By Liberian Interest Group ~ (May 2 2006)
"...We witnessed and heard the unprofessional and corrupt activities at the Liberian Embassy in Washington. More than that took place in other Liberian Embassies especially the Middle East. ...”
When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made her first surprise visit to the Ministry Finance a few months ago, she took a bold decision to dismiss the entire staff of the ministry. The president's office later clarified that only political appointments during the interim regime were to be affected by the decision. Many people reasoned with the president because majority of those appointments did not meet any professional requirement. As a result most of them were unqualified.
Not only was the Ministry of Finance effected by such problems, many other ministries in the country, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Service are also effected by corruption.
Many unprofessional appointments were made involving unqualified elements in the Foreign Service which is supposed to be responsible for projecting the good image of the government and the nation abroad, as well as the integrity of the Government.
Liberian Embassies/Missions effected by this corruption are the Liberian Embassies in the United States of America in Washington, the Embassy in Saudi Arabia, the Embassy in Tokyo Japan and many other important Liberian missions abroad.
Everyone saw such unprofessional attitudes on the part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during both Charles Taylor's government and the Interim administration which tarnished the good image of Liberia abroad, especially in the United States of America which is one of the most important partners to Liberia. We witnessed and heard the unprofessional and corrupt activities at the Liberian Embassy in Washington. More than that took place in other Liberian Embassies especially the Middle East.
Some of those officers pose serious national Security threat to the country. For example, exactly what is being said in the media in and outside Nigeria about the Liberian Embassy's is similar to things that Liberian Diplomats are doing in Japan, Saudi Arabia, and other parts of the world.
They are in the business of giving safe passage to transnational criminals including black money dealers under diplomatic cover. They drive these criminals to airports to leave the country after succeeding in robbing innocent businessmen of big cash. They aid them in evading security checks in exchange of cash.
According to Nigerian news, Charles Taylor was driven to the Nigerian border in a Liberian embassy car with plate number 81 CD 85, as reported by Agence France Presse (AFP) and the Liberian newspaper The Analyst. Though the Embassy has denied such allegations, the fact remains that such behaviors post serious security threats to the Liberia government and it image.
The image of Liberia is equally very important, and the government has to strongly intervene in cleaning up the Foreign Service by getting rid of those unprofessional officers from some of our most important missions who are bent on destroying the good image of Liberia. Beside the problem lack of qualification of most of our foreign service officers, there is also the issue of anti-government attitudes.
The government of Saudi Arabia for example has been very much patient with the administration of the Liberian Embassy in that country. Their record of forgery and smuggling has become quite common place.
In Nigeria recently a Cameroonian black money dealer was arrested by police and found with a Liberian Diplomatic passport with attachment in Riyadh Saudi Arabia.
Beside the problems of their inability to effectively run the missions is also their anti-government sentiment.
Most of these Foreign Service Officers, as unqualified as they are, were simply given appointment in the Foreign Service as a result of Mr. Masalley taking bribes from them. MR. Masalley has built an empire of unqualified Foreign Service officers who he calls his "SPECIAL INTEREST". Some examples are the many Honorary Consuls, Consul Generals and Special Envoys appointed in the Gulf States and other Asian Countries by Mr. Masalley and the Former Foreign Minister in the Interim Government Mr. Niminey.
"THE ROLE OF THE UNITY PARTY IN FIGHTING CURRUPRION AND UNPROFESSIONAL ETHICHCS IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE"
As is usually the case, the ruling political party of the country has a greater role to play in formulating some of the policy agenda about the country's future. Liberian Interest is of the view that the Unity Party will do different business at this time; different from the kind of corruption that were perpetrated in the past government and mainly encouraged by top members of the ruling parties. We feel that the party must be an instrument of the government to weed out corrupt practices.
HOW THE PARTY CAN DO THAT?
It is being heard now in Monrovia that recommendations on the decision of appointment in the government will be coming from the Unity Party. This is an encouraging thing. However, are the party elites going to abuse this power by simply recommending people without merit system that is being preached by the Her Excellency the President?
Disturbing information are reaching us that unqualified elements from the Foreign Service who were appointed without any regards to merit system, but simply based on what they could give in bride to the former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Abel Masalley (now Senate committee Chairman on Foreign Relations) and his boss Niminey.
It was a bidding system based on "who gives the highest bribe". That was exactly how elements from the Middle East and other parts of the world in the Liberian Foreign Service got their appointments. Everyone saw without any doubt how most of these officers peril the image of the Liberia abroad. Most of these people are now heading to Monrovia to re-secure their positions, now from the Unity Party with the hope giving the highest bribes to anyone in the party since in fact their qualification can not give them these jobs.
The Liberian Interest is calling on the Unity Party top strongly review the characters and qualifications of officers from the following Liberian Missions and their impact on the image of our country:
1. Liberian Embassy in Japan; Adam Bility (Charge Affair)
2. Liberian Embassy in Saudi Arabia; Zadan Sherif (Charge Affairs), Al'Husinu Kanne (First- Secretary), Mohamed Duleh (Attache)
3. Liberian Embassy in Nigeria
4. Liberian Embassy in the Washington
5. Liberian Embassy in London
6. Liberian Embassy in Paris-France
7. Liberian Consulate in Brussels
8. Liberian Embassy in Germany
9. Liberian Consulate in Dubai (UAE)
10. Liberian Mission in the IMO
What is most alarming and risky is that the majority of these people are complete enemies to the Unity Party Government under the dynamic leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Most of them will be instruments of destructions for the image of the government if they stay in the mission.
This information is intended to protect Liberia's national interests abroad. We hope the Unity Party will take it seriously and make sure that the Foreign Service is clean up.
Investigations into all of this information is welcome.
This information is also meant for the attention of Her Excellency the President.
The Foreign Service needs to be cleaned up.
Let the Liberian Government act now, otherwise it will be late.