Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Liberia

Newsline: U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Resigns

Alyson Grunder will now run the affairs of the United States Embassy in Liberia following the unprecedented resignation of the Ambassador, Christine Elder, who has also departed the country. Reasons behind her resignation remain unknown. (https://frontpageafricaonline.com/front-slider/u-s-ambassador-to-liberia-resigns-departs-liberia/) Alyson Grunder arrived at U.S. Embassy Monrovia as the Deputy Chief of Mission in September 2018. Her previous assignment was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) where she led ECA’s alumni outreach, innovation, public-private partnerships, evaluation and cultural heritage divisions. A four-time public affairs officer at overseas posts, Ms. Grunder was Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at U.S. Embassy Baghdad from 2014-2015, leading the Mission’s strategic communications and public diplomacy programs in the wake of the 2014 incursions into Iraq by the ISIS terrorist group. From 1999-2001, Ms. Grunder was a press officer at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, serving as Acting Spokesperson on 9/11.

Newsline: Congo Embassy in Monrovia Entangled in Alleged Corruption Scandal

In what appears to be a huge conflict of interest and corruption, masterminded by diplomats in collusion with bankers, the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo is entangled in a suspicious transaction at the GN Bank in Monrovia. FrontPageAfrica has received a barrage of documents, which points to a bogus account that was allegedly opened by officials at the Congolese Embassy in Monrovia in order to divert funding intended for the diplomatic mission. DR Congo Embassy official did not call our reporter as he promised up to the publication of this article. It can be recalled that on October 10 and 31, 2016, the Liberia Bankers Association published a list of delinquent borrowers that owed her member banks thousands of dollars in Liberian and United States Dollars. The list also included the DRC Embassy near Monrovia as one of the debtors to Ecobank Liberia. Investigation continues.


Newsline: Two Liberian Diplomats Expelled by UK Government

The United Kingdom government has declared two Liberian diplomats serving at the Liberian Embassy in London as persona non grata. Full details of the declaration have not been disclosed but the two Liberian diplomats have been expelled from the country. Mr. Jay Napoleon Toquie, II and Mr. Chester Dweh Barh, Sr. were notified of their “persona non grata” status through a written communication via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the U.K. Government. While it remains unclear what prompted the UK decision, diplomatic sources hinted FPA that the British Police have succeeded in compiling a dossier of evidence linking the two staffs of the Liberian Diplomatic Mission in London to alleged money laundering with some Europeans, fraud, and prostitution within the Liberian Embassy. Sources say the two have often embarrassed the country by violating local laws. Our source said, one of the expelled diplomats was once upon a time accused of slavery wherein he was allegedly involved in taking Liberians to the U.K., seized their passports, kept them in his home and molested them.


Newsline: “Crook” in Spain sold Liberia’s embassy

Liberian officials say “a crook” in Spain has sold Liberia’s embassy there at over US$1m, but Spanish government have already seized proceeds of the sale and were trying to return the buyer’s money and give back Liberia its foreign mission property. Liberia’s Justice Minister and Attorney General Cllr. Federick D.Cherue said the dealer sold the embassy over US$1m, and Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara said the sale of the embassy did not link any Liberian. Without naming the buyer, Minister Kamara said the dealer actually sold the property to a man, but said further it has become a courtcase. Justice Minister Frederick Cherue said “this property was sold by a crook” who is in such habit … of causing confusion in Europe. The Justice Minister added that the alleged embassy seller forged the signatures of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Justice in the process. The Liberian Attorney General said the suspect sold the embassy over US$1 million; but the government of Spain was trying to get the money to give it back to the buyer of the property.


Newsline: Liberia Embassy in Ghana says Ebola under control

The Embassy of the Republic of Liberia in Ghana has allayed fears that the country is nearing collapse as a result of the deadly Ebola epidemic. According the the Embassy, the epidemic “is under control” in the country. The Liberian Ambassador to the United States, Jeremiah Sulunteh in an earlier interview with the media, said Liberia was “close to collapse” as a result of the devastating Ebola outbreak. So for over 3,000 affected persons have been killed. But the Charge D’Affairs of the Embassy of the republic of Liberia in Ghana, Musu Ruhle in an interview with Citi News refutted the claims. She indicated that the situation has greatly improved, “There are patients leaving the hospitals now who have been treated and are going home and we have empty beds. Before, two three months ago, there were no beds, but now there are empty beds,” she indicated. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that health-care officials would need close to six months to tackle the Ebola outbreak in the worsely affected countries – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.


