Foreign Relations

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Liberia has has a very strong relationship with the West (the U.S.). China and Libya are prominent international partners in Liberia's reconstruction. Liberia also has diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Liberia is a founding member of the United Nations and its specialized agencies and is a member of the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Development Bank (ADB), the Mano River Union (MRU), and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Among the World leaders who visited the country during the Johnson-Sirleaf's Administration first one thousand days in office  include:
President George W. Bush of the United States
Former President William Jefferson Clinton of the United  States of America
President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China
President Mary Mc Aleese of Ireland
German Chancellor Ms. Angela Merkel
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone
President John Koufour of Ghana
President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote D'Ivoire
Former President Tiejan Kabba of Sierra Leone
The Secretary-General of the United Nations
Mr. Bank Ki-moon and UN former Secretary General Mr. Kofi Ananan.

Other high profile dignitaries include:
The five former African Presidents from the African Forum
The First Lady of the United States, Ms. Laura Bush
U. S. Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Former President of the World Bank Paul Wolfowity
Current World Bank President Robert Zoullick
U. S. Congressional delegation headed by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representative. 

 

http://www.mofa.gov.lr/press.php?news_id=145
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/6618.htm

Liberia and the Economy

The Liberian economy relied heavily on the mining of iron ore and on the export of natural rubber prior to the civil war. Liberia was a major exporter of iron ore on the world market. In the 1970s and 1980s, iron mining accounted for more than half of Liberia's export earnings. Following the coup d'etat of 1980, the country's economic growth rate slowed down because of a decline in the demand for iron ore on the world market and political upheavals in Liberia.

The 1989-2003 civil war had a devastating effect on the country's economy. Most major businesses were destroyed or heavily damaged, and most foreign investors and businesses left the country. Iron ore production stopped completely, and the United Nations banned timber and diamond exports from Liberia. UN sanctions on Liberian timber were removed in 2006; activity in the timber sector was expected to resume on a large scale during the October 2008-May 2009 dry season. Diamond sanctions were terminated by the UN Security Council in April 2007, and Liberian diamond exports have resumed through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme Gold deposits, some of which are currently nearing production, should soon begin to contribute to government revenues and provide additional employment.

Currently, Liberia's revenues come primarily from rubber exports and revenues from its maritime registry program. Liberia has the second-largest maritime registry in the world; there were over 3,000 vessels totaling nearly 100 million gross tons registered under its flag, earning some $18 million in maritime revenue in Liberia.


http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/6618.htm

Liberia: Corruption Timeline

Politics in Liberia has been corrupted for a long time. The following is a timeline that spans from the term of former President Charles Tayler to current President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.


January 1991 -- After years of instability under Samuel Doe's military regime, rebel leader Charles Taylor and his party, the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agree to form an interim government.

September 1993 -- The interim government repeals a Doe regime-era decree that criminalized, on national security grounds, any criticism of the government. However, the Information Ministry still has considerable discretion under the Doe-era media law in licensing and regulating journalists.

July 1997 -- In presidential and legislative elections Charles Taylor wins by a landslide, and his National Patriotic Party wins a majority of seats in the National Assembly.

March 1999 -- The government slams a U.S. State Department report on human rights practices in Liberia. The report notes the judicial system is inefficient, corrupt and unable to protect citizens' basic rights, and that freedom of the press and freedom of movement are restricted.

November 1999 -- The Finance Ministry conducts an investigation into the disappearance of 9.8 million Liberian dollars (US$200,000) in local funds intended to pay teachers.

December 1999 -- The Justice Ministry sets up a Human Rights Coordinating Office to work with local and international human rights organizations. Liberia's security forces are frequently accused of committing human rights abuses.

August 2000 -- Four journalists on assignment for British and American television are arrested and charged with espionage while working on a documentary about diamond smuggling and drug-running. One week later, after substantial international pressure, all four journalists are released after they publicly apologize to President Taylor, who claimed they were arrested because a script found in their possession contained lies and slander about Liberia.

May 2002 -- The government bans a call-in radio talk show in which citizens are allowed to discuss President Taylor and his government. The show is believed to have influenced the U.N.'s decision to maintain sanctions against Liberia. The previous year, police raided the station and briefly detained the presenter of the show.

June 2003 -- A U.N.-backed court in Sierra Leone indicts President Taylor for war crimes for his role in destabilizing Sierra Leone during its civil war. In 2006, the International Criminal Court in The Hague agrees to host his trial.

August 2003 -- President Taylor hands over power to Vice President Moses Blah and flees to Nigeria, which granted him asylum in July. The government signs a peace deal with the two main rebel groups to end a three-year civil war. Businessman Gyude Bryant is picked to head a two-year transition government that will take office in two months. Over the next several months, the U.N. Security Council attempts to bolster the peace process through Resolution 1509, which creates the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and Resolution 1521, which bans the supply, sale or transfer of arms to Liberia and the export of Liberia's diamonds and timber products.

December 2003 -- Liberia signs the African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

February 2004 -- A parliamentary report triggers investigations into exorbitant travel expenses claimed by members of the transition government.

