President Sirleaf Writes US President George Bush

Monday, 27th August 2007
President Sirleaf and women heads of NGOs operating in Liberia.
President Sirleaf and women heads of NGOs operating in Liberia.
Photo Credit: James M. Garresen, II/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson has sent a letter to U.S. President George Bush requesting his intervention to extend the stay of Liberians in the United States of America.

Making the disclosure Monday at his weekly Executive Mansion Press briefing, Presidential spokesman, Cyrus Wleh Badio said the President was concerned about the adverse effect a mass return of Liberians would have on a country which lacks the capacity to absorb the returnees from the United States and provide for their livelihoods in Liberia.

 “…I face the unhappy duty of telling these dedicated Liberians that they must abandon everything that they have built for themselves, and everything that they hope for the future. The idea of Liberian-American families being uprooted at this pivotal time in Liberia’s reconstruction deeply concerns me. You have spoken passionately about the dignity people gain through hard work and productive lives; I wish they same for my own people. Continuing to provide residency for those Liberians who are unable to return to Liberia at this time, will allow them to continue to contribute not only to American society, but also to Liberian reconstruction,” the President noted in her letter to the American President. The President expressed the hope that President Bush would assist in finding a solution to this pressing concern for her Administration and consider granting Liberians the Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) status.

In a separate development, President Johnson Sirleaf says there is a need for coherence in the operations of Non-governmental organizations in the country. At an acquaintance meeting with women heads of NGOs operating in the country, the President said the operations of NGOs could be further enhanced when there is proper coordination.

At a meeting, coordinated by Gender Minister, Varbah Gayflor, the female NGO Executives called for the adoption of a policy framework to guide the activities of Non-governmental Organizations operating in the country.