage of Chlorhexidine for cord care and the practice of Kangaroo Mother Care to save the lives of preterm and low weight babies nationally in 2013. The two interventions are cheap and effective ways of fighting newborn deaths in developing countries.

Monrovia – ess than 48 hours after his release from prison, Liberia talk show provocateur Henry Costa returns to the airwaves this morning under a new brand, 102.7 FM. The Costa Show was unceremoniously booted off its previous platform, Hott FM 107.9 on February 26, 2014. He was set to begin broadcasting on Voice 102.7 on Monday, March 24, 2014 but was arrested last Friday, three days before he was set to debut on his new station. The station conducted a series of test last week to rave reception. Costa posted the news of his return on his Facebook page Tuesday: “I am very pleased to let you know that after three weeks of silence of The People’s Platform; The Costa Show returns to the airwaves tomorrow, Wednesday 26 on 102.7 FM at 7:30AM10:00 AM with Woods Nyanton and Henry Costa, your humble servants. Please tune in and kindly spread the word. By the way, it is our own radio managed and operated by us so nobody can shut us off. The platform where we don’t mince our words and certainly don’t speak in nuances, we say it as we see it!” Costa’s message was an apparent jibe at his previous station, Hott FM which had built a reputation for shutting him off the air when his views ran amok or hit the nerves of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleafled government. Costa was abruptly shut off during his last broadcast on Hott FM after he threw out an open challenge to the NSA boss to a duel on Broad Street on Friday, February 28 at 4PM, in order to afford the NSA boss the opportunity to make good on several threats, Costa says, had been made toward him through intermediaries. “This is when I challenged him(Fombah) to a duel on Broad Street on Friday 4PM in order to afford him the opportunity to make good his threat. This was when we got cut off the air while we were talking unbeknownst to us by directive the station of the station manager,” Costa would later explain. The NSA boss told FPA in February he was in the process of filing a case against the Talk Show host at the Ministry of Justice. The Liberian government’s chief spokesman, Information Lewis Brown at the time also confirmed to FPA that he was processing the communication from the NSA boss. Following his forced exit from Hott FM in February, Costa explained that the show was ordered off the air by station manager Mr. Bernard Benson alias DJ Blue while responding to numerous threats he says he had received from Mr. Fombah Sirleaf, head of the National Security Agency, who is also one of the sons of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. “ Mr. Benson called and instructed the technical staff to switch the transmitter off while we were on the air unbeknownst to us. For a few goo few minutes we did not realize this until some listeners began to text and call to inform Woods(Nyanton) and me that we were off the air.” The show had been abruptly shut off five times since it debut in May 2012. Costa was arrested last Friday, March 21, 2014 and charged with terroristic threats, menacing and criminal coercion, based upon the oath and complaint of the Republic of Liberia by and thru Fomba Sirleaf, head of the National Security Agency(NSA). According to the charge sheet, the alleged act of the defendant was unlawful wicked and violated section 11.11 of the new penal law”. Upon his release from prison Monday, Costa, who has been accused by the Sirleaf administration as being an anti-government commentator, said: “I am an opposition to corruption, an opposition to nepotism, cronyism, to bad governance and certainty to the poor justice system we have in our country, I will forever remain resolute and convicted and to preach for that, nothing.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

LIBERIA GOVERNANCE STAKEHOLDER SURVEY THE REPORT LIBERIA’S STAKEHOLDERS DID NOT WANT YOU TO SEE
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GUINEA EBOLA OUTBREAK: BATEATING BANNED TO CURB VIRUS

Bong Superintendent’s Stark Warning after Ebola Killed 5 in Lofa

DON’T SHAKE HANDS AND AVOID SEX
Selma Lomax, selma.lomax@frontpageafricaonline.com

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uinea has banned the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, its health minister has said. Bats, a local delicacy, appeared to be the "main agents" for the Ebola outbreak in the south, Rene Lamah said. Sixty-two people have now been killed by the virus in Guinea, with suspected cases reported in neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola is spread by close contact. There is no known cure or vaccine. It kills between 25% and 90% of victims, depending on the strain of the virus, according to the World Health Organization. This is the first time such a national health threat has come to our borders” Brima KargboSierra Leone health official Symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting. 'QUARANTINE SITES' It is the first time Ebola has struck Guinea, with recent outbreaks thousands of miles away, in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr Lamah announced the ban on the sale and consumption of bats during a tour of Forest Region, the epicentre of the epidemic, reports the BBC's Alhassan Sillah from the capital, Conakry. People who eat the animals often boil them into a sort of spicy pepper soup, our correspondent says. The soup is sold in village stores where people gather to drink alcohol. Other ways of preparing the bats to eat include drying them over a fire. Aid agencies and the government are taking medical supplies to the affected areas in Guinea Certain species of bat found in West and Central Africa are thought to be the natural reservoir of Ebola, although they do not show any symptoms. Health officials reported one more death on Tuesday, bringing the number of people killed by Ebola to 62, our correspondent adds. The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said it had set up two quarantine sites in southern Guinea to try to contain the outbreak, the Associated Press news agency reports. Sierra Leone's health ministry said it was investigating two suspected cases of Ebola, the AFP news agency reports. "We still do not have any confirmed cases of Ebola in the country," its chief medical officer Brima Kargbo is quoted as saying. "What we do have are suspected cases, which our health teams are investigating and taking blood samples from people who had come in contact with those suspected to have the virus," he added. Mr Kargbo said the one suspected case involved a 14-yearold boy who was thought to have died two weeks ago in Guinea and then brought to his village on the Sierra Leonean side of the border in the eastern district of Kono. The other case was in the northern border district Kambia, he added, without giving further details. "This is the first time such a national health threat has come to our borders. In any case, we are prepared and on the alert in readiness in case the disease is diagnosed in Sierra Leone," Mr Kargbo was quoted as saying by AFPs. Five people are reported to have died in Liberia after crossing from southern Guinea for treatment, Liberia's Health Minister Walter Gwenigale told journalists on Monday. However, it is not clear whether they had Ebola. Outbreaks of Ebola occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests, the World Health Organization says.

