Liberia: Diplomats' Expulsion Confirmed

Liberia's Ministry of Foreign Affiars
30 November 2017

Days after it was reported that two Liberian diplomats have been expelled from the United Kingdom, the Liberian Government has now confirmed the report.

In a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government confirmed the British Government's decision to expel the two Foreign Service officers.

The Ministry said it has received, through Liberia's Embassy near London, the United Kingdom the decision of Her Majesty's Government to declare the two Liberian diplomats persona non-grata.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, though the British Government has not cited reasons for their decision and is not obliged to provide an explanation, according to Article 9 (1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961, the Liberian Government has taken note of the decision of Her Majesty's Government.

"In that light, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has begun to arrange the departure of the two officers, Mr. Jay Napoleon Toquie II and Mr. Chester Dweh Barh, Sr. and their respective families back to Liberia before the decision of the British Government takes effect on January 8, 2018," the release concluded.

The news of the two Liberian diplomats' expulsion broke out early this week.

The two diplomats were informed of their expulsion status through a communication via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the U.K. Government.

"I am writing to formally inform you that Her Majesty's government, in accordance with Article 9(1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, has today, November 21, 2017, advised two members of your mission through writing that they are persona non grata with immediate effect from January 8, 2018," the letter said.

The letter, which was written by Barry Nicholas of the Diplomatic Missions and Foreign Organizations Unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, informs the Charge d' Affaires of the Liberian Embassy in London, Mr. Ibrahim Nyei, about the UK government's decision.

Families and all other dependents of the two expelled diplomats were also affected by the declaration and have also been notified of Her Majesty, the Queen's government decision.

Though the letter did not provide further details about the expulsion of the two Liberian diplomats, however, it cited Article 9(1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

"The receiving State may at any point in time without having to explain its decision, notify the sending State that the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff is persona non grata or that any other member of the staff of the mission is not acceptable... "

It is not really known as to why the two Liberian diplomats have been expelled. However, diplomatic sources said the British Police have succeeded gathering several pieces of evidence against the two Liberian diplomats.

Mr. Toquie, II, was commissioned in 2007 by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the First Secretary and Consul of the Embassy of Liberia to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while Mr. Barh serves as Counselor at the Embassy in London.

Their exempt status from immigration control will expire on January 18, 2018 when the declaration takes full effect, according to the letter.

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