13 February 2013

Liberia: Gov. Reaffirms Confidence in Ambassador Thomas

The Government of Liberia has reaffirmed its confidence in Ambassador McKinley Thomas and described a brutality report in the media as baseless and misleading.

Ambassador Thomas is Liberia's Ambassador to France and UNESCO.

In a strongly-worded statement issued last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the publication as false and misleading.

Last week, the Front Page Newspaper reported that Ambassador Thomas had brutalized an embassy staff and taken out his teeth in 2009.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs categorically states that it is unaware of any incident of such nature as alleged, and reported by the FrontPage Newspaper involving Ambassador Thomas, is therefore not in receipt of any complaint from any Liberian organization in Paris to that effect," the statement said.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms its full confidence in Ambassador Thomas, and considers him as one of Liberia's finest and most effective post conflict diplomats. He has maintained outstanding character and comportment throughout his long tenure as Liberia's representative in Paris," the statement further added.

In recent times, there has been series of publications against Ambassador Thomas; some alleging that he beat his cook for cold rice business.

According to sources, these publications have been orchestrated by one Josephus Gray at the embassy in Paris with the aim of becoming taking over the mission. This paper called made several calls at his Paris residence to verify, but there was no answer.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted with dismay numerous published articles which are tantamount to a smear campaign against Ambassador Thomas, with the aim of assassinating his character and destroying his excellent reputation. This smear campaign may also be construed as intended to tarnish the image of the Republic of Liberia in France where Ambassador Thomas ably represents it," the statement further said.

This is the second time for a statement of support for Ambassador Thomas. Last week, the Association of Liberians in France condemned similar report and said Ambassador Thomas was rather supportive of Liberians in France.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs further states that it has no report, either from the Ambassador or the French Government concerning any incident of assault, adding that there would have been a situation report from the French Police through the French Foreign Ministry to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia had such incident occurred."

The statement continued; "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that it is taken aback by the publication by the FrontPage Newspaper for failing to contact the Ministry or Ambassador Thomas to balance its report."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also wants to make it abundantly clear that Ambassador Thomas did not just show up in Monrovia as the Frontpage Newspaper tries to portray, but rather is on official diplomatic assignment duly approved by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Thomas was one of the official delegates at the just ended High Level Panel held in Monrovia.

The ministry issued this warning: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns Liberians in the Diaspora to be mindful and respectful of the character of individuals and the country even when they have grievances to express. The Ministry also calls on the media to carefully counter check information before releasing same."

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