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ong Superintendent Selena PolsonMappy has   advised the county to avoid hand-shakes and promiscuity. Gbarnga, Bong County - Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy has advised people of the county to avoid shaking hands, casual sex and do-ityourself burials to reduce the chance of contracting the deadly Ebola virus after an outbreak killed at least five people in neighboring Lofa County and put many more at risk. Polson-Mappy’s advice came as scared patients and health workers Tuesday reportedly fled the Tellewoyan hospital in Voinjama district, Lofa County to Bong County. Polson-Mappy is now trying to alter people's behavior in a bid to stop the virus spreading. “We discourage the shaking of hands because that can cause contact through sweat which can cause problems ... and avoid promiscuity because these sicknesses can also be transmitted through sex,” she said in a public statement. There is no treatment for Ebola, which is transmitted by close contact and through body fluids such as saliva, vomit, faces, sweat, semen and blood. The superintendent Tuesday said health workers believe the latest outbreak - which was confirmed on Monday by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare occurred about three weeks ago near the Guinean border in Lofa County. She added that doctors had initially thought the symptoms were atypical of Ebola. Polson-Mappy also urged people of the county to be cautious when

burying people, saying that some patients had contracted the virus while burying Ebola victims because they remained contagious even when dead. “In case somebody dies from what you suspect to be Ebola, please do not take on the job of burying him or her, call the medical workers to be the ones to do it because they are the ones that can do it safely,” she said. Travelers barred travelling to Guinea The superintendent issued an order Tuesday barring travelers from moving between Lofa and Bong and on to Guinea in a preventive move aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly disease. “Any person presently commuting between Lofa and Bong as far as the Jorwah, a town bordering Guinea should refrain from direct

iberian authorities on Tuesday reported 11 suspected Ebola cases and five deaths, after the deadly virus spread from neighbouring Guinea where it is believed to have killed at least 59 people. And Canadian authorities have isolated a man showing symptoms of haemorrhagic fever resembling Ebola after travelling from Liberia. The Liberian cases were detected in the districts of Zorzor, Lofa and Foyah, near the country's northern border with Guinea, according to the health department. Health officials are investigating the five deaths after a group of people crossed the border from Guinea in search of medical treatment. "The disease is reported to be spreading along the border with Liberia, specifically in the communities and towns close to the Guinea towns of Guekedou, Nzerekore, Kissidougou and Macenta," health department chief medical officer Bernice

Liberia suspects numerous infections and five deaths are from the Ebola virus spreading from neighbouring Guinea, with one suspected case in Canada.

SUSPECTED EBOLA CASES IN LIBERIA, CANADA

body contacts and hand-shaking with anybody from across the border in Guinea,” she said. She further said the security agents have been instructed not to allow the movements of people as the market places at the border remain closed. Travelers between the two counties, according to the Bong County Superintendent, have been urged to strictly adhere to the order.“All health personnel in the county are ordered to be on high alert and monitor the situation,” she said. Bong, Lofa and Guinea share a lot in terms of population movements and trade. As a result people moving from one place to other could spread the disease. Ebola is a highly infectious disease, which presents with high grade fever and bleeding tendencies. It is very infectious, kills in a short time

  but can easily be prevented. The signs and symptoms of the disease include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, measles‐like rash, red eyes and sometimes with bleeding from body openings. Ebola can be spread through direct physical contact with body fluids like saliva, blood, stool, vomit, urine, vaginal secretions and sweat from an infected person and soiled linen used by a patient. It can also be spread through using skin piercing instruments that have been used by an infected person. A person can get it by getting in touch with a dead body of a person who has died of the disease. There is neither cure nor treatment, but some infected people have recovered from the disease, according to health officials.

Dahn told local newspaper FrontPage Africa. "The team is already investigating the situation, tracing contacts, collecting blood samples and sensitising local health authorities on the disease," said Dahn. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is in the process of

"confirming these [suspected] cases to know what we are dealing with", said WHO adviser to Liberia Peter Clement. Residents have been calling for the border to be closed. Last week, Guinea's ministry of health registered almost 100 infections since the virus was

first reported last month, saying that the outbreak had reached "epidemic proportions".   Guinea's southern districts of Macenta, Kissidougou and Gueckedou, which border Sierra Leone, have been particularly affected by the outbreak. Crossing oceans

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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he deaths of more than 50 people in the West African nation of Guinea due to a violent fever has renewed concerns about the deadly Ebola virus, which caused global panic in the 1990s and early 2000s. Guinean officials confirmed March 23 that samples from victims of a viral hemorrhagic fever have tested positive for the Ebola virus, marking the first time the virus has been detected in this African country. Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often fatal illness that can occur in humans and primates such as monkeys and gorillas. According to the World Health Organization, Ebola fever has a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent. There is no known cure. The virus gained worldwide attention in the 1990s after an outbreak in Kikwit, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) killed 245 people. The severe, fast-acting nature of Ebola inspired a number of apocalyptic novels and movies, including the 1995 film Outbreak (1995). There are five distinct strains of the Ebola virus: Bundibugyo, Ivory Coast, Reston, Sudan and Zaire. While the virus hasn’t generated as much media interest in the past decade, it’s not for lack of outbreaks – prior to this latest one in Guinea, there were significant flare-ups in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Uganda and Sudan in the 2000s. Here’s a closer look at this dangerous and little-understood virus. WHEN DID IT FIRST EMERGE?

