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[ad_1] Monrovia – A whole lot of blames are floating round within the aftermath of the most important gathering of protesters because the finish of Liberia’s brutal civil battle. A deadlocked climax has left open – a window of uncertainty – with each the George Weah-led authorities – with an help from the ECOWAS Ambassador in Monrovia – and members of the Council of Patriots throwing jabs at one another as to why the petition which was leaked previous to the protest has not been formally handed to the Presidency. Report by Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected] The stage was set final Friday, June 7 as protesters descended on the middle of the three branches of presidency – The Government, Judiciary and the Legislative within the coronary heart of the nation’s capital. Signal-of-the-Instances Within the backdrop of chants and repeated performs of Hipco artist Takun J’s hit, “They Lied to Us’, protesters carried posters and took turns rallying cries of fatigue over the declining state of the economic system and disappointment within the authorities’s capacity to ship on a load of marketing campaign guarantees. It didn’t matter that the tune was recorded in the course of the earlier regime of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf the place corruption was equally a matter of main distraction for Sirleaf. For these protesters, it was the signal of the occasions. “We came here to send a message to President George Weah and his government,” lamented Cynthia Web page, who informed FrontPageAfrica that she had trekked from the Vai City space to make it right here. “They were asking people for ID cards and checking the back of cars to intimidate us so we could not be here. My friends and I got tired and decided to join the crowd and walk… . So, we are here,” she stated with a smirk suggesting angst on the further safety mounted within the metropolis because of the protest. By mid-afternoon, speculations which had been within the air for days, got here to fruition when it turned clear that Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor wouldn't be receiving the petition because the President’s workplace had promised. Protest organizers had initially insisted on President Weah receiving the petition however deserted the difficulty when the federal government’s chief spokesperson, Info Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe that VP Taylor would obtain the petition as a substitute. Mr. Nagbe stated upon receipt, the federal government will assessment the petition in a optimistic mindset and if there are parts within the petition which can be good for the nation, the Authorities will implement them. The minister averred that President Weah is not going to be the one to obtain the petition from these staging the march as is being demanded however re-echoed that the Authorities will be certain that the constitutional rights of these anticipated to kind a part of the march in addition to the rights of all Liberians are assured. COP countered Sunday, throughout a information convention that the federal government reneged on its promise. “The government earlier announced that it had designated Vice President Taylor, an elected official, to receive our petition on behalf of the government even as it was against our earlier demand that our petition was only going to be delivered to the president. We gathered out there as early as 7 am GMT to deliver our petition, waited for 11 hours on the government but they failed to live up to their own decision to send the Vice President to receive the petition.” Again-and-forth Play with Govt. Delegation By Mid-afternoon, the Government department dispatched what it could later describe as a high-power delegation which comprised the Dean of the Cupboard, Gbehzongar Findley, Minister of International Affairs, Cllr. Musa Dean, Justice Minister, Trokon Kpui, Minister of State with out Portfolio, the Safety and Authorized Advisor, Jefferson Karmoh and Cllr. Archibald F. Bernard. “We were in the Capitol building yard for more than two hours, back and forth,” Minister Dean would later inform FrontPageAfrica. “Finally, we were told the petition would be presented before the crowd. Upon reaching the float, amid the crowd, we were told that as a precondition to presentation of the petition, the Government should release the students in detention for assaulting and wounding a police officer. The students were taken to court Saturday and are currently at the notorious Monrovia Central Prison.” Each the federal government and ECOWAS would later challenge separate statements 24 hours after the protest, expressing disappointments over COP’s resolution to not ship the petition. The federal government in a press release frowned on the unwillingness of COP to current its petition after requesting the federal government to look and obtain it, recalling that the snub was the second time the COP had refused to current the identical petition to authorities. “On May 14, 2019, Unification Day, the COP declined to present its petition at a meeting brokered by international partners with President George M. Weah and promised it would have been done June 7.” However Mr. Abraham Darius Dillon, spokesperson for the COP informed FrontPageAfrica Saturday that the group was merely unwilling to embrace