Liberia, Guinea, S/Leone All Ebola-Free

first_imgDeclaring Liberia Ebola-free for the third time after no new cases were recorded in 42 days, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement was the first time in two years that the three hardest-hit West African countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – have had zero cases for at least the same period.The formal ceremony was held at the Health Ministry in Congo town, Monrovia.“The WHO commends the government, people, communities, health workers and partners on the successful response to this latest outbreak of Ebola. The rapid cessation of the flare-up is a concrete demonstration of Liberia’s strengthened national capacity to manage Ebola outbreaks.“We very much hope it will be the last. But given the tenacity of the Ebola virus, there is a real risk of additional flare-ups,” WHO Representative Dr. Alex Gasasira read in a statement.“We commend the government of Liberia for developing a national policy that will ensure that EVD survivors have access to medical and psychosocial care, screening for persistent virus, as well as counseling and education. This will assist EVD survivors to reintegrate into family and community life, reduce stigma and minimize the risk of Ebola virus transmission.” He reminded Liberians that the Ebola virus may persist in some of the bodily fluids of a small number of recovered individuals for prolonged periods, “and this virus may be transmitted through very intimate contact, including through unprotected sex.”It may be recalled that the 2014/2015 Ebola outbreak was declared over in Liberia on May 9, 2015. The virus made two outbreaks before the third flare-up was reported on November 15 when a 10 year old tested positive and tragically died on November 23.Accordingly, the boy’s younger brother and father were also infected, but after receiving necessary care, both recovered and were released from the ETU on December 3. All of the more than 165 contacts were identified and closely monitored, but no new infections were detected.When Liberia was declared Ebola-free in May the WHO warned against complacency, saying that there was a high risk that infected people could cross over to Liberia – given the region’s porous borders.Meanwhile, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim issued the following statement on yesterday’s announcement declaring the end of Ebola transmission in Liberia, which marked the first time since the start of the epidemic that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have all reported no cases for at least 42 days.“For two years, the people and governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been fighting the worst Ebola outbreak in history, which has infected more than 28,600 people and has claimed the lives of 11,300 people. “Yesterday, as Liberia marked the end of Ebola transmission—following Guinea’s and Sierra Leone’s declarations on Dec. 29 and Nov. 7, 2015, respectively—these three nations can take pride in their perseverance and commitment to reach this critical milestone.“Ebola has exacted an enormous toll on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It has not only taken thousands of lives, it has devastated economies, health systems, social structures and families—reversing many years of development gains.“Ebola’s scars will not soon fade, especially for survivors and their families, and for the heroic health workers who cared for the infected. “It’s now time to heed the lessons of this epidemic. In the near term, the world must remain vigilant to stay at zero Ebola cases, especially with the threat of flare-ups of the disease, while helping the three hardest-hit countries recover and rebuild their economies and health systems.“The world must prepare for future pandemics now. Expert reviews of the Ebola response led by the United Nations, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the National Academy of Medicine, and others offer the opportunity to build a smarter, swifter global pandemic response system. “As part of this effort, the World Bank Group, World Health Organization, and government and private sector partners are developing a Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility to provide swift and flexible financing to help stop a severe outbreak from becoming a more deadly and costly pandemic, thereby saving lives and protecting economies.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

LFA Suspends Four Referees

first_imgThe Liberia Football Association has suspended with immediate effect four referees for poor officiating of a league match between Nimba United and Watanga FC.The LFA in release said its Referees Committee will review the action of the center referee and his team of officials that handled the match on Saturday, June 18.The game finished 1-0 in favor of Watanga at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium but the LFA said it wants to investigate circumstances and events during the game.The LFA said the Referees Committee will review video from the game and make an evaluation of the referees handling of the match as part of the investigation. The Football House said center referee Christopher Nylander and his team of officials, including Albert Swen, Cunningham Miller and Prince Ajavon are suspended with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the Referees Committee investigations.The game’s result will also be reviewed according to the LFA release.Meanwhile, LFA President Musa Hassan Bility yesterday Tuesday, June 21 met with 1st and 2nd division clubs at the LFA headquarters.The two Vice Presidents of the LFA, including the chairpersons of the Technical and Competitions Committee as well as the Technical Director, Henry Browne were in attendance.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