EBOLA OUTBREAK: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Ebola hemmorhagic fever has up to 90 per cent fatality rate

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EBOLA

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A microscopic view of the Ebola virus. ((Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp.)) According to WHO, Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two areas at once: in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The latter was near the Ebola River, hence the name. HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED? Ebola is transmitted from person to person through bodily fluids. Humans first got the virus through contact with the bodily fluids of infected animals. As WHO reports, “infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees,

 

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onestar Cell MTN has again contributed significantly to Liberia’s health care delivery sector. Through its Lonestar Cell Foundation, a specialized equipment and assorted drugs valued at over Eighteen Thousand United States dollars (18,000USD) have been donated to the Hope for Women International Medical Center in Paynesville. Delivering the equipments of behalf of the LonestarCell Foundation, Mr. Massaquoi Kamara, Chairman, said the Foundation has a long-standing partnership with the Hope for Women Medical Center and was delighted to make the donation of such valuable lifesaving equipment and drugs. Accompanied by Mrs. Cora Peabody and Ms. Jeanne Juste who are members of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Kamara said

HUMANITARIAN NEWS F LONESTARCELL MTN MAKES LIFE-SAVING DONATION: SUPPORTS CANCER AWARENESS & TREATMENT IN LIBERIA!
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the Foundation partners with many other medical centers in the country and especially as this is Cancer-Awareness Month, Lonestar Cell Foundation was quite pleased to be making the donation. Receiving the donation, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Proprietor and Chief Medical Officer of Hope for Women International expressed sincere gratitude to theLonestar Cell MTN Family for rendering the needed support to the hospital. According to Dr. Jallah, the equipment is known as URIT 660 and can perform nine different testsrelating to cancerous tissues including detecting prostate cancer. She said that with the donation of the equipment, the need for patients to travel outside Liberia to do tests is now minimized. She said indeed the Center was grateful because not only is the donation of the
 

gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found dead or ill in the rainforest.” According to WHO, fruit bats are considered natural hosts for Ebola, and as a result, “the geographic distribution of Ebolaviruses may overlap with the range of the fruit bats.” What are the symptoms? Three of the five Ebola strains have been associated with Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), which is characterized by internal and external bleeding. The virus's incubation period lasts about a week, and early symptoms can include chills, low-back pain, fatigue, diarrhea and headaches. As the infection intensifies, individuals can experience bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose, as well as the mouth and rectum. “What happens, in any hemorrhagic fever, is your blood vessels start to leak, and so that’s why you get bruises in the skin,” says Dr. Jay Keystone, a renowned travel physician and professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto. “If your blood vessels are leaking out of the gut, you’re bleeding [out of the] rectum, and if your bleeding is in the stomach, you’re vomiting up blood.” Illness sets in between two to 21 days after infection. In most cases, the time between the start of the symptoms and death is one to two weeks. While EHF leads to a lot of blood loss, that’s not usually the cause of death, Dr. Keystone says. The World Health Organization reports that the Ebola hemorrhagic fever has a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent. (Isaac Kasamani/AFP/

Getty Images) “You die of shock from bleeding, but it’s more than that,” he says. The victim gets a viremia, which is when a virus enters the bloodstream and as a result, gains access to the rest of the body. “You start to get a breakdown of body function,: Dr. Keystone says. "The kidneys fail, you may get secondary pneumonia. But in this case, it’s an overwhelming infection which causes a breakdown of tissue, release of what we call antigens, and then essentially you get a total body failure.” Can it be cured? There are no known cures or vaccines, according to WHO. Patients are typically hospitalized and kept in intensive care, and may receive medications and intravenous fluids to cope with shock, as well as transfusions of fresh blood. How is the current strain in Guinea different from the ones we saw in the 1990s and early 2000s? The current strain is “more virulent,” says Dr. Keystone. Even so, he points out that Ebola’s reputation overshadows the actual threat. What terrifies the public is “the thought that 90 per cent of people die,” and that “it kills you within a matter of a few days,” he says. But Ebola, which has killed about 2,000 people since the late-‘70s, is inferior, in terms of efficiency, to a virus such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which “spreads quietly, silently, and millions get infected.” With Ebola, "all the people who get it die," he says, which prevents those hosts from infecting more people.

 

equipment timely, it is also an expensive and sensitive machine that is available at only a few health centers in Liberia. Dr. Jallah said that Hope For Women Medical Center was sending the Laboratory Technician, Junior NehmonSehgren will depart the country for Accra, Ghana in a few days to acquire extensive

training in the effective use of the machine. She said that the care and effective use of the machine were vital to the successful fight against cancer. The Cancer Society of Liberia was represented at the donation ceremony by Mrs. Paulette Findley who congratulated the Lonestar Cell Foundation and the Lonestar Cell MTNfamily

 

and pledged her organization’s   support to work with Hope for Women International. The Head of Corporate Affairs of Lonestar Cell MTN Dr. Larry Konmla Bropleh said his company will continue to work with the government of Liberia in supporting its agenda in health and education. He said that Lonestar Cell MTN through

the Lonestar Cell Foundation was impacting in significant ways Health and Education. He recounted that in 2012 two major grants were made: $40,000 (Forty Thousand United States Dollars) to Hope for Women Medical Center to support the fight against cancer and $100,000 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to Tubman University in Harper, Maryland County for the development of a state-of-the art ICT Laboratory. Attorney Bropleh said the Lonestar Cell Foundation sees itself as a conduit to assisting the government of Liberia to make better the lives of all Liberians, noting that last year the Lonestar Cell Foundationsponsored over 350 young women who had lagged behind in their educational sojourn due to the Liberian civil crisis to acquired computer knowledge and improve their lives.

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“WE AMBUSHED UN VEHICLE”
 