these designated by the federal government to obtain the petition. “We will not present our petition to appointed officials. We expected the ELECTED President or his Vice President as was designated by him.” For COP, appointed officers had no mandate from the folks and feared that the transfer was intentional on the a part of the federal government and a transparent manifestation of dangerous religion dealing from the dialogues beforehand held. “That COP wasn’t even officially informed that the VP will be sent to get the Petition did not go down well. We heard it like everyone else from Minister Nagbe on the radio,” the spokesperson stated. “The people deserved to petition their elected officials of the Executive who they gave the mandate to lead and who have the authority to make decisions to effect change as per the demands.” Nevertheless, Mr. Babatunde Ajisomo, the Particular Consultant of the President of the ECOWAS Fee threw jabs at COP. “It is disappointing to note that, with all the elaborate mediation efforts and arrangements made by the Government, Local and International Stakeholders, the petition that was to be delivered to the Government, could not take place. In spite of this, ECOWAS will, however, want the Liberian Government and people to continue to engage in constructive dialogue for sustaining peace and stability with a view to finding an amicable means of addressing genuine concerns in line with the Constitution and the Rule of Law.” COP Frowns on ECOWAS’s Bias COP would fireplace again on Sunday. In a information convention, the protest organizers took exceptions to ECOWAS’s expression of disappointment. Whereas commending worldwide companions, the organizers stated they anticipated that the ECOWAS, as a substitute of throwing delicate blows at COP, would have considered a number of points and issues, key amongst which that COP religiously adopted all of the protocols agreed with the federal government together with, however not restricted to, the next: non-use of drones; use of specified routes; use of agreed protest web site; and the necessity for residents to stay peaceable all through the protest. COP added that ECOWAS additionally failed to say it's assertion that indisputable fact that the federal government did not honor its personal pledge that it could ship the Vice President to obtain the petition on behalf of the President – a failure that angered the protesters. “The censorship of social media on the day of the protest which undermined additional mobilization efforts; non-mention of the fact that ahead of the protest, there were deliberate attempts by government to send waves of panic through the public.” Netblocks, an unbiased and non-partisan civil society group working on the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and web governance, striving for an open and inclusive digital future for all, confirmed a FrontPageAfrica report early within the day that the federal government had blocked social media exercise. “Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and messaging app WhatsApp have been blocked by internet providers in Liberia as of Friday 7 June 2019, according to real-time network measurement data from the NetBlocks internet observatory,” the group reported. Each networks, Lonestar cell and Orange have been cited. Armed safety males have been seen in communities and parading within the streets instilling concern; and, that armed safety officers have been prohibiting free motion of residents by making the presentation of ID playing cards a precondition for participation within the protest. COP took goal on the Weah administration for placing protesters by way of a cloud of suspicion, threats, intimidation and arrests within the days resulting in the arrest, ensuing within the shutdown of social media exercise Friday. “The unprovoked actions of Government to undermine our peaceful assembly by even stooping as low as preventing and denying Liberians, business People, international organizations and even their own partisans, of using the Internet and social media representative of actions from repressive regimes in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Sudan and many other countries with autocrats at the helm of power.” Regardless of the humiliation, by way of safety checks and patrol, COP stated Liberians, have been decided to make a press release to the world. COP went on to accuse the Weah-led authorities of selecting to perpetuate the dangerous governance tradition of holding political prisoners – a follow by which earlier governments indulged. “Currently, about TWENTY (20) peaceful and law-abiding youth and students are being held at the central prison in detention. We call on the government of Liberia to release those peaceful citizens that have been abducted by the state. We also noticed the used of foreign security forces on the day of protest wearing state security uniforms.” Subsequent Course of Motion? One-Month Window Regardless of the criticisms from each authorities and the ECOWAS ambassador in Monrovia, COP insisted Sunday that the petition was not introduced as a result of the President merely didn't present protesters any respect. “Our Leader, chose to deal with us NOT as his fellow citizens but as his subjects, NOT as his people but as his enemies.” Lastly making a listing of calls for official, Sunday, COP says it