U.S. Government Issues Stern Warning to Corrupt Public Officials in Liberia

By Josephus Moses Gray
Monrovia, Liberia

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

April 1, 2004

The United States Government has issued a stern warning to officials of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) who engage in corrupt activities. The U.S. Government has threatened a tough action against those corrupt officials in the government.

According to the U.S. Government, those who steal from public coffers or use their positions to extort, not only should, but also must be fired from the government. The George Bush administration says it will do its part to support fight against corruption in Liberia.

The transitional government of Liberia headed by a Liberian business tycoon, Chairman Gyude Bryant, is billed as one of the most corrupt governments the nation ever produced, with huge amount from the nation’s coffers and revenue income going into the pockets of corrupt public officials.

To help reduce the massive corruption in the government, Liberia transitional leader, Chairman Bryant recently dismissed some officials of the Finance Ministry. He also mandated the Minister of finance, Loussa Kamara, to fire corrupt officials and clear up the ministry, a move strongly being supported by the U.S. Government.

Liberia, a tiny West African state with an estimated population of 3.5 million, devastated by the 14-year of blood civil war, has abundant natural resources but the nation remains one of the world poorest countries.

Addressing a major news conference on March 25 in Monrovia, the U.S. ambassador to Liberia, John Blaney said the transitional government’s ongoing efforts to clean up the legacy of corruption and theft that it inherited merit broad support, including support from the United States.

Ambassador Blaney’s news conference focused on several vital issues of national and international concerns including transparency, accountability and governance. The U.S. envoy said “under the authority of Presidential proclamation number 7750, under section 212 (F) of the Immigration and Nationalization act, I here by announce that the U.S. Government will suspend entry into the United states of public officials of Liberia whom it finds to be corrupt along with their dependants as well as those who corrupt them”.

Ambassador Blaney pinpointed that there will no longer be a safe heaven any more for corrupt Liberians in the United States, noting that the low level of transparency, accountability, and good governance in Liberia is troubling and represents a real threat to the economic, social and political reconstruction of Liberia.

“Liberians and the government must fight corruption”, Ambassador Blaney noted. He said if Liberia is to stay on course and keep the confidence of its friends in the international community.