30 July 2014

Africa: America On Corruption - No Visa for Corrupt African Officials

Monrovia — Barely weeks after the United States of America cancelled the visas of three Liberian officials, FrontPageAfrica has gathered as reported by GhanaWeb that corrupt government officials from Ghana and all over Africa will be denied visas into the United States as part of moves by the U.S. to clamp down on corruption in Africa.

According to the Ghanaian news outlet, the move, which was initially only applicable to only a number of African countries, will now cover all. Africa has been battling with corruption for decades.

The West has been heavily criticised by civil society organizations for not doing enough to help the continent deal with the matter, among others. Most of Africa's corrupt officials spend and stash their booty in the West.

Quoting a senior American official, the report states that the Principal Deputy Assistant secretary at the Department of State's bureau of African Affairs for the US, Robert Jackson, told Citi FM's Vivian Kai Mensah that America will not issue visas to government officials in Africa that are corrupt.

'We are not giving visas to them anymore.'

Meanwhile, about forty African leaders, including Ghana's John Mahama, will be meeting with US President, Barack Obama, next week for the US-Africa Leaders Summit.

Here in Liberia a FrontPageAfrica revelation week reported that three officials, including Associate Supreme Court Justice Kabineh J'aneh, Youth and Sports Minister Eugene Nagbe, and Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff were denied entry either en route or upon entry in the U.S. after they were granted visas by the embassy in Monrovia in diplomatic passports. The trio had some affiliation with different rebel groups during Liberia's civil war, which lasted from 1989 to 2003.

Information Minister Lewis Brown confirmed that three senior Liberian government official's one from each branch of the government visas have been revoked by the United States government. The Minister said the government of Liberia like any other responsible government around the world will write the U.S. government inquiring why those senior officials' visas were revoked.

Said Brown: "We are hearing all sorts of speculations, some claiming that my visa has been revoked. These are all speculations that are totally untrue." Responding to questions that the US has requested President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to present the blueprint of all those accused of war and economic crimes, the Minister described the comment as totally False, noting that the U.S. government respects Liberia as a sovereign state. The United States Embassy in Monrovia also confirmed the reports of the cancellation of visa of some Liberian government officials.

"We are aware of reports that several Liberian government officials had their U.S. visas cancelled recently. Under U.S. law, we cannot comment on individual visa cases. That said, the partnership between the United States and Liberia remains strong. "

"We have worked together through many difficult times. We are committed to supporting Liberia and her people as they seek to foster democracy and economic growth and to rebuild the country", the Embassy indicated in a Statement.

In the wake of the latest development, there is growing fear amongst Liberian officials majority of whom have their families residing in the United States and pay frequent visit there.


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