News / Africa

    George Weah to Lead Liberia’s National Reconciliation Effort

    George Weah in Monrovia, November 2011 file photo. George Weah in Monrovia, November 2011 file photo.
    x
    George Weah in Monrovia, November 2011 file photo.
    George Weah in Monrovia, November 2011 file photo.
    James Butty
    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s office has announced that George Weah, a former opposition presidential and vice presidential candidate, has consented to work with the government as its peace ambassador.  

    An Executive Mansion release Tuesday said Sirleaf made the announcement during a meeting with representatives of political party leaders, in which she also announced her National Vision 2030, a framework for the country’s future.  

    George Solo, national chairman for the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), said Weah’s acceptance to lead the national reconciliation process is a manifestation of his commitment to peace in Liberia.

    “This is not a new agenda of Ambassador