MONROVIA: Weighing the imprint being created on the country’s profile with respect to international peace and security, President George Manneh Weah has categorically denied that his government voted against the humanitarian ceasefire between the state of Israel and the Hamas militants, stressing that the earlier position of the Liberian government to vote for ceasefire was shortchanged by “someone who voted against our position and thought they were doing it against us not knowing that they did it against their own country, Liberia”
President Weah made the clarification on Sunday, December 17, 2023 when he spoke at the regular worship service of the Forkay Kloh Jlaleh Family Fellowship on the RIA against the background of criticism that Liberia could not be sensitive towards the plight of the millions of women and children caught between crossfire in a raging war where Israel is having an upper hand and accused of using heavy military force to dismantle Hamas and in the process, the huge casualties thus far have been inflicted on civilians.
The President told his congregation that he found it difficult to understand why people will give credence to the reported vote against the humanitarian ceasefire knowing very well that his antecedent of being peaceful cannot be doubted as he has demonstrated in the past that he has stood for peace.
To the astonishment of the congregation, the President said it was someone who believed “out of their own mind because George Weah is leaving now and they think they were doing it against me but voting against what our government had decided for peace to reign in the Gaza region”.
“The one who voted for war is a Liberian who does not believe in peace, security and human lives. Is not the President and the reason I say this is the person does not know that if you are trying to sabotage people you have to look around and see whether there is a way, if you put your way and of course those things will come up”.
President Weah who did not name the person and their position at Liberia’s foreign mission in Washington DC or at the United Nations, said when he travelled to the State of Israel he had a lengthy discussion with the Israeli leader on how to ensure that there was peace in the region, stressing that dialogue and diplomacy were the best tools available and effective enough to bring all parties on the roundtable to discuss sustainable peace.
“When I came back to Liberia it did not take long time when Israel was bombed and Israel was responding by attacking the Hama militants. So again I joined other world leaders to think on how to bring peace through diplomacy.
“And on November 4, I wrote a letter to my friend as a brother that there are innocent lives that are being taken whether from the Hamas side or the Israeli area. Those that are attack you are not to your power, that you could avenge what they are doing but for the sake of humanity, for the children, exercise restraint.
“I told him Let us do it through diplomacy, that was the letter sent to the Israeli Embassy in Ghana; I sent a letter in support of peace and diplomacy so how can George Weah, President Weah vote for war when I wrote the letter for peace to prevail?”, Weah said.
President Weah said that at the onset of the crisis, he discussed with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah on what could be the best option the government to take to ensure peace in the region and it was agreed upon that Liberia will go for peace and diplomacy “and I can remember telling the Foreign Minister that because I once worked with the UN for peace this time around it will be a vote against what America wants, it will be a vote at the UN with other African countries for peace”
He spoke highly of how he had propagated for peace when he spoke at the summits of Heads of States and Government of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) and the African Union(AU) where he did not mince words on unconstitutional mandates, rule of law and stability, insisting that he has no special interest, but “my interest is humanity, to save humanity”.
“I complained about war in Liberia; I brought people to Liberia for war to stop. There was no way I could call for war in another country. Even if I didn’t know about the war, the best thing I could do is to beg, to say your ceasefire.
“A wicked person at the Embassy, for what they did, that was the Liberian that voted for war, he is a wicked Liberian and God will not spare that person. Every young person’s life that is taken in that war, no matter the case, they too will pay that price for what they did”, President Weah said.
President Weah however vowed to make the necessary adjustment to “refix it, so that our vote will be like other countries that called for diplomacy and not war”, stressing that whether they did it because he was leaving, “they were just wasting their own time and not me”
He said he was compelled to be emphatic on discounting all the false narrative of him supporting bloodbath in Gaza because “I am not a warlord so the people who voted did not know that there was even an existing letter dated on November 4, 2023 that made our position clear where we were voting; that we are voting for peace and diplomacy so for those who thought they were doing it against us were just wasting their own time”.
He further said people were carried away by the close relationship that exists between Liberia and the United States given the fact that both of them are traditional allies “and it is on this basis that I have never voted against America, I have voted for America all through because they are our ally and all the friends of our ally are our allies.
But when it becomes necessary for us to vote for peace we will do and our position remains just this and will not change”, he said.
Towards the end of his statement he defended once again his decision to concede defeat to President elect Joseph Nyuma Boakai, insisting that there was no material or special offer he envisaged to have taken that decision aside being intentional for peace to reign in the country.
“So I don’t get it when they are saying it is because I want to get some award, the Mo Ibrahim Award which is $5m
“You think I wanted to get the Mo Ibrahim Award so I took that decision? You think I did it because I want awards from here and there? You must be joking. I took the paramount decision to save life. I did it to save the young people who supported our struggle and deserve a better future”, Weah said.
It is not clear who could be the person who must have voted on behalf of Liberia at the United Nations but checks by The Analyst have it that the only person unless otherwise authorized to vote for Liberia is Ambassador Sarah Sayn Fyneah who is the permanent representative to the world body in New York. But what has suggested that she could not be the person is the continuous use of the pronoun “he” by President Weah indicating that the person was a male.
The 193-member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire in war-torn Gaza.
Resolution passed with 153 countries voting in favor, 23 abstaining and 10 countries voting against, including Israel and the United States and Liberia. While the resolution is non-binding, it serves as an indicator of global opinion.