Daily Media Summary 2017-05-16

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia



Today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies highlights President Sirleaf’s assertion that the 2017 elections will be a defining moment for Liberia, the re-arrest of suspect Jeff Williams for the murder of a retired American military officer, John Auffrey, in 2004 and President Sirleaf’s decision to order General Services Agency Director Mary Broh to temporarily take charge of the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the Ministry of Health in order to restore order, cleanliness and systems there.


‘2017 Elections Will Be Defining Moment For Liberia’ - Pres. Sirleaf

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the 2017 elections will be a defining moment for Liberia. The elections, the President said, will set the stage for Liberia to continue on the path of democracy; thus enabling the country to remain on the road to peace.  “We are looking forward to free, fair and transparent elections,” President Sirleaf observed.  She added that these crucial elections would enable the next government builds upon the gains that have been achieved so far, to which we have all contributed to the maintenance of peace. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement on Thursday, June 15, 2017, when she received in audience Mr. Olof Skoog, the Chair of UN Peace Building Commission at her Foreign Ministry office, reports the FrontPage Africa newspaper.

Related Captions: 2017 Elections A Defining Moment For Liberia (The New Dawn)

Murder Suspect of US Soldier Re-Arrested in Monrovia

Suspect Jeff Williams, one of the several detainees who escaped from the Monrovia Central Prison in 2005, after he was arrested for the murder of an American military officer, John Auffrey, in 2004 was last Wednesday re-arrested in Monrovia. Auffrey was a member of the US military team that came to Monrovia to restructure the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). According to the Daily Observer, suspect Williams was re-arrested due to a tip off at the Old Folk Homes, a local nightclub, police spokesperson Sam Collins said. US officer Auffrey was allegedly murdered at the Mamba Point Hotel. His assailants, according to the investigation conducted by state security at the time, made their way through the ceiling into his room before allegedly murdering him.

Related Captions: US General’s Killer Rearrested (The New Dawn), Runaway ‘Murderer’ Booked-Arrested By LNP 13 years After Killing American General (FrontPage Africa)

‘Gen.’ Broh Ordered To Rescue Vital Statistics

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered General Services Agency (GSA) Director ‘General’ Mary Broh to temporarily take charge of the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the Ministry of Health to restore order, cleanliness and systems there. The New Dawn newspaper quoting an Executive Mansion says the directive comes after Mrs. Sirleaf paid a surprise visit to the Bureau on Thursday and discovered unprecedented filth at the exterior and interior of the entity. Mrs. Sirleaf has ordered the Director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics at the Ministry of Health Mr. Solomon Barton to report himself to his boss, Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn for administrative review. She has therefore urged the general public to exercise patience and understanding as the Bureau will remain temporarily closed for a short period while Madam Broh and her team work to restore cleanliness and order.

Related Captions: Broh ‘Takes Over’ Birth Certificate Issuance (FrontPage Africa), GSA Broh Told To Restore Order, Cleanliness At Bureau Vital Statistics (FOCUS)


Veep Boakai Dedicates Ebola Victims’ Memorial

Vice President Joseph N. Boakai over the weekend addressed citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone at the dedicated of a memorial to Ebola victims in the Mano river Sub region and pointed out that the monument is a reminder that there exists a strong relationship amongst the peoples of the three nations. He stressed that Ebola killed eight thousand lives, but did not kill the cordial and sisterly relationship that subsists between the countries of the Mano River region. He said the Ebola menace devastated the economies of the region, but called on citizens of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to rise up to the challenge and rebuild their economies so that lives of citizens living in the “Parrot Beak” can be restored and transformed, reports the INQUIRER newspaper.

Dugbeh Nyan Nominated For AIF Prize

The Daily Observer says Liberian medical doctor and scientist, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, is among the top ten nominees for the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) Prize for 2017. The daily quotes a release posted by AIF online as saying that Dr. Nyan represents Liberia among other African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, and Uganda. The AIF includes Dr. Nyan among the nominees for his discoveries in healthcare solutions. He is regarded for developing a new technology for rapid detection of many infectious diseases using only one test. His profile shows that his discovery of a rapid diagnostic test can detect and simultaneously differentiate at least three to seven infections at the same time within 10 to 40 minutes.

GLS Takes Over RIA Cargo Operations

According to the Daily Observer, the Liberian Senate at its 41st day sitting Thursday voted to endorse and pass into law a recommendation from its Committee on Transport for the Concession Agreement between the Government of Liberia and the Global Logistics Services (GLS), Inc. The landmark vote makes GLS the first Liberian company to be granted an operating concession of a major state asset in Liberia’s history. The daily reads that the concession is a public-private-partnership for air cargo operations at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), and includes the design, finance, build, maintain, operate and transfer (DFBMOT) of a new modern air cargo facility by GLS on the premises. The total capital investment for the project is USD$11 million.