State Witness Claims In Mercenary Case

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Monrovia-

Kennedy L. Yangian kennedylyangian@frontpageafricaonline.com 077296781

t the start of the re-trial of 18 defendants at the Criminal Court “D” at the Temple of Justice on charges of mercenarism Tuesday State 1st witness Pascal Kollie told the court and jury that the defendants were the ones that ambushed the UN vehicle in the Ivory Coast though he claimed to have known four of the 18 defendants on trial. He named the four defendants who he pointed to one at a time in open court as Nyezee Barway, Edward Cole, Kai Cole and Prince Youtey who stood up when their names were being called one after another. “We were firing the FFC after they ran away and went to a big town like Kakata, we divided the group into two and set ambush, we saw the UNOCI coming when they reached near us the General gave the order that we should blast and Kai Cole blasted the car somersaulted with almost all of its occupants dying except one “said Kollie. State witness Kollie furthered that after the car was blasted they took the dead ones guns and carried the wounded ones together with his gun to their base and after taken the guns and the sixty along (name not disclosed) that UNOCI was using. According to the witness after they took the seven guns the man that did not die while carrying him begs the defendants not to kill him because he had plenty of children but defendant Barway said to him why you can’t die if others can die this was how he shot him with his pistol took his batch and hung it on himself. He told the court and jury that in 2012 he was living in the town of Garleo in Grand Gedeh County where he was working as a gold miner and later a gold agent when a man he identified as Charlie Brooks took him there on grounds that the people of Garleo knew nothing about gold business. While in the town of Garleo, Kollie indicated that he saw Nyezee Barway including Edward Cole allegedly bringing in guns from Ziah Town the home of defendant Barway but while the guns were getting enough in Garleo the citizens of the town told defendant Barway stranger father identified as Kisi Brooks that they should take the people from the town to the bush and they were taken into the bush. According to the witness Kollie he came from the bush to sell his gold and when he got through selling the gold he went to Kai Cole’s father place and met Kai Cole who told him that Ivory Coast has lots of money therefore they should go there to fight and get more money. Witness Kollie said he told Cole that he did not want to take gun to kill human being because he was making money from his gold business but from his statement he was accused of being a reconnaissance for Quartara. He further told the court that he was grabbed tied and beaten by two girls after taking him to the gold field but lied down as though he had died but when Nyezee Barway who was referred to as General came, he ordered him released and after washing the guns allegedly brought in by defendant Barway it was tied and the general informed them to get ready for the first attack in the Ivory Coast. Witness Kollie claimed that after they were firing the FFC could not make up with the intensive firing and were forced to leave the town and began to call with their communication handset. The state witness testimony was caught off at one point by the presiding Judge Emery Page to continue today where he is expected to be cross examined by the defense lawyers under the guidance of human rights lawyer, Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe.

MONROVIAresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has alerted the world and would be perpetrators that the Government of Liberia is ready for the fight against trafficking in persons, especially women and children. She stressed that trafficking in persons is one of the biggest illegal activities against the violation of human rights in the world and Liberia must join other countries in strong action to combat this crime. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the Statement when she officially launched Government’s Five-Year National Action Plan on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons at the Monrovia City Hall on Tuesday, March 25. To further demonstrate Government’s seriousness about fighting this crime, the Liberian President announced that three expatriates have been indicted and are in prison awaiting trial; while other perpetrators are being prosecuted. President Sirleaf highlighted a case where two individuals were unanimously found guilty for illicit trafficking of some Moroccan and Tunisian nationals on December 31, 2013; but to her surprise and disappointment, a motion for retrial was granted by the Judge. “The Government is still pursuing this matter to its logical conclusion to ensure that the victims get the justice they deserve,” the Liberian leader promised. President Sirleaf stressed that launch of the Five-Year National Action Plan is to make good the Government’s commitment to the fight against trafficking in persons. “This menace has plagued our society for a long time and we have declared our collective actions against it since the endorsement of the National Action Plan (NAP) by the cabinet on October 30, 2013,” she said, adding, that the launch further makes Liberia a better place where the rights of defenseless people are always guaranteed and protected. Providing an overview of the FiveYear National Action Plan earlier, Minister of Labor, also Chair of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, Cllr. Juah Lawson, said the Plan is a part of a series of inter-

PRESIDENT SIRLEAF LAUNCHES ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING FIVE-YEAR NATIONAL ACTION PLAN;
Says Government is Ready for the Fight

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Monrovia– resident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has appointed the following officials to positions in government, pending confirmation by the Honorable Liberian Senate, where applicable: Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Mrs. Elfreda Stewart Tamba – Commissioner General Mrs. Dekontee King Sackie – Deputy Commissioner General for Ops/Technical Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Board of Directors Cllr. Robert C. Tubman – Chairman of the Board of Directors Mr. Charles R. Bright – Member Mrs. Aletha Brown Cooper – Member Minister of Finance – Statutory Member Minister of Justice – Statutory Member Minister of Commerce & Industry – Statutory Member Commissioner General of the LRA – Statutory Member Ministry of Public Works Mr. Claude Langley

ELFREDA TAMBA HEADS REVENUE AUTHORITY

related prior and on-going actions by Government in response to the threats and challenges engendered by this serious transnational crime which uses Liberia as both a transit and destination point. She disclosed that in 2005, the Transitional Legislative Assembly of the National Transitional Government passed an Act that banned and criminalized all forms of human trafficking in Liberia. This was followed by the establishment of a National Task Force along with a Secretariat, as well as Standard Operating Procedures. This was further enhanced in April 2013 when the Government amended the Penal Law regarding extortion, environmental crimes, trafficking in human beings and illicit migrant smuggling, thereby reinforcing the legal framework responsible for dealing with these interrelated international crimes. Prior to putting in place the legal framework and relevant structures to face the menace of trafficking in persons in the country, the Government of Liberia had earlier acceded to the United Nations (UN) Convention against transnational organized crime and its protocol to prevent, suppress and punish perpetrators of trafficking in persons; especially women and children. Earlier, in Special Remarks, the Acting Minister of Justice, Cllr. Wheatonia Dixon-Barnes expressed the Force’s firm commitment to pursue the fight against human trafficking in Liberia. She said though the fight is very challenging,

the Ministry of Justice is making progress in the fight. Cllr. Dixon-Barnes, also Co-Chair of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, recalled that since 2009, the Government has taken corrective measures aimed at addressing some of the structural lapses within state bureaucracy that allowed for manipulation by potential traffickers in the country. “With the formal launch of the National Action Plan, the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force is ready for the fight,” she said. United States Ambassador Deborah Malac congratulated Liberia for the successful launch and said Liberia has prioritized its efforts to combat and eliminate human trafficking in the country. She said even with limited resources, the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force continues to take concrete actions to accomplish these goals. “I commend of all you for your efforts and your success today,” she said. Ambassador Malac said the launch demonstrated the Liberian Government’s commitment to address this issue and outline how it will combat trafficking drawn on four Ps – prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership. She did admit that human trafficking is not a problem that affects only Liberia, but countries all over the world including the United States. In Liberia, she said, trafficking is often confused with smuggling and kidnapping. “When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family and is lured by false promises of a better life, but its

