18 May Press Briefing

Monday, 18th May 2009
Members of the Press:

Welcome to another Executive Mansion Press briefing session.

•    Let me share with you some information, starting first with a visit on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, of a delegation of the United Nations Security Council. The Mission, headed by United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice, will consist of ten permanent representatives of member states of the Security Council, five (5) Deputy Permanent Representatives or senior officers of the other five member states on the Security Council.  There will also be five (5) experts from France, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The UN Security Council delegation will on Wednesday hold talks with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and a Liberian Government delegation on the progress of the UN Peace Keeping Mission in Liberia and assess its operations. The delegation will also review progress in the implementation of UNMIL’s mandate in Liberia.

The UN Security Council delegation will also asses the operational capacity and sustainability of the Liberian National Police and other national security institutions, as well as assess progress made in training the Armed Forces of Liberia.

•    Let me also inform you that the President last week requested Commissioners of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority to resign in the wake of developments which have affected the smooth operation of the LTA. The Commissioners have begun to comply with the President’s directives.

The exercise will afford the Chief Executive the opportunity to reconstitute the LTA.  The suspended chairman of the Commission, Mr. Albert Bropleh, will submit himself for investigation based on a recent audit report by the General Auditing Commission.

•    As you may have heard or read, there is a case of fraud that has been uncovered at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) involving an individual who, using the name of the President, transferred more than a million dollars into an EcoBank account. Thanks to the vigilance of authorities at the Central Bank; an attempt to withdraw USD$800,000 of the amount was aborted. The individual, who bears the name E. Jee Sirleaf, is being investigated by the appropriate security authorities. Contrary to reports of his release, the suspect is still being detained, undergoing interrogation. An accomplice, one Jusu Paasewe, who claims to be his brother, has also been picked up by security authorities.

•    The President is very upset over Saturday’s jailbreak at the Monrovia Central Prison and has directed Justice Ministry authorities to launch an immediate probe.  All prison authorities have been ordered investigated to determine whether they may have played a role in the recent jailbreak.  Anyone found guilt will be prosecuted.

  Thanks for the attention.