MESSENGERS OF PEACE

first_imgThree years ago, MOP-Liberia and a group of committed volunteer peace messengers launched a 21-day peace; volunteerism for peace and development to the sectors of Liberia. Three years later the words spoken by little Remember Jorporlor in Gbarnga, Bong County, a rural part of Liberia mentioned and I quote, “Until, Government can assist us with books, pencils and book bags and make us to have good learning, the children in Bong County will not have total peace, we want good education”, have reverberated in the meeting rooms of the Peacebuilding Commission – UNHQ; conference room of the African Union Building in Addis Ababa and along the corridors of several institutions.Our lofty objectives to promote and advocate for peace remains unchanged. MOP-Liberia remains unapologetic for its involvement in peace building initiatives. More than ever before, we need peace and we also need to set our eyes on the path to a sustainable future whereby people, particularly young people are free from diseases, ignorance, poverty and oppression.Every year, and at every given opportunity we call on governments, International Government Organizations and NGOs including the private sector to invest more in human security. We believe that with informed minds and stability come growth and development. Consequently, our focus on a healthy life with improved access to food, water, sanitation and a life where human rights are respected and young people are afforded equal rights and equal opportunities cannot be over emphasized.New agreements, new UN resolutions and new goals/initiative on peace and sustainable development present new era of opportunities for young girls globally. Agenda 2030 for example would serve as a blue print for action and it is on this note that MOP-Liberia sees a transformative role for young female leaders.It is our opinion that the role of young female leaders in negotiations and affairs of the nation should be more deliberative and more inclusive than before. Young women should see themselves as champions not beneficiaries of assistance or charities. The violations of our rights by anyone or institutions should be renounced or repudiated. An important role for young women is their involvement in the global movement for positive change. MOP-Liberia and other reputable NGOs are demonstrating daily that the change we need is not only possible but it is happening. The time is right and the time is now. To build on this momentum requires the involvement of all young women who must be ready to engage, participate and lead.We must recognize that real change would not happen without action and pressure from young women everywhere. There is a need to hold those before us accountable for past commitments, as we need to hold ourselves accountable for future commitments. As young female peace advocates, we can become better at preventing conflicts and protecting human rights if we get involved. The clarion call is for use to prove our mettle.It is well documented that women, especially young women, despite several odds, can and do secure progress for all. The solution to our conflicts lies with us and now where else.Until next week when we come to you with a new piece on “Mob Violence in Work Places” Let’s keep an eye on peace, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace continue to prevail in our time.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘A Milestone for Liberia’

first_imgThe construction of a new airport terminal building and the rehabilitation of Runway 04 and 22, financed by China Exim Bank for US$50 million through a concessional loan agreement, are expected to be completed in 22 months, says Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue.Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony yesterday at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Lower Margibi County, Ambassador Zhang said the runway is also funded by the Saudi Fund and the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA), supported by the United States Government and the Government of Liberia in the amount of US$30 million. According to him, the two projects will be implemented by the China Harbor and Sino Hydro, respectively.He explained that the new terminal will cover an area of more than 5000 square meters and designed for an average annual passenger volume of approximately 320,000 persons. Ambassador Zhang said this is the first time that China has offered a concessional loan to Liberia. He said further that the new terminal building is also a China-Liberia bilateral project while the entire project constitutes an outcome of multi-stakeholders cooperation. He said from now on, “We expect to see Chinese-led speed and quality. I am confident that China Harbor will present Liberia a state of the art new terminal building.” Earlier, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who performed the ground-breaking, said the airport will shortly be transformed and modernized through the rehabilitation and construction of the terminal. She said during World War II, the RIA was used by the United States of America for refueling its war machineries. “Improving the airport will be a milestone in Liberia’s social and economic development. To modernize the airport will further enhance a greater aspiration of the country and promote economic growth and development,” President Sirleaf said. She commended the President of the People’s Republic of China, through Ambassador Zhang, and the Chinese team for their dedication and commitment to the project. President Sirleaf expressed happiness that Liberia will have an airport that is up to international standards. “I am so glad that finally we can have an airport that will meet international standards. We feel ashamed especially when we have strangers visiting Liberia.” She said there were priorities in priorities and the RIA project had to be put aside for some other emergency priorities and thanked the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) management, board chair, the Legislature and all of those who have contributed to the project. In separate remarks, the Liberia Airport Authority’s (LAA) Board Chair, Gbehzongar Findley, and LAA Managing Director, Wil Bako Freeman, thanked President Sirleaf for her extraordinary leadership to the development of Liberia and expressed delight that the project would serve as the President’s legacy. The Ceremony was graced by senior government officials, including Margibi Legislative Caucus, international partners, citizens of Margibi and well-wishers. The Roberts International Airport was built during the Second World War by the United States government to serve as a base for its military operations. After the war and until 1985, the airport was administered by Pan American/World Airways (Pan-Am) and remained a key link in the African network for Pan-Am. When Pan-Am ceased operations, the Government of Liberia assumed responsibility for the airport’s operations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Criminals’ Attack LNP Officers, Businesses in Johnsonville