then imprisoned in a brothel, that’s human trafficking,” she said, adding, “It is heartless, evil and has no place in a civilized world.” She stressed that this is why the United States is partnering with Liberia to help fight this scourge. Ambassador Malac said there is a need to put perpetrators behind bars, to help victims receive the care that they need, and to stop the situation before it begins. The United Nations Police Commissioner, Greg Hinds, making remarks on behalf of the Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral, commended Liberia for taking strides in the fight against trafficking in persons. He said the Action Plan will certainly cement the actions, processes and procedures that will be undertaken by the Liberian Government and its partners in relation to combating this crime. Speaking on behalf of Civil Society Organizations, the head of the Community Watch Forum of Liberia, Emmanuel Kollimealyne reiterated that Government’s actions should match the pronouncements that there will be zero tolerance towards perpetrators. The Plan, renewable every five years, provides for its incorporation into Government’s five year national development program (Agenda for Transformation), to ensure recurrent budgetary and sustainable support. In terms of its vision, the Plan outlines four program areas of focus: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, and Partnership

 

Sirleaf Names Officials to Liberia Revenue Authority, Ministry of Public Works, and Judiciary
Court, River Gee County Attorney Quincy A. Q. Garnett – Associate Magistrate, Clay Ashland Magisterial Court, Montserrado County Attorney John Lafayette Griggs – Associate Magistrate, Arthington Magisterial Court, Montserrdo County Attorney Lionel B. Clarke – Associate Magistrate, Arthington Magisterial Court, Montserrado County Attorney Daniel P. Charles – Associate Magistrate, Gardnersville Magisterial Court, Montserrado County Attorney Eric N. Cooper – Associate Magistrate, Paynesville Magisterial Court, Montserrado County Mr. Enoch S. Garlawolu – Notary Public, Commercial Court, Montserrado County

– Deputy Minister for Technical Services Mr. Jackson J. Paye – Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services Ms. Lauretta E. Reffell – Assistant Minister for Administration Mr. N. Pawon Boayue – Assistant Minister for Operations The Judiciary Attorney Karsor K. Zubah – Traffic Judge, Bensonville Traffic Court, Montserrado County Colonel Sinyeneltu Gea-Weah – Traffic Judge, River Gee Traffic Court Montserrado County Attorney Benjamin B. W. Jlah – Debt Judge, River Gee Debt

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

QUASHED! CHINESE MAKING LIFE DIFFICULT FOR US
Judge Kaba dismisses acquittal motion in Belgian’s murder trial

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Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com

Rock-Crushers complaint of Chinese involvement in commercial rock crushing
Henry Karmo (0886522495) henrykarmo47@gmail.com

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everal residents of the ELWA rockcrusher community in Paynesville have complained of being denied their means of livelihood by the Chinese involvement into commercial rock-crushing. According to the residents, rock-crushing using their bare hands has been a way of life for survival and bread winning for their families, for the past decade, but with the involvement of the Chinese in the business their living condition has gone from bad to worst. In an interview with FrontPageAfrica, the residents complained that people no longer buy their rocks despite the similarity in prices and quality compare to the ones being sold by the Chinese which is resulting in hard cost of living for them and their dependents. Madam Viola M.Y. Saturday in her early fifty’s is a widow and mother of four children. According to Viola because of the situation her four children, three of whom are girls are currently out of school because she cannot afford to pay their fees.

 She tells FPA that she wakes up every morning reshaping her pile of rocks with the hope that customers will pass by and ask for the price of her rocks to put money in her pocket and get her children back in school. Viola also tells FrontPageAfrica that her involvement into crushing rocks dates as far back as 1990 at which time, according to her she received a reward because customers were buying daily.

 Viola said: “By then people bought our rocks, we used the money to send our children to school and sustain ourselves, but since the involvement of the Chinese in commercial rock-crushing, things have become even more difficult than we can imagine. I want the government to get involved; the Chinese came to build roads and not to sell rocks to us. This country is our country we cannot sit and surrender our livelihood to foreigners and we die by starvation this is not fair to us as Liberians.”

 Voila also says, because of the situation she has been restricted to sit home, which has now reduced her to a mere beggar. Unlike Viola Mr. Joe Zeon is also involved in the stone quarrying business, but for Zeon he buys crushed rocks from people who crush it with their bare hands, and sell on a daily basis to others.

According to Zeon since the 90s, he has been involved in crushing rocks which have immensely contributed to the improvement

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are not afraid of paying taxes, we want to pay taxes if the government can come in and we form ourselves into cooperative and they empower us that we can even get a mini-crusher to crush our rocks we will still pay their taxes, we could even pay for those materials that will be given to us,” he added.

 Asked if as Liberians involved in rock crushing they want the Liberian government to place a ban on Chinese companies involved in commercial rocks-crushing he said; “Well, I don’t really see the need, but what we want is that government should set limitations, Chinese should supply contractors while we supply rocks for residential projects."

"My brother, we are like strangers in our own home why can’t we practice from our neighboring countries they are successful today because of respect for their citizens we should be given first priority”.

Like Zeon, Mr. Isaac Tian is another rock-dealer who complained of being out of business because of the Chinese involvement. Tian blamed government officials for the situation because according to him, they do not have an interest in the welfare of their citizens, but are only interested in what they can get for themselves and their families.

 Tian said: “my brother we will not be surprised to know that our government has sold our country to foreigners. Why Chinese man should be given the right to mine our sand from our beaches and sell it to us expensive and in foreign currency this is bad. "

 "What I want this government to do is that if a Chinese man comes to build our roads, let them focus on building our roads and not to crush rocks to sell to individuals. We are suffering we crush the rocks with our bare hands and don’t get the dividend of our labor this is not fair.”

of his life. He claimed that rockcrushing and buying has helped him build a house and sent his children to school, but since the involvement of the Chinese things have gone badly for him.

