28 July 2014

Liberia: Obama Continues National Emergency for Liberia, Taylor-Era

Photo: Liberia Government
U.S Ambassador Deborah Ruth Malac and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Monrovia — U.S. President Barack Obama has declared a national emergency with respect to the former Liberian regime of Charles Taylor pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706).

The Executive Order 13348, fortifies the U.S. President in dealing with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of the former Liberian President and others in particular their unlawful depletion of Liberian resources and their removal from Liberia and secreting of Liberian funds and property, which have undermined Liberia's transition to democracy and the orderly development of its political, administrative, and economic institutions and resources.

States the order: "Although Liberia has made significant advances to promote democracy, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone convicted Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the actions and policies of Charles Taylor and others have left a legacy of destruction that still challenge Liberia's transformation and recovery. "

"The actions and policies of these persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on July 22, 2004, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond July 22, 2014. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13348."

The order renewal comes in the wake of a recent visa cancellation of three members of the three branches of the Liberian government. Associate Justice Kabineh, Youth & Sports Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe and Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff all had their visas canceled and prevented from entering the U.S.

Both J'aneh and Nagbe were forced to return home after visas were canceled upon arrival at their separate destinations, Nagbe upon arrival in the U.S. and Ja'neh upon arrival in France during a stopover on his way to USA, multiple sources confirmed to FrontPageAfrica Sunday.

"They did not want to create international crisis and arrest the officials on diplomatic visas, so the visas were simply cancelled, a senior diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity told FrontPageAfrica last week. Senator Doe-Sheriff was taken off a plane in Ghana en route to the U.S.

All three officials learned upon their abrupt returns to Liberia that the US Embassy informed them that their visas were cancelled because U.S. Government indicated that they have "obtained additional information which contradicts their visa applications."

Our sources within diplomatic circles indicate that there are currently 78 former and current officials of the Liberian Government who are targeted on the US and EU sanction list for global crimes, including human rights abuses and economic crimes.

Ja'neh, who was Minister of Justice during the National Transitional Government of Liberia(NTGL) headed by Charles Gyude Bryant as a representative from the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy(LURD), was a strong advocate for U.S. troops on the ground during the course of the civil war as LURD mounted a strong offensive against Taylor's forces.

In the case of Nagbe, an autopsy report prepared after an examination of Sam Bockarie's body read during the Charles Taylor trial suggests that Nagbe was the one who deposited Bockarie's body to the Stryker Funeral Home after he was murdered.

"The Defence said public documents signed by one Jusu Momoh alleged that late Vice President Moses Blah had instructed his Chief of Office Staff, Eugene Nagbe, to deposit Bockarie's body at the Samuel Stryker Funeral home in Monrovia. In the witness's words, he said the statement was a 'blinking lie'," according to the trial transcript.

Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff, formerly of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change(CDC), en route to the U.S., was stopped in Ghana about a month ago. Doe-Sheriff is said to be one of the former foot soldiers of Taylor during the civil war.

The timing of the recent series of events coinciding with the Obama administration's transformation of the war crimes court into the Office of Global Criminal Justice, headed by Ambassador-at-Large Stephen Rapp, comes at a time when Liberia remains divided over how to handle accused perpetrators of the war.

Rapp's office also coordinates U.S. Government positions relating to the international and hybrid courts currently prosecuting persons responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity - not only for such crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia - but also in Kenya, Libya, Côte d'Ivoire, Guatemala, and elsewhere in the world.

The office works closely with other governments, international institutions, and non-governmental organizations to establish and assist international and domestic commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions, and tribunals to investigate, document, and prosecute atrocities in every region of the globe.

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