February 2004 -- International donors pledge 25 billion Liberian dollars (US$500 million) to help reconstruct the country.

March 2004 -- The U.N. Security Council adopts Resolution 1532, freezing the financial assets and economic resources that were misappropriated by Charles Taylor, his family members and close associates.

December 2004 -- With elections planned for the following year, the transition government adopts an electoral reform law to ensure equity and fairness in voter registration, which begins in April 2005. New political party and independent candidate registration guidelines come into force in January 2005.

August 2005 -- J.D. Slanger, former head of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs, is charged with embezzling 171 million Liberian dollars (US$3.5 million).

November 2005 -- The transition government passes a law allowing legislators to keep government vehicles for their private use when they leave office. Legislators leaving office the following month reportedly strip the capitol building of computers, furniture and carpeting.

November 2005 -- Former Finance Minister Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is elected president, becoming Africa's first elected woman head of state. She pledges "zero tolerance" of corruption.

January 2006 -- The transition government denies U.N. accusations that 1.5 billion Liberian dollars (US$30 million) in mineral sales and tax revenues had gone missing during its administration. The new Parliament approves a motion calling for an audit of the transition government, during which top officials will be barred from leaving the country.

June 2006 -- Dutch timber merchant Guus van Kouwenhoven is sentenced to eight years in prison by a Dutch court for exchanging weapons with former President Taylor for logging concessions, in violation of the U.N. arms embargo.

July 2006 -- The U.N. releases a report on corruption in the judiciary with regard to rape cases. The report alleges court and police officials demand bribes to arrest and prosecute rape suspects, and accused child rapists are allowed to pay their way out of jail. A law passed in December 2005 made rape illegal for the first time in the country's history.

Feb. 28, 2007 -- Liberia's ex-President Gyude Bryant is charged with embezzling more than US$1 million during his time in office. He was questioned by police about these corruption allegations in January.

July 3, 2007 -- Former President Charles Taylor appears at his war crimes trial in The Hague for the first time. His trial will be delayed till Aug. 20 because the court needs to appoint a defense team for Taylor, after he sacked his lawyer. Taylor has boycotted previous hearings and denies charges of backing rebels in Sierra Leone in an 11-year campaign that killed thousands of civilians. He is accused of giving the rebels guns, training and money in exchange for diamonds from the areas they controlled. This is the first time a former African head of state appears before a war crimes tribunal.

Taylor pleaded not guilty to all charges when he appeared in court in March 2006 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The trial was transferred to The Hague because of fears it could lead to renewed tensions within Sierra Leone and Liberia.

 

http://report.globalintegrity.org/Liberia/2007/timeline

The United States & Liberia

Congress appropriated $100,000 in 1819 for the establishment of Liberia (and resettlement of freemen and freed slaves from North America) by the American Colonization Society.

Many of the people of Liberia are of American origin.
Washington supports the democracy in Liberia. In 2008 America's President George Bush arrived in Monrovia, Liberia's capital, for an official visit. This visit gave the Liberian government an air of respectability.

Liberia has always maintained close diplomatic ties with Washington. Several American leaders have visited Monrovia. In 1943 Franklin Delano Roosevelt went to Liberia. At the invitation of American president Dwight D. Eisenhower, President William Tubman (1944-1971) visited the United States in 1954.
Edwin Barclay, Liberia's President, was the first black president to spend a night in the White House.

Since the end of Liberia's civil war in 2003, the United States has contributed over $1 billion in bilateral assistance and more than $1 billion in assessed contributions to the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid an official visit to Liberia in August 2009.


http://ezinearticles.com/?Fun-Facts-About-Liberia---The-Second-Black-Republic-in-the-World&id=1958874

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/6618.htm

Important People

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf - (1938-present) is the current and first female president of Liberia. She's an economics graduate from Harvard with a masters in Public Administration, Director of the UN Development Program Regional Bureau for Africa, and head of Liberia's Governance Reform Commission set up at the end of the civil war.

Louis Arthur Grimes (1883-1948) - was one of the most important jurists in Liberian history. He graduated form the University of Liberia in 1905. As a Secretary of State, he defended Liberia against the League of Nations. Liberia was charged with participating in slave trading. Liberia would have lost it's sovereignty. The only law school in the country is named after him. The Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia.

George Weah - his original name is Manneh Oppong Weah. Weah was one of the world's outstanding football players in the 1990s.In 1995 he was selected the best player in Africa, Europe and the world. Under his leadership, A.C. Milan (Italy) and Paris Saint Germain (France) won the national championships in the 1990s. He also played in Cameroon, England and the United Arab Emirates. From 1997 to 2004 George became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Nelson Mandela called Weah "The pride of Africa".

William Tubman - was one of Africa's best Presidents. During his government, Liberia became one of the most stable countries in the Third World. His government strongly supported that women should participate in political life.


http://ezinearticles.com/?Fun-Facts-About-Liberia---The-Second-Black-Republic-in-the-World&id=1958874
 

Historical Overview

Liberia is a country who's beginnings are not rooted in Europe's "scramble for Africa", the only one in West Africa.