first_imgKpekeh Town Community in Lower Johnsonville, Montserrado County, over the weekend suffered two attacks reportedly from marauding armed robbers who, in recent time, were said to have recruited many of their brothers into criminal activities.Police identified two of the suspected robbers as Daniel P. Kolley (aka Bravo), and another one who was also identified only as Philip, alias Moutry. Bravo is the son of a police officer who, shortly after his son and his alleged accomplices were arrested on Saturday night, surfaced at the police station to appeal for the release of his son. The robbers, according to a resident police officer (not named), had in recent times reportedly attacked several business centers, among them women who involved in petty roadside trading.The suspects initially resisted police arrest until police reinforcement, backed by their counterparts from the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, arrived brought the situation under control.The two alleged ringleaders have meanwhile been detained at the Uptown Police Substation, while undergoing investigation. The Daily Observer gathered yesterday that police assigned at the Uptown detail have already forwarded the suspects to court for prosecution.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

China to Continue Building LNP’s Capacity

first_imgMadam Li Li and Inspector General Coleman.The Government of China through its Ministry of Public Security has pledged to continue assisting the Liberia National Police (LNP) to provide professional police service to people in Liberia, and wants the police to continue to protect Chinese investments and citizens in the country.China’s Deputy Inspector-General for International Cooperation at the country’s Ministry of Public Security, Li Li, informed Gregory Coleman – LNP Inspector General, that the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will continue training the LNP.Madam Li then promised international training opportunities for some of the LNP’s officers in China.She said when the Chinese Form Police Unit (FPU) assigned with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) departs early next year, the PRC will send a special team of trainers to Liberia to continue training the Liberian Form Police Unit.Madam Li expressed delight over the level of cooperation between the LNP and the Chinese FPU, and said her government will remain engaged in building the capacity of the LNP.Recently, the PRC through its Ministry of Public Security, donated several items, including sets of uniforms, three vehicles and several motorbikes, to the LNP.In response, LNP Inspector General Gregory Coleman expressed gratitude to the Government and People of China for the contributions they continue to make to the LNP, while describing China as a ‘reliable partner.’IGP Coleman assured the delegation of full protection for all foreign nationals, including Chinese, in Liberia.Coleman lauded the Chinese Ministry of Public Security for identifying with the LNP.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Meet Sasu Boy

first_img–The rapper once with a bright future who became a drug addict and is now cleanSasu Boy has an interesting life story to tell: A story with lots of ups and downs.Like many other rappers, Sasu Boy was unable to live up to his potential and fell prey to the power of fame.“The life I lived was something I never dreamed of but, in the end, it was a life that I lived,” Sasu Boy explained. “It is a life I sometimes regret living, but I also do not.”Sasu Boy, whose real name is William Davies, started squandering his promising musical career in 2009 when he started abusing drugs (weed and cocaine).At first, he started by smoking marijuana, but with time he switched to hardcore drugs, including cocaine. Suddenly he disappeared from the music scene.“I started taking drugs when one of my colleagues told me about it. He said that if I took it, it would help me stay awake, be more energetic and more lyrical.“During the early stages, I refused his offer, but later decided to give it a try and see whether what my friend told me was true,” he said.At first, Sasu experienced the benefits his colleague told him about, but these experience were all short-lived as he began behaving erratically, and started experiencing a nervous breakdown.“In the early stages of using weed, it had a lot of positive effects like enjoying music and sex, but it didn’t take too long before things started to get worse.As time went by, weed (marijuana) became less exciting to Sasu Boy. He started experimenting with cocaine and stronger drugs, which damaged his career. While on weed, the rapper was still able to keep doing songs; however, things changed when Sasu Boy started taking cocaine and the other hardcore drugs.Unable to pay for hardcore drugs, Sasu Boy became a waste-picker, scavenging for recyclables in dump sites across the city, which he would then sell for a little money to satisfy his narcotic addiction. As a waste picker, Sasu Boy was unable to mingle with colleagues and family members.“When I became addicted, my entire focus was on satisfying my desire and not anything else. There was no time for me to focus on music and any other positive things.  Worst of all, I could go days without a bath and food, but drugs,” he noted.As his life spiraled out of control, Sasu Boy begins seeking ways out of drugs and, in the absence of rehab, he was forced to initiate self-rehabilitation in 2015 in order to get clean. At first, it was difficult as he relapsed on several occasions but, at the end of the day, he mustered the courage to get clean.“Only a wise man changes and not a fool. It was, for this reason, I decided to fight the battle to get clean. I was motivated to leave drug after noticing that people were still dancing to my music and wanted me to return.“Although their supports were indirect, it was touching, a situation which motivated me to become drugs free,” the rapper said. “I start the rehab process by reducing the amounts of weed or cocaine I used to take in per day, and gradually I became to leave drug, and now I’m a clean man.”Upon leaving drugs in 2017, Sasu Boy immediately returned to the studio and a year later, he dropped “Diliman”, his first single in three years.The song “Dilemma,” opens up with Sasu Boy’s personal struggle with drugs abuse, addiction and the dangers that come with it, which serves as a warning to listeners against the use of drugs.“I use my life story as a former drug addict to raise awareness on the issues and to tell young people that, no matter how people praise drugs, do not try it,” Sasu said.“Sasu Boy is remarkable talent and someone who still has a great future,” Popular DJ AS A Boy says. “I love his comeback singles, and it was indeed inspiring and contains lots of messages against drugs abuse.”As A Boy added that “Dilemma” is the only Liberian song that he has ever listened to, which talks about the real dangers of drugs abuse.“I’m saying so because Sasu Boy knows how bad addiction can be after years battling to escape it. I never one day thought he was going to be cleaned but, has God could have it, he is now a clean man.Now no longer a drug addict, Sasu Boys has begun using his talents and life story to warn young people against drug abuse through songs and physical awareness.“I have already started the process, and it is making an impact. Every month I try to visit a ghetto and talk to any young person I see there about the effects of drugs and do have lots of songs coming out on the topic as well.Although Sasu wants to engage in more awareness about drug abuse, the rapper’s financial strength cannot permit him to do so.The abuse of drugs is damaging a lot of our young people, and I want to use my story to help inspire them to come out clean.Meanwhile, Sasu Boy cautions his fellow rappers’ attitudes, especially those who glorify drug use in their music, which has negatives impact on the society, especially their youthful fans.“This is an alarming trend which puts many young people at risk of drug abuse, especially in urban areas. This needs to stop and it requires everyone’s efforts to thwart the situation all around. There is a need for positive rap music instead of negative and damaging music.‘This is alarming because young children are exposed to these messages. I don’t think this is a story we as a society want them to absorb,” Sasu Boy added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Sasu Boy: “I start the rehab process by reducing the amounts of weed or cocaine I used to take in per day, and gradually I became to leave drug, and now I’m a clean man.”last_img read more

“Women, Girls, Agents for Transformative Social Change” -P4DP

first_imgThe Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP), in collaboration with Partners, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and CONCORD, will today, March 8, celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, a release has said.The 2019 theme for International Women’s Day, which is expected to take place on 8 March, is “Think equal, build smart and innovate for change”.According to the release, the theme focuses on innovative ways in which gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, can be advanced. The achievement of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions, particularly when it comes to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.Based on current trajectories, there are signs that existing interventions will not suffice to achieve a Planet 50-50 by 2030, except if innovative approaches that disrupt “business as usual” mentality are designed to remove structural barriers thus leaving no woman and behind.Against this backdrop, P4DP, a Liberian Peace-building and Research NGO that is committed to ensuring a fifty-fifty participation of both men and women in societal issues, is pleased to celebrate the uniqueness of this day. The overall theme of this year resonates with P4DP’s vision that seeks to see a Liberian society characterized by equality, social cohesion and respect for all.“Women & Girls as Agents for Transformative Social Change” is the day program, which will be held on March 8, 2019 at P4DP’s Office in Old Matadi Estate. The program specifically concentrates on teenage mothers, women living with disabilities, market women, students and marginalized girls, especially those who are considered to be at the lowest ebb of society. This year target groups will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on 2019’s theme and will advance suggestions on what needs to be done for equal protection, especially when it comes to, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure and development.The day will start with an hour indoor program and later a parade through the principal streets of Matadi and Lakpazee communities. The parade will not only create awareness on the transformative role women and girls play in building vibrant communities but will also amplify the message of respect, tolerance and gender inclusivity as Liberia works toward building peace and social cohesion.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Minister Norton commences fact-finding mission

