Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Liberia: U.S. Ambassador Confident Locals Will Choose Ballots Over Violence

 Source: allAfrica.com

The US Ambassador to Liberia said she's hopeful that Liberia's upcoming presidential and legislative elections would be free, fair, and peaceful.

Those elections are scheduled for October 11 depending on how the Supreme Court rules on whether the leading candidates, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have met the 10-year constitutional requirement to run.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told VOA that although the US is concerned about the possibility of violence, she's confident Liberian voters will choose the ballot over violence.

She said the US has done everything possible to make the Liberian elections free, fair and transparent.

"As you may already know, the U.S. government has been providing assistance through USAID to the National Elections Commission [NEC]. We provided them technical assistance since 2009 through an $8.5m grant that was given to IFES [the International Foundation for Elections Systems].

They have been providing technical training, capacity building assistance, commodity procurement, voter education, you name it, to the NEC," she said.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said the US is also providing financial assistance for an international election observer team from the Carter Center, and working with the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the Mano River Union to give as much coverage as possible to the Liberian election through international observation.

She said she's confident the NEC will be able to conduct a free and fair election. However, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said the US remains concerned about the possibility of violence.

VOA

"I think we are concerned that we are beginning to hear some innuendo and some reference to violence that has all of us feeling somewhat uncomfortable. And I want to take the opportunity to call upon all Liberians and all political leaders to help Liberia move into the next phase of peace and prosperity," Thomas-Greenfield said.

She called on all political party leaders to issue statements discouraging their supporters from engaging in political violence.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said she's convinced Liberians will choose ballots over bullets.

"We are worried, but I think the Liberian people have seen enough violence, and I'm very confident that the people of Liberia will stand up, use their ballots as their weapons, vote for the candidate of their choice, and move Liberia forward into the future," Thomas-Greenfield said.

She said while some progress is being made, it would take some time for Liberians to fully realize the democracy dividend, especially, she said after years of civil war.

"I think the government has made some progress in the area of providing the democracy dividend. But again, Liberia went through 15 years of war, and during those 15 years, the infrastructure in this country was brought to its knee.

That cannot be rebuilt in a day. So, I think the biggest challenge has been to manage people's expectations of the dividend of peace and democracy because it does take time to rebuild," she said.

During a speech earlier this year at the graduation of Cuttington University, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said corruption was still the #1 problem facing Liberia.

She said the fight against corruption is still ongoing with the rule of law and the justice sector needing some attention.

"I think the government has made some progress, and I've said over and over to Liberians that we know more now because of freedom of press and the freedom press and the freedom of expression about the corruption than we've ever known in the past about Liberia .

We are still in a system where rule of law and the justice sector require some attention, and I think that's an area that will continue to need some focus in the next administration so that we can ensure that there's accountability," Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said.


News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Contact Me

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

DISCLAIMER

Statements and opinions expressed in articles, reviews and other materials herein are those of the authors. While every care has been taken in the compilation of information on this website/blog, and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, I cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this website/blog. The content of any organizations websites which you link to from this website/blog are entirely out of the control of Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience. They do not imply Inside Liberia With Bernard Gbayee Goah's endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at said organizations site.