News / Africa

Liberian Lawyer Challenges Use of Foreign Forces During Election

Multimedia

Audio
  • Butty interview with former TRC chairman Jerome Verdier

James Butty

Media reports suggest Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf may be considering the use of Nigerian troops to strengthen security for Liberia’s October 11 general elections.

The Liberian Daily Observer newspaper Monday called on President Sirleaf not to “withhold such vital information from the people.”

Liberian Information Minister Cletus Sieh told VOA he was not prepared to comment on the matter.

However, Jerome Verdier, former chairman of Liberia’s disbanded Truth and Reconciliation Commission said President Sirleaf has no legal authority to unilaterally bring foreign troops into Liberia.

“Firstly, the United Nations is there [in Liberia]. The United Nations has responsibility for security in Liberia.  I think it would be illegal to bring in foreign troops without the consent, or acquiescence, of the United Nations,” he said.

Verdier said President Sirleaf must seek the approval of the Liberian legislature.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf looks on during the closing session of the 17th African Union Summit, at Sipopo Conference Center, outside Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (File Photo - July 1, 2011)
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf looks on during the closing session of the 17th African Union Summit, at Sipopo Conference Center, outside Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (File Photo - July 1, 2011)

“Secondly, is whether the president has the authority to do this unilaterally? No, the president cannot do it alone, that is, exercise sovereign authority.  She must seek the immediate consent of the national legislature. Besides that, there is no justifiable reason for inviting foreign troops into the country,” Verdier said.

The Liberian Daily Observer quotes Senator Abel Massaley as saying that the arrangement to deploy Nigerian troops in Liberia was in line with the 2003 Accra Peace Accord that ended Liberia’s long civil war.

But, the Daily Observer said its research shows the Accra Peace Accord did not authorize an elected government to bring foreign troops into Liberia.  The paper said the accord did allow the Transitional Government of Liberia to bring foreign troops into Liberia in case this was needed.

A former Liberian official, who served in the government of former President Samuel Doe, told VOA on condition of anonymity that, in 1990, President Doe did ask the Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS] to send foreign troops to Liberia.

But, Verdier said President Sirleaf cannot use the 1990 situation as a precedent because the situations are different.

“In 1980, actually, President Doe requested assistance from Nigeria, not necessarily ECOWAS. But, when the war went out of hand, ECOWAS approached the government of Liberia that there will be a need for them to come in, and ECOWAS troops came in whether the government of Liberia consented or not…But, this is peace time in Liberia and so the analogy cannot be the same; there is no basis except to preserve the president in power.  This is warmongering,” Verdier said.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid