Liberian politician the former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has won a USD5 million Mo Ibrahim award, designed to improve the quality of African political leadership.
Ms.Johnson Sirleaf is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Africa’s first elected female head of state.
Recently the prize founded by Sudanese telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim has not been awarded on several occasions because there was not deemed to be a suitable candidate.
The EU sends its congratulations to George Weah for his victory in the Presidential elections in Liberia as announced by the National Elections Commission.
“All political leaders showed responsibility in accepting swiftly the outcome of the elections. The professionalism of the Liberian Institutions, in particular the National Elections Commission and the Liberian National Police, was key,” – says the text of the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.
“The high and peaceful participation of Liberian people contributed to the success of the electoral process. These elections open a new era after twelve years of successful leadership by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.”
“The EU Election Observation Mission, headed by Chief Observer Maria Arena, observed the elections in close cooperation with national and international actors. It began its work in Liberia since September 2017, observed the full process of the elections and will soon issue its final report. The report will include recommendations for the strengthening of Liberia’s future electoral processes. The important role of ECOWAS and UNMIL during the elections are positive expressions of the role of regional and international organisations.”
“The recent presidential executive order will allow a peaceful transition process from the current government to the new one. The EU will remain an important and reliable partner of Liberia and is ready to continue working with the new Government on national issues, as well as on regional and international challenges.”
The Red Cross has confirmed that more than USD 6 million of aid money was lost to fraud and corruption during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Auditors found overpriced supplies, salaries for non-existent aid workers and fake customs bills.
The disease, which raged between 2014 and 2016, claimed at least 10,000 lives. It required a massive humanitarian operation costing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring it under control. As Ebola spread across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the Red Cross Federation in Geneva was dispersing cash donations to the national Red Cross societies in each of those countries – altogether a sum of about USD100 million.
An investigation by Red Cross auditors has revealed that in Liberia USD 2.7 million disappeared in fraudulently overpriced supplies, or in salaries for non-existent aid workers. In Sierra Leone, Red Cross staff apparently colluded with local bank workers to skim off over USD 2 million while in Guinea, where investigations are ongoing, around USD 1million disappeared in fake customs bills.
The Red Cross told that it is deeply sorry for the losses. The organisation adds that has introduced stricter financial rules, and promised to hold any Red Cross staff involved to account. The Red Cross is the world’s best-known humanitarian organisation, and this revelation will be damaging, she adds.
In response to an invitation by the Liberian authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Liberia to observe the general elections scheduled for 10 October. This is the fourth time that the European Union is observing general elections in Liberia reflecting the EU’s long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has appointed Ms. Maria Arena (Belgian, Socialists and Democrats, pictured) Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observation mission.
“Liberia has succeeded in establishing a functioning democracy after two civil wars. These elections are key in the democratic history of the country” Mogherini said. ” The EU’s Electoral Observation Mission reflects our common resolve for credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. I am confident the Electoral Observation Mission led by Chief Observer Ms. Arena will make an important contribution to the electoral process”.
“It is a great honour to have been appointed Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission in Liberia, a task that I accept with a great sense of responsibility. These elections are an important step in the consolidation of peace and the strengthening of the democratic institutions in the country. The EU EOM stands ready to accompany Liberia in this process,” – The Chief Observer, Ms. Arena, declared.
The EOM Core Team of 10 EU analysts arrived in Monrovia on 1st September. They will stay in the country until the completion of the elections and the finalisation of a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process, including recommendations for future elections. On 14 September 20 long-term observers were deployed to different regions of the country; they will be joined by an additional 34 short-term observers around election day.
A number of Liberia-based diplomats from EU Member States will reinforce the mission on Election Day. The EU EOM looks forward to cooperate with other international observation missions.