was placing the Weah administration on constructive discover and anticipate the federal government to answer their calls for inside one month after which we'll decide a brand new plan of action. The group chronicled a listing of deliberate violations of the procurement legal guidelines of Liberia such because the granting of contractual rights, for dealing with companies on the Roberts Worldwide Airport, awarding of Container Monitoring Quantity (CTN) contract to GTMS with out consideration for the PPCC Act, in clear violation of the Finances and PFM Regulation and the attending safety implications and witch looking of critics and members of the Opposition by way of wrongful dismissals even from the civil service and denial of alternatives within the personal sector. COP additionally highlighted the suppression of press freedom and freedom of speech by way of threats in opposition to BBC’s Jonathan Paylayleh, continuous molestation and harassment of Roots FM, denial of operational license to Punch FM in addition to conversion of the Liberia Broadcasting System-owned and operated ELBC right into a Authorities’s propaganda organ and the issuance of threats in opposition to critics by officers and the continual remobilization of former combatants of the civil battle in addition to the development and acquisition of scores of luxurious personal buildings by the President within the wake of his refusal to declare his property inside six months after assuming workplace and to make public property reportedly declared to the Liberia Anti-Corruption Fee (LACC) following mounting pressures. COP went on to accuse the President of defending the governor of the Central Financial institution of Liberia Nathaniel Patray and Finance and Financial Planning Minister Samuel Tweah from prosecution whereas taking goal on the President’s resolution to announce a “retirement” plan for Governor Patray and ignoring any duty of the Financial Administration Workforce(TEMT) headed by Minister Tweah. The group additionally slammed the illegal injection of billions of over-printed Liberian banknotes with out eradicating legacy banknotes, and likewise for the illegal act carried out in the usage of some US$25m withdrawn from Liberia’s overseas reserve for a doubtful mop-up train whereas highlighting the failure and lack of capability to handle the rising inflation and trade fee thus imposing insufferable hardship on the Liberian Folks. ‘A Lot on the Table’ to DigestMoreover, the group accused the administration of flagrant disregard for worldwide regulation and nationwide reconciliation and disinterest in addressing battle and financial crimes as documented within the TRC Report, and normal disregard for the rule of regulation and good governance. It is usually calling on the federal government unconditionally go the Home Violence Invoice and improve funding (starting with the present price range) for Legal Court docket E for instances referring to girls and different rights points whereas prevailing on the administration to assessment and supply sufficient price range assist to gender equality in vital areas of integrating regulation enforcement, funding systemic packages corresponding to creation of secure houses for victims, provision of counseling packages and the event of particular insurance policies making certain common entry to sexual and reproductive well being and reproductive rights amongst a bunch of different calls for.Some shut aides to the presidency say the record of calls for may take weeks, if not months to decipher and course of earlier than any main motion may very well be taken. Others say, the calls for, not less than a few of them, are considerably unrealistic – to be determined in a single month. The place does COP draw the road? The following few days throughout the one-month window given the Weah administration may show pivotal because the organizers of Friday’s protest weigh their choices earlier than pondering the subsequent plan of action. For the instant future, time is of the essence because the clock ticks on the Weah administration to ship, particularly within the wake of the federal government’s resolution to lastly conform to go together with this system of the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF). In a season of political discontentment, supporters of each the federal government and COP are nonetheless arguing over crowd numbers and legitimacy. Claims and counter claims have dominated dialogue boards within the stratosphere of social media. Misplaced within the who gained or who misplaced debate is the small print of the petition and the way significantly the federal government takes the problems raised. Legal professional Lamin Kpargoi put it succinctly in a Fb Publish on the weekend: “The document has a clear list of action points. I don’t agree with everything they have, but I’m sure even the crafters don’t agree on all the points included. If there is going to be a dialogue, they have most certainly put a lot on the table.” That although could appear unlikely, significantly for some ruling celebration hardliners like Rep. Acarous Moses Grey (Montserado County, District No. 8), who posted Sunday: “This government that I do and work with will never yield to unnecessary demands by the so-called COP. Wait for you time to govern.” Publish Views: 1 [ad_2] Source link Lennart Dodoo