 Zeon said: “The Chinese have become a real hindrance to our business, we don’t sell rocks any longer we understand that government needs investors but there should be a limitation. The investors’ interest cannot surpass the interest of its citizens rendering them destitute in their own home”.

He continued: “We have Liberian women and men from Lofa, Nimba, Grand-Gedeh and Grand Bassa Counties in

this place crushing rocks with their bare hands for livelihood. The rock-crushed here is what enable former Transitional President Gyude Bryant to build his House, pave the New-Kru Town and Logan Town roads so we have done a whole lot of jobs we supported the Somalia drive, and some areas where National construction work were being carried out so you can’t say we don’t have what Is needed.”

He welcomed the imposition of taxes by the Liberian government on commercial rocks dealers if only government can empower them by providing them with a mini-crusher. “We

riminal Court ‘A’ has dismissed a 15-count motion   filed by Cllr. Charles Brumskine and others on behalf of the defendants in the ongoing murder trial of Liberia Agricultural Company (LAC) plantation manager Bruno Michel, who was shot dead in the vicinity of LAC in Grand Bassa County on November 17, 2007. Brumskine and team wanted the case dismissed on the ground of double jeopardy and the defendants acquitted due to improper transfer of the case from the magisterial to the circuit court. But the state, led by Montserrado County attorney Daku Mulbah, resisted in a 28-count motion. After due consideration, Judge Yusuf Kaba ruled that the rationale for involving the magistrate and justice of the peace in matters over which they do not have trial jurisdiction is to ensure that a criminal defendant who is arrested when the grand jury is not sitting should be accorded an opportunity to test the evidence of the state so as to determine whether probable cause exist that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed the same. In an 11-page ruling, Kaba opined that where an indictment is secured against a defendant for the commission of an offense, it can’t be said to be a deprivation of constitutional rights when a preliminary examination commenced prior thereto was prematurely terminated. “The records from the magisterial court shows that the preliminary examination that was been held by that court lasted for a little over two months; that is to say almost for the duration of a term of court. Was it therefore not expedient for the matter to have been taking to the grand inquest especially considering that the grand jury was then in session. “This court sees no infringement on any constitutional rights of the movants. The court also does not see the relationship between the premature terminations of preliminary examination; although an indictment was subsequently procured in keeping with law, and a motion to dismiss the charge and to acquit the defendants,” said the judge when ruling on whether the allege manner and procedure adopted for the transfer of the main suit from the magisterial to circuit court constitute a ground for the dismissal of the action and the acquittal of the defendants. On whether he is legally impotent to enquire into and review the ruling of another judge of concurrent jurisdiction ordering a change of venue and assuming it was error to grant a change of place of trial, Kaba agreed with the state that he lacks the legal competence to review the opinion of Grand Bassa County Circuit Court judge, Benedict Holt, who transferred the case to Monrovia. “It is enshrined in our practice and procedure and the Supreme Court has affirmed and re-affirmed in numerous cases, that a judge lacks the legal competence and authority to review the act of his colleague of concurrent jurisdiction. “Assuming that our predecessor judge erred in granting the motion for a change of venue, or that the defence counsel acted unprofessional in not demanding an investigation and/or objecting to the court’s determination on the same, the movants have adequate remedy provided for by law other than an application to this court to act as an appellate court to review the act of a court of concurrent jurisdiction,” Kaba pointed out. And on whether the declaration of a mistrial and the awarding of a new trial were not based upon the existence of manifest necessity and hence the defendants are entitled to the dismissal of the action and an acquittal, Kaba again reminded the defendants’ counsels that there exist narrow terrains within which he may consider the decision of Holt. “This terrain is clearly spelt out under section 41.7 of the civil procedure law. Had the trial judge disbanded the trial jury without the benefit of an investigation, this court would have been properly position to declare the voidness of the act of the judgment. But in the instant case, the [then] chief justice who is said to have provided the information requested for an investigation; the court conducted an investigation; the parties participated in the investigation. “And the court found, at the conclusion of the investigation, that indeed there was evidence that the jurors were tampered with and identified the source of such tampering. If this court does not have appellate jurisdiction over this matter, then under what authority will this court review the outcome of such a proceeding? “Wherefore and in view of the foregoing, it is the considered ruling of this court that the movants’ motion to dismiss the case and to acquit the defendants, is hereby order denied and dismissed,” he said. The case is expected to resume on Wednesday.

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OBAMA: NO, ROMNEY WAS WRONG. RUSSIA IS WEAK, NOT STRONG

IN BRIEF

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uring a press conference today in The Netherlands, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked President Obama if he thought "Mitt Romney had a point" when he said in 2012 that Russia was America's "number one" geopolitical foe. Obama took advantage of the question to slam his current political opponent, Vladimir Putin. Karl's question began with a challenge. "In China, Syria, and Egypt — and now in Russia — we have seen you make strong statements and issue warnings that have been ignored. Are you concerned that America's influence in the world, your influence in the world, is on the decline?" And, he added, in light of recent developments, have you rethought your critiques of Romney?