As Americans began to feel remorseful for slavery many slaves got their freedom. However they couldn't see themselves living amongst the freed slaves in equality and some feared an oncoming backlash for years in slavery. Many also felt African Americans would feel more comfortable, have greater freedom and equality back in Africa.

Like African-American Quaker Paul Cuffee, who started the notion that African Americans could "rise to be a people" easier in Africa. Cuffee captained trips overseas with African American immigrants to Sierra Leone where these immigrants established themselves.

With the help of a private organization called American Colonization Society, Liberia was colonized and founded by free American slaves in 1847. ASC included prominent American members such as Henry Clay, John Randolph, and Justice Bushrod Washington. African American were supportive of Cuffee's voyages but not ASC because it was made up of slave owners and African Americans were not allowed membership. These African Americans wanted to stay in the country they help build.

Liberian founder set up their government similar to that of the United States. Their capital, Monrovia, was named after the 5th president of the U.S., James Monroe, because he was a firm supporter of the colonization.

Liberia

Location: Liberia is located along the west coast of the African continent.

Capital: Monrovia

Neighbors: Liberia is bordered to the northeast by Sierra Leone, to the north by Guinea, to the east by Côte d'Ivoire and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.

People:Liberian

Ethnic groups: Kpelle 20%, Bassa 14%, Gio 8%, Kru 6%, 52% spread over 12 other ethnic groups.

Population: 3.49 Million

Flag: The Liberian flag is similar to the American flag. It bears red, white and blue.The only difference is the Liberian flag has one larger white star compared to the American's fifty stars. Both are found in the upper left-hand corner of the flags.

Government:Presidential republic

     President: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

     Vice-President: Joseph Boakai

     Chief Justice: Jonnie Lewis

Surface Area: 111,369 square km

Languages: English is the official language. There are 16 indigenous languages.

Currency: Liberian Dollar

Liberia is divided into 15 counties, which are subdivided into districts, and further subdivided into clans.

Analysis on CAR

This analysis is based off a fantasy football article off of NFL.com by Michael Fabiano. Fantasy football involves a lot of technical aid from computers.  This assistance is one facet that contributes to these types of articles.

 

In fantasy football a players stats determine the amount of points he receives for his team. For example, if a running back runs for 20 yards, he earns two points. These computers can average out a players output throughout certain games or even throughout the course of the National Football League season. For example, the NFL.com article says, Donovan McNabb has averaged 20.7 points his last four games.

 

Fantasy football includes projections. The computer suggests how well a player will do based on who they are playing. So if a really good running back is playing a really bad run defense the computer will let the reporter know the player is projected to score a lot of points.

 

The article suggests playing New York Jets running back, Thomas Jones, because he is playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend. Its reasoning for this matchup is that the Bucs are allowing 23 points per game to running backs. ESPN.com projects Jones will score 20 points. The computer keeps these stats in memory so quick analysis and updates can be made throughout the course of the professional football season.

 

Key players affect projections as well. According to ESPN.com, Chicago Bears wide receiver, Devin Hester, is projected to score two points. Hester isn't projected to do well because he is playing against a really good pass defense in the Green Bay Packers. The Packers top cover man is Charles Woodson who is good at taking receivers out of games with his defense.

 

Injuries also affect projections. If a player is hurt, they won't score a lot of points because they are not one hundred percent healthy.

 

Fantasy football reporters on NFL.com, ESPN.com and Yahoo.com use these projections in combination with a players season stats to write weekly articles analyzing the best possible matchups for NFL weekends.

Woman, 60, found dead in streets of St. Paul

The body of a woman was found laying in the streets of north St. Paul early Wednesday, Startribune.com said.

According to St. Paul police spokesman Paul Schnell, the woman, 60, died due to a heart attack, MyFox9.com said. 

The death was initially reported as a hit and run. Six hours into the investigation police diagnosed her death was caused because of cardiac arrest.

"There was no trauma or evidence of trauma at the scene," Schnell said.

The name of the woman has not been released until her relatives are notified,Startribune.com said.

St. Paul woman, 81, tied up during home robbery

An St. Paul woman was tied up as her house was broken into and robbed on Monday, Startribune.com said.

 

The woman, 81, was there for about seven hours before a relative came to help, Pioneer Press said.

 

The woman answered her door before 8 o'clock to a man who said her neighbor was being robbed. As she went to call the cops, he broke a window, forced his was in and began to demand money.

 

After she gave him what money was in her purse, he took her upstairs to her bedroom where he tied her hands and ankles while he ransacked her house, the woman told police.

 

Before the robber left he called 911, giving them the wrong address.

 

The suspect was described as a "chubby" build, black man in his 30s.

 

Police are wondering if the suspect is connected to the robbery of an 82-year-old man's house on Oct. 29, which was done in the same fashion.

Recent Comments

  • jlfarley31677@yahoo.com: Hmm, I don't remember Bill Clinton being involved with Liberia, read more
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