Foreign Ministry Clarifies Mr. Kennedy’s Misleading Letter to Several Editors

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, last week, read with dismay and shock, a letter to several editors in the local dailies, The Analyst, New Democrat, FrontPageAfrica, etc., under the caption: What is going on at the Rome Mission in Italy?


A Foreign Ministry release states that Mr. J. Togba Kennedy, who signed the letter published in several local dailies, purporting to be an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not a staff of the ministry, and thus an imposter. Apparently, Mr. Togba is not informed of the modus operandi of the Ministry, and may be writing out of sheer self-interest or as a surrogate.



Ambassador Andrew Kronyahn and the Ministry have discussed extensively his future in Liberia’s diplomatic service and is aware of the conclusion of those conversations. It is now truly surprising that an imposter would be inspired to bring to the public glare a matter which was not intended for such arena.




Ambassador Kronyahn was considered for an ambassadorial rank for his long and dedicated service in Liberia’s diplomatic service, after reaching the rank of Minister Counselor/Deputy Chief of Mission, as a way of ensuring that he achieves the helm of his career at that level.



He last served as Charges d’Affaires at the Liberia Embassy in Accra, Ghana and was recalled a few years ago, before his nomination in early 2016 by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia’s Ambassador to Rome, Italy.



However, following his nomination, the prevailing economic situation then forced the Ministry to review the operation of its representations abroad to take cost-cutting measures where necessary. Part of the measures included the closure of some embassies, downgrading representation in some instances, and downscaling staffing arrangements at some missions.



The Liberia Embassy in Rome, Italy became one of the missions considered for closure among several others; however, reconsideration was given this decision due to the intervention of the Ministry of Agriculture. Despite the reconsideration, financial availability remains the glitch to finally determining the status of the mission.



The Rome Mission provided minimum representation of the Government of Liberia, mainly for the United Nations Rome-based agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Program (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which all have representations in Liberia.



It was based on this background that the mission has been kept at a low-level representation while the final decision is being reached for closure. It was reasonable that since there was already a staff at the mission with nearly seven years’ experience as Administrator of the Embassy to empower him to hold on as Officer-In-Charge while the modalities are concluded for the closure of the Mission.



Meanwhile, since it was realized that Ambassador Kronyahn had met the requirements for honorable retirement after long service, the Ministry made the decision to grant him the honor of retirement as a full ambassador. One of the most important objectives of a foreign service officer is to reach the apex of their diplomatic career, which is an Ambassadorial level.



Mr. Kennedy, in his letter, narrated that Ambassador Kronyahn had promised to take him to Rome as a staff. We wish to make it categorically clear that foreign service officers are not handpicked for posting by ambassadors; instead, there are criteria which include certain skills set. We are afraid that by this criterion, Mr. Kennedy, if he were an employee, does not qualify for deployment into the Liberia Foreign Service.



He, likewise, insinuated that all graduates from the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute are promised posting which is also not true. No one is guaranteed posting because he/she graduates from the Institute.



We hope this response clears the misconception that may have been established by Mr. Kennedy, an imposter, whose motive seems only to misinform the public in his letter.