Related Caption: Judicial Gets Office Equipment (FOCUS)

MFDP Holds SDGs Awareness

The New Dawn newspaper reads that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has ended a day-long Sustainable Development Goal and Africa 2063 public awareness in Harper City, Maryland County. The campaign brought together students, representatives from the Federation of Liberian Youth, Maryland Youth Association, women groups, local officials and the media. The SDGs was developed by members of the United Nations in September 2015 with 17 goals, 169 targets, and 230 indicators. According to the Director for Plan Development and Coordination at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning P. Morris Kromah, the essence of the public awareness is to talk to citizens on global development and continental development framework, the African Union, the Agenda 2063 and to inter-spice and domesticate it with the country national plan. He says Liberia being in a transitional period, is critical as the country goes to democratic elections, the Ministry is interested in knowing how citizens are thinking about the Sustainable Development Goals.

FDA Managing Director Raps On Effects Of Climate Change

The Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority says it is evident that climate change affects our livelihoods, incomes and the environment. FDA Boss Mr. Darlington S. Tuagben made the declaration at the opening of a five-day training workshop in Monrovia. In his opening address, Mr. Tuagben said from research, it is estimated that 17.4 per cent of global greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions are derived from forest degradation. The forests are also affected by climate change, but at the same time, the FDA Boss pointed out, that, they play a key role in the adaptation to and mitigation of adverse effects of climate change. He stated that policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries including Liberia and recognizing the contribution of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancing of forest carbon stocks in achieving REDD+ objectives, reads the FrontPage Africa newspaper.

Fire Service Decries Low Budgetary Support

According to the New Dawn newspaper, the Director General of the Liberia National Fire Service (NFS), G Warsuwah Barvoul, Sr., is calling on government to increase budgetary allotments for the Fire Service to help enhance its operations. He says in order to be effective in fighting fire, there is a need for national government to increase the budget giving to the agency, adding that the NFS normally looks at its statistics to direct fire awareness campaign. The best way to fight fire is to prevent it from breaking out, and in order to be adequately prepared to fight fire is to get more resources. He narrates that the LNFS has four basic areas of services, including Inspection, Firefighting, and Investigation, among others. Meanwhile the In Profile Daily, with this headline: Fire Service Discloses New Safety Device, says the Liberia National Fire Service says it is striving to introduce a new fire safety device called the Elide Fire Ball, which has a life span of five years.  Accordingly, the new device will maintain and respond automatically in 3 to 5 seconds and at same time, perform in the absence or presence of anyone with zero danger health with in close contact. Speaking at a press conference Thursday, June 25, 2017 at the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism in Monrovia, the Director of the National Fire Service, G. Warsuwah Barvoul, noted that the Fire Service is part of the Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) that is working very hard to develop new safety regulations for the good of the people, exhibit blue print permit, alley ways, disaster management, among others.

World Blood Donor Day Commemorated Here In Grand Style

The Ministry of Health (MOH) in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 joined the rest of the world in celebration of World Blood Donor Day. The celebration of the event in Liberia, which was part of effort by the MoH in revamping the health system after deadly Ebola virus disease, took place on the premise of the Montserrado Regional Blood Bank and Donation Center, 5th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia. This year’s World Blood Donor Day, held under the theme: “What can we do? Give Blood. Give Now. Give often”, was celebrated in grand style. Speaking at the program, Madam Lwopu M. Bruce, program at the Ministry of Health, explained that the campaign is intended to raise wider awareness for the need of safe blood for life saving, stressing that life threatening conditions, medical and surgical procedures, and maternal and parental care are key factors for which blood is needed most save lives, reports Heritage newspaper.

All Set For PUL 2017 & Dinner

The Press Union of Liberia says all is set for the holding of its 2017 Excellence Awards and Dinner Night. The Union’s latest statement comes after it extended the event to mobilize logistics for the Awards Night. Each annual awards program is intended to identify and honor the work of journalists and media institutions that perform with distinction during the last period. Liberian journalists have for the past months been submitting entries for seventeen individual categories while five ultimate prizes are usually determined through peer review standards, reports the Inquirer newspaper. The Peer Review Standard allows Media Institutions to nominate their institutions to nominate their institutions and Journalist of the Year for scrutiny by a select group of professionals who make up the PUL Awards Vetting Committee. This year’s awards vetting committee is led by Atty. Ade Wede Kekuleh. Press Union of Liberia Annual Awards Night, a co-branding event is being largely funded by USAID through its Liberia Media Development project being managed by Internews. Other providers of prizes are UN Women, UNDP and WHO among others, reports the INQUIRER newspaper.