WOMAN FREED AFTER SERVING 32 YEARS IN '81 KILLING

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LOS ANGELES (AP) —   74-year-old California woman is free after serving 32 years of a life sentence for her role in a 1981 killing. Mary Virginia Jones walked out of Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood around 11 p.m. Monday and was met by joyful family and friends, the Los Angeles Times (http://lat. ms/Qb7UGr ) reported. Jones was convicted of firstdegree murder, kidnapping and robbery and sentenced to life without parole for a killing committed alongside boyfriend Mose Willis, who died while on death row.
DEATH PENALTIES HIGHLIGHT EGYPT'S LEGAL WAR ON ISLAMISTS

BEIJING/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) ozens of angry relatives of passengers on a lost Malaysian jetliner clashed with police in Beijing on   Tuesday, accusing the Southeast Asian country of "delays and deception" a day after it confirmed the plane crashed in remote seas off Australia. About 20 to 30 protesters threw water bottles at the Malaysian embassy and tried to storm the building, demanding to meet the ambassador, witnesses said. Earlier, the relatives, many with tear-stained faces, had linked arms and chanted "Malaysian government has cheated us" and "Malaysia, return our relatives" as they marched peacefully and held banners. The relatives' grief and anger was unleashed on Monday night after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished more than two weeks ago while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean. Citing satellite-data analysis by British firm Inmarsat, he said there was now no doubt that the Boeing jet came down in the ocean in one of the most remote places on Earth - an implicit admission that all 239 people on board had died. Bad weather in the region far off Australia's western coast on Tuesday forced the suspension of the search for any wreckage, just as a series of satellite images and other sightings of floating objects had raised hopes that debris from the plane would be found. Malaysia's confused initial response to the Boeing 777's disappearance and a perception of poor communications has enraged many relatives of

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‘WE WAITED FOR 18 DAYS’
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n Egyptian court's   sentencing of 529 people to death for rioting has fixed the spotlight on a massive legal war on the Islamist opposition, with thousands in prison and hundreds more convicted in mass trials. Many of an estimated 15,000 suspects in prison are languishing without charges in overcrowded and filthy cells, rights lawyers say. The ones who do manage to reach the courts, mostly accused of violence in the months after the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, are usually convicted in quick trials, setting off a confusing and lengthy appeals process.

Canadian woman managed to convince her boyfriend and her town that she was pregnant with quintuplets for 34 weeks. It was only when Barbara Bienvenue, 37, went to the hospital to deliver the babies this month that doctors pulled her boyfriend aside to tell him she wasn't pregnant and never had been, according toCTV, a Canadian news station. "I lost everything, it was my whole life," her boyfriend Paul Servat told the Toronto Sun, adding that Bienvenue told him she was expecting twins, then triplets, then quadruplets, then quintuplets. He said her belly grew, and she experienced morning sickness and lactation. Marie-Pier Gagnon, a reporter for Le Canada Français, a local French-language newspaper that covers Saint-Jean-surRichelieu, Quebec, reported on Jan. 23 that the couple was expecting quadruplets. They would be named Alexander, Sebastian, Charles and Rosalie, and they would be born via

WOMAN HAS PHANTOM PREGNANCY, WITH QUINTUPLETS

the more than 150 Chinese passengers and strained ties between Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. After Najib's announcement, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng demanded Malaysia hand over all relevant satellite analysis showing how Malaysia had reached its conclusion about the fate of the jet. In a separate statement, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China would ask Malaysia to provide more detailed and accurate information on the plane, according to a government microblog account. Chinese President Xi Jinping will send a special envoy to Kuala Lumpur to consult with the Malaysian government, state news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday. ANGER, GRIEF A group reportedly representing families issued a statement describing the Malaysian airline, government and military as "executioners" who constantly tried to delay and deceive them. "We will take every possible

means to pursue the unforgivable crimes and responsibility of all three," said the statement on the microblog of the Malaysia Airlines MH370 Family Committee. The relatives protesting in Beijing held signs that said: "MH370, Don't let us wait too long!" and "1.3 billion people are waiting to greet the plane". They wore matching t-shirts that said: "Best of luck to MH370, return home safely." "We've waited for 18 days and still, you make us wait. How long are we supposed to hang on?" a woman surnamed Zhang told Reuters. The protest ended after a few hours, when police told protesters to get on buses and escorted them away. Criticism of the Malaysian national carrier mounted after some relatives of those on board first received the news that the search for survivors was over in an SMS from the airline, which said: "We have to assume beyond all reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and none of those

on board survived." At a news conference at Kuala Lumpur's international airport on Tuesday, company officials defended the move, saying the text message had only been sent as a "last resort" to ensure that some relatives did not hear the news first from media. "This is a time of extraordinary emotions and we fully understand," said Malaysia Airlines Chairman Mohd Nur Yusof. "In fact, we really feel for the next of kin. In terms of how they react, it's emotional." Asked whether he would resign over the crisis, the airline's chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said that would be a "personal decision" to be made at a later time. WRECKAGE COULD HOLD KEY Flight MH370 vanished from civilian radar screens less than an hour after taking off on March 8. No confirmed debris from the plane has been found since. Investigators believe someone on the flight may have shut off the plane's communications

systems. Partial military radar tracking showed it turning west and re-crossing the Malay Peninsula, apparently under the control of a skilled pilot. Recovery of wreckage could   unlock clues about why the plane had diverted so far off course. Theories range from a hijacking to sabotage or a possible suicide by one of the pilots, but investigators have not ruled out technical problems. As a result of the new satellite analysis, the international search effort has been narrowed to focus solely on the southern end of the possible route - a still massive area of 469,000 sq miles (1.2 million sq km) - Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters. The search site is far from commercial flight paths about 2,500 km (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth, a region of deep, frigid seas known as the Roaring 40s where stormforce winds and huge waves are commonplace.

Cesarean section on Feb. 22 at the CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal. Photos of a colorful room with wallto-wall cribs accompanied the article. Gagnon wrote that the news spurred a movement on social networks to help the couple, and donations poured in. Then, on March 20, Gagnon published another article,

revealing that Bienvenue was never pregnant. Local police spokesman Sgt. Luc Tougas said his department is aware of the Bienvenue story, but it has not received any formal fraud complaints from the people who donated money and baby things to the couple. "The spouse, who was also jilted with this whole story,

has been reimbursing some of the associations," Tougas told ABCNews.com. "He was also very stunned. Right now, this woman is at the hospital undergoing psychiatric treatment. We suspect some mental issues." A Facebook page soliciting donations for the babies has since been taken down. ABC News sent an email to

the account set up to handle donations, but there was no   response. Bienvenue experienced a phantom pregnancy, or pseudocyesis, and she is receiving psychiatric care, The Sun reported. Pseudocyesis is a very rare disorder in which a woman experiences all the symptoms of pregnancy, but is not pregnant.