Newsline: Saudi Arabia Reopens Liberian Embassy

Broken diplomatic relations between Liberia and Saudi Arabia were restored, a diplomatic communication addressed to the Liberian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal said. In that letter, the Saudi Arabian authorities warned Liberia that the reopening of its embassy in Riyadh was subject to the Liberian Government’s commitment to address abuses in the past. The Saudi authorities specified in warning Liberia that “breach of the rules by diplomats or members of the Diplomatic Mission” will not be tolerated.


Newsline: U.S. embassy workers’ families to leave Liberia amid Ebola outbreak

The U.S. State Department ordered the departure of all family members at its embassy in Liberia, one of the four West African nations hit hard by the Ebola virus. “The State Department today ordered the departure from Monrovia of all eligible family members not employed by post in the coming days,” department spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement. She said the U.S. Embassy in Liberia suggested the step “out of an abundance of caution,” adding that “Washington was focusing its efforts on helping U.S. citizens in the country as well as the Liberian government, international health organizations and local non-governmental organizations to deal with the unprecedented Ebola outbreak.” Meanwhile, additional disease specialists, including 12 disease prevention specialists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a 13-member Disaster Assistance Response Team, were sent to Liberia. The State Department also warned the U.S. nationals not to travel to Liberia. The Ebola outbreak in March has sickened 1,711 people and killed 932 so far in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Liberia and Sierra Leone account for more than 60 percent of the deaths, according to the WHO.


Newsline: British Embassy Reopens in Liberia

The British Government has officially reopened its Embassy near Monrovia following 22 years of absence resulting from the Liberian civil conflict. Performing the official dedicatory ceremony on behalf of the British Government was British Parliamentary Under Secretary of States for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Mark Simmonds who was accompanied by the Liberian Foreign Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan and the British Ambassador accredited near the Liberian capital, Ferus Cochrane-Dyet. Mr. Simmonds who is currently paying a two-day official working to Liberia visit described the re-opening of the British Embassy as a significant step in building the already excellent relationship that Liberia and the United Kingdom (UK) already has, importantly in deepening economic and trade ties.


Newsline: Liberian Embassy in Washington denies allegations of internal conflict

The wife of the Liberian Ambassador to the United States of America in Washington D.C., Mrs. Kabeh Sulunteh, and the embassy’s Minister Consular for Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Gabriel I. H. Williams, say they are shocked by running internet rumors that the ambassador has “started two nasty wars”. In an email purportedly written and addressed to The Analyst by a man calling himself, Patrick K. Flomo, “Son of Bong County”, the writer claimed that the Liberian Ambassador to the Washington D.C., Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, has become “Liberia’s ‘Embarrassment to the United States’.” The reason, he claimed, was that instead of representing Liberia honorably, Ambassador “Sulunteh has started two nasty wars – one with a junior staffer at the Embassy and another with his wife – that are speedily shaming him and the country he is supposed to be representing honorably”. But in separate statements, Mrs. Sulunteh and the minister consular described the rumors as “shameful and diabolical attempts to score cheap political points” and a “surprise”, in that order. The email writer supposed Mrs. Sulunteh to be in a fierce divorce battle with her husband and facing deportation proceedings, but in a statement she issued, she said not only that she does not know the writer but also that he did not contact her for comments. “This is to categorically state that I did not grant interview to any journalist or individual, nor am I involved in any state of war with my husband. Those who are hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet to spread such malicious information are falsely using my name to achieve their selfish motives and goals,” Mrs. Sulunteh said.


Newsline: Liberia Donates Land for Guinean Embassy

The Government of Liberia (GoL) has handed over 1.7 acres of land, valued at US$150,000 for the construction of the Guinean Embassy in Monrovia. The land, according to Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, is situated in Congo Town outside the capital. The land was made available following a request from the Guinean Government through its Embassy here several years back, Minister Ngafuan disclosed. The Liberian Foreign Minister revealed that the donation is just the beginning of the Liberian Government’s plan to extend similar gestures to other foreign missions. The Liberian Government’s gesture reflects similar one rendered it when the Guinean Government offered an ideal land for the Liberian Embassy in Conakry which is located in a prime location.