Gongloe Welcomes US Sanctions -Wants Weah Dismiss Sanctioned Officials

MONROVIA – In the wake of the United States Secretary of the Treasury placing sanctions on three top officials of the Weah administration in line with the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, Presidential aspirant Tiawon Gongloe has applauded the action of the United States Government for booking Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, National Port Authority Director Bill Twehway, and Solicitor General Syrenius Cephus.

“We believe it is a step in the right direction. We have repeatedly called on the International Community to bring sanctions against officials of government in the three branches of the Weah-led government who are deemed to be corrupt because the current government of President George M. Weah lacks the political will to fight corruption. We also called on the US Government to impose sanctions on vote buyers, specifically at the time, referring to Minister McGill,” Cllr Gongloe.

Making the statement Tuesday, August 16, 2022, the renowned human rights lawyer said, while the people of Liberia are getting increasingly poorer every day, President Weah and his select group of officials continue to conspicuously display their unexplained wealth by building mansions and throwing money around at impoverished Liberians as if they have private money producing machines at their homes.

“Public office is for public service and not for public stealing. The sanction imposed by the US Government against Minister McGill, the de facto President of Liberia and the other named officials will have a chilling effect on other criminal-minded government officials. While we thank the United States Department of Treasury for this latest move, we call on them to also sanction other corrupt government officials.

“We believe a better Liberia is possible with the support of the international community in our collective battle against corruption. Liberia remains one of the countries with the highest maternal mortality and infant mortality rates because of a broken-down health system, coupled with very poor educational structure, and serious food insecurity, all due to the very high level of corruption in the Weah-led government. We are very hopeful that the recent action of the US government will help to end impunity in Liberia,” Cllr. Gongloe stated.

“Against this grave action taken against the Liberian Government, we call on President George Manneh Weah to immediately dismiss the three sanctioned officials of his government. His failure to do so will be construed by all well-meaning Liberians as an approval of public stealing and general reckless disregard for integrity in the conduct of public affairs. In that case we will appeal to the Government of the United States to withdraw its invitation to him to attend the December Washington summit on Democracy and to isolate him and members of his government for the rest of his term. A word to the wise is sufficient. Let President Weah listen and act now while he still has time,” Cllr. Gongloe averred.

Known widely as the Poor Man’s Lawyer, Cllr. Gongloe has thrown in his hat to contest the 2023 presidency, campaigning on a rigorous anti-corruption crusade, using the broom as a symbolic weapon to sweep corruption from Liberia’s governance system.

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, E.O. 13818 was issued on December 20, 2017, in recognition that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, had reached such scope and gravity as to threaten the stability of international political and economic systems.

Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons, the statement also said.

It can be recalled that the Department of Treasury had earlier announced similar sanctions on Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson, Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney G. Sherman and Liberia’s former Director of Passport and Visa, Andrew Wonplo, bringing the number of senior Liberian officials sanctioned by the United States Government to six.

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