first_imgSocial Cohesion Minsiter with the responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr George Norton, on Monday commenced the first in a series of visits to institutions that fall under his purview. The aim of this exercise is to interact with staff to find out about the challenges hampering their work so that improvements can be made, as the Minister endeavours to ensure the efficient functioning of his sector. During the exercise, Minister Norton visited the National Archives, the National Cultural Centre, Castellani House and the E.R. Burrowes School of Art.While at the National Archives, the minister spoke of his growing concern for staff welfare and pledged his commitment to improving the conditions under which they work. “We are not here just to look at the structures, but to get to know the employees and knowing the conditions under which they work, whatever might be their concern… basically [we want to] foster better relations between the Minister and the workers,” Dr Norton said is quoted by the Department of Public Information.Minister George Norton inspecting preserved documents that are centuries old. He is photographed here with Archivist Jenel HenrySome of the issues affecting staff at the National Archives were the need for more storage space for documents, additional workforce, support in the conservation and documentation of records, an improved medical plan, the issue of staff contractual agreements and the advertising of events for that institution. The Minister also spoke of the implementation of an Archival Committee, which is to be submitted to Cabinet for approval.After the meeting, the minister was taken on a tour of the premises which was conducted by Archivist Ms. Nadia Carter. Dr Norton visited the Conservation Room, where records are carefully readied for preservation; the Digital Archival Room, where documents are scanned and saved digitally and the Storage Room, which houses old official gazettes, decades-old newspapers, Government records, decades-old emigration certificates and past and present Guyanese and Caribbean written magazines and other historical records and documentations dating as far back as the 1700s.After his visit, Minister Norton said that he is impressed with the work of the National Archives, particularly the digitisation of records. He then revealed that he plans to visit the Archives frequently, as well as other cultural intuitions that fall under his purview throughout the year.Technical Officer of MoSC, Pamela Nauth and Director of Culture, Tamika Boatswain also participated in the exercise.last_img read more

Magistrate reluctantly obeys DPP’s orders

first_imgCrum-Ewing’s murder trial…maintains insufficient evidence presented to courtPrincipal Magistrate Judy Latchman on Monday reluctantly committed Regan “Grey Boy” Rodrigues to stand trial in the High Court for the 2015 murder of Courtney Crum-Ewing.In tears, Rodrigues stood as Magistrate Latchman disclosed to him that she was compelled by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to commit him to stand trial for the murder even as she maintained that there was insufficient evidence to do so.Regan “Grey Boy” RodriguesAccording to Latchman, based on orders from a High Court Judge after the DPP sought an intervention, she had to reluctantly comply having lost an appeal for a stay of execution, that is, a delay in carrying out a court order in the matter.Special Prosecutor in the case, Nigel Hughes spoke to Guyana Times following the committal and noted that the DPP has the power to direct a magistrate, in this case Latchman, on the matter.In 2017, following the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into Crum-Ewing’s murder, Latchman had announced that the evidence presented to the court was not sufficient and a prima facie case was not made out against Rodrigues .She highlighted evidence given by the Crime Scene Analyst, Delicia Brown, whose submission to the court revealed that the .32 pistol, along with five .32 bullets, found at the accused’s home was indeed the gun used in the execution of Crum-Ewing.However, she stated that no actual evidence was presented to the court to prove that Rodrigues pulled the trigger, thus committing the heinous act.She also noted that the oral statements given by Rodrigues during the course of the investigation did not implicate him in the killing. As such, the Magistrate told the court that the accused has no case to answer to, as the evidence that the tribunal might request was not available.Upon hearing the decision, Rodrigues burst into tears and as he was being led back into the lock-ups, he screamed, “Freedom! Freedom!”However, the DPP subsequently issued a letter to the Magistrate instructing her to reverse her decision to commit Rodrigues to the High Court for trial.In part, the letter stated, “In accordance with section 72 (2) (ii) (a) of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act, Chapter 10:01, I hereby … direct you to comply with Sections 65 and 66 of the Criminal Law (Procedure) Act, Chapter 10:01, with a view of committing the accused.”The letter was read to Rodrigues , who broke down in tears, falling to his knees and questioning why he was being faced with such “injustice”.Magistrate Latchman had refused to comply with the order and had told the accused that she would not be committing him as she was maintaining that the evidence presented to her was not sufficient for her to do so.Latchman’s ruling made it the third time Rodriquez would have been freed of the murder, the first time being in 2016.However, in April of 2017, he was rearrested after the DPP ordered that the case be reopened.According to the DPP, “The sole purpose of this remit is to take further evidence from Police witnesses and to rule on the voluntariness of all oral statements of the accused.”Crum-Ewing was gunned down as he was at the time urging residents of Diamond, East Coast Demerara, to cast their ballots in the May 2015 election.He was shot twice to the temple, once to the back of the head, and twice to the stomach. (Kizzy Coleman)last_img read more