Who Takes the Blame in Gaza Vote Saga? -As Amb. Fyneah Refutes Anti-Ceasefire Vote story

MONROVIA: Barely 24 hours after the Government of Liberia annulled the vote cast against the humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza region on the directive of President George Manneh Weah based on the findings of the government that a “wicked man” undermined the position of the government and voted otherwise, Liberia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Madam Sarah Safyn Fyneah refuted the assertion and maintained that the Government of Liberia’s initial vote on UN resolution A/ES-10/L.27 on December 12th was based on a prior directive from the Ministry, which, unfortunately, contradicted H.E. President Weah’s and the government’s established stance.

In a press statement issued yesterday in New York and signed by Ambassador Fyneah, a copy which was sent to The Analyst, the Liberian diplomat asserted that Liberia’s diplomats at the UN operate under the guidance and instructions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, ensuring that their actions align with the country’s stance. According to her, decisions are not made independently; instead, guidance is sought to accurately represent Liberia’s position.

She said the discrepancy raises concerns about misrepresentation, prompting a need for the President to seek clarification from the Minister, who seemingly did not adhere to his instructions issued since November 4th—over a month before the UN vote

“It’s important to highlight that on December 8th, I instructed the Deputy Permanent Representative to seek the Minister’s guidance to co-sponsor the draft resolution A/ES-10/L.27 but received no response. On December 12th, I communicated with the Minister and the Acting Foreign Minister, to confirm their directive on the vote on the resolution. Acting on their affirmative response, I instructed a staffer to implement the directives”, Ambassador Fyneah recounted.

Ambassador Fyneah stressed that the responsibility for the inaccurate directive lies with the Ministry, and “it is crucial not to tarnish the reputation of Liberia’s diplomats at the UN who, despite challenges, continue to make sacrifices for Liberia’s visibility and contribution to the United Nations’ mandate”.

“Additionally, since the UN is seized with the matter, and the Mission represents Liberia at the UN, it was neither informed nor received such an important policy decision of President Weah’s contained in his communication dated November 4th to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, emphasizing the call for a ceasefire and the establishment of humanitarian corridors”, she said further..

The statement concluded that “this lack of communication on the part of the Ministry to the Mission on this crucial issue further underscores the need for a thorough review and clarification”.

It can be recalled that the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, December 19, 2023 ensured the reversal of the negative vote  opposing the UN Resolution A/ES-10/L.27  calling for Ceasefire in Gaza for the Protection of Civilians and Upholding Legal and Humanitarian Obligations, and registered a new vote,  supporting the Ceasefire Resolution  thereby  joining the 153 countries who had earlier voted in favor of the resolution for a ceasefire in the Gaza war between the State of Israel and Hamas Militants.

The latest move by the Liberian government, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) is in adherence to mandate of Preside George M. Weah ordering the Ministry to rescind Liberia’s negative vote of December 12, 2023 at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that rejected Resolution A/ES-10/L.27 (Protection of Civilians and Upholding Legal and Humanitarian Obligations: Ceasefire in Gaza).

In his mandate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs according to the release, President Weah made it emphatically clear that he has always stood on the side of peace across the world and has spoken of its indispensability at several international meetings and assemblies, including the United Nations General assembly, as well as through diplomatic engagements.

The Government of Liberia further also clarified that the decision of Liberia’s diplomats to vote against the UNGA Resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities in Gaza between Israel  and Hamas did not get the acquiescence of the Liberian President who is the chief architect of the country’s foreign policy.

The new twist in the saga goes further to highlight the huge deficit in Liberia’s foreign policy decision making mechanism where the country has been put in an embarrassing situation as it is virtually impossible for the vote once cast to be annulled and rectified or corrected in the way the government wants it to be.

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