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ankrolled by Robert Sirleaf, Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) have retained the Liberia National football Association 2013/204 National football league. BYC were on Tuesday crowned champions following a 0-0 draw with LISCR FC in the league last clash at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia. The championship is BYC second in two successive seasons. BYC head Coach Robert Lartey told FrontPageAfrica that he was very happy for his side winning the championship for the second successive season under his leadership. Says Coach Lartey: “First of all I just want to say thank you to the all Mighty God for all what he has done for me and the club from the beginning of the season to this day and I also want to be grateful to my players, members of the technical staff, support staff and fans of BYC for the support they all gave to the team which led to our success today.” The coach acknowledged that his success on the team means that they are hardworking, dedicated to the job and they did everything to claim the championship. Coach Lartey paid homage to BYC Board Chairman Mr. Robert Sirleaf who appointed him as Head coach of the club. He said Mr. Sirleaf has confidence in him and that as head coach he has for the past two seasons contributed to the team success locally and internationally. BYC and LISCR missed several goal scoring opportunities in both

BYC Wins LFA First Division League for the Second Successive Season
A. A. Macaulay Sombai, sombai121@gmail.com

CHAMPIONS!

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ETO'O: MOURINHO 'SOMETIMES LOSES HIS MIND'

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half of the match but the game was a competitive one as both sides played with great determination. The Liberian club made headlines recently by eliminating one of Ghana’s traditional cubs, Kumasi Asante Kotoko on away goals after the two leg CAF Champions

our clubs have protested the just ended elections of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) to the elections appeals committee. They are Monrovia Club Breweries president Samuel Ashley, Keitrace FC president Korpo Beatrice Kpoto, NPA Sports Association president Cyrus Wright and Aries FC president Lemuel Sherman. Although they wrote a different letter, their contention was tied around the casting of ballots in a sealed and unobserved room, which they say, violated article 17 of the LFA electoral code during the 19th ordinary congress on March 22 in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. “Article 17 says before the start of the voting procedure, the urn (ballot box) which shall be transparent where possible, shall be opened and presented to the affiliates of LFA congress. “It shall then be closed and placed in a visible position near to the members of the electoral committee. During the vote, the urn shall be monitored by one of the members of the electoral committee.” They have former Supreme Court Associate Justice Karmo Soko Sackor and his committee to correct the wrongs. During the congress, ex-LFA secretary-general Nyanqueh

LACKING TRANSPARENCY
DELEGATES SLAM LFA CONGRESS IN BUCHANAN, GRAND BASSA COUNTY
Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com

league ended 2-2. BYC were defeated 2-1 in the first leg and managed a historic 1-0 victory on home soil seeting up a showpiece with Ivory Coast Sewe’s Sport. BYC were eliminated 4-3 on aggregate after letting in 3 goals at home and were dealt the final blow

with a 1-0 defeat in Abidjan. After winning the national league, BYC now hopes to improve on their performance in the 203/2014 edition of the continental competition. Abraham Karpeh of LISCR received red card in the second half

of the match for going contrary to the rules of the game. NPA Anchors defeated Ganta Black Star 3-1 in the day other encounter at the Blue Field Sports ground on Lynch Street.

 

helsea striker Samuel Eto'o says Jose Mourinho “sometimes loses his mind” in the buildup to big matches. The Blues boss oversaw an impressive 6-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday, which pushed the club four points clear at the top of the Premier League table. But Mourinho was caught out earlier this season, as he appeared to call Eto'o old during a sponsor's event in Nyon — and was unaware he was being filmed. MORE: Chicharito out of Mexico's XI | Madrid surrenders title supremacy But the Cameroon striker has now put the jibe down to Mourinho putting too much pressure on himself. "He becomes someone else in the buildup to matches,” he told beIN Sports. “Like any human being, he sometimes loses his mind.

 

OSCAR PISTORIUS UNCERTAIN TO TAKE WITNESS STAND

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HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK

PRETORIA, South Africa – s the prosecution in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial rested its case Tuesday, a member of the star athlete's family told journalists from the front row of the public gallery, "He's ready" to take the stand. Pistorius appeared resigned but resolute, murmuring as he left court, "It's a tough time. We've got a lot of stuff ahead of us." The Paralympian, accused of premeditated murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013, is expected to testify Friday. It is respected practice in the South African legal system for the accused to give evidence before any other defense witnesses are called.

 

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Borsah, vice president Adolph Lawrence, Georgian FC president Wilmot Smith, LISCR FC Mustapha Raji as well as Kpoto protested the placement of the ballot box and voting method but to no avail. Although Caf vice president Almamy Kabelee Camara and Fifa development office for West Africa Sampon Kablan were complained to, they said they were   observers who didn’t want to interfere in the electoral process but would note all discrepancies. The letters were received by a secretariat staff, Abel A. Cummings on March 24, and were sent to the committee. Former LFA executive committee Garmondeh Karnga has said that the

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secret ballot method has the potential   to raise suspicion of pre-marked ballots that were placed in the box. But LFA communications director Henry Flomo Tuesday posted on facebook that the delegates’ argument is mute since they participated in the elections despite their protest during the congress. The ruling is expected this week.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -all of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is expected to have surgery again following the recurrence of cancer that his wife described as aggressive and ''starting to spread.'' Doctors for the 54-year-old former Buffalo Bills star are leaning toward surgery Thursday or perhaps April 1 at a New York City hospital, brother Dan Kelly told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Kelly's doctors in Buffalo said March 14 the cancer was found to have returned when Kelly had follow-up tests after surgery last June to remove cancerous cells from his upper jaw.

 

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DANGEROUS OVERLOAD Liberia’s Coal Business And the Risks

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visitor was to Monrovia was shocked to see the way people sit on top of pickups loaded with bags of coal on the Bushrod Island. This visitor could not come to comprehend that it was possible for these people to pass through police checkpoints without being stopped. It is a regular routine for these drivers and their apprentices involved in transporting charcoal to Monrovia from the interior, it only takes them a few Liberian dollars to get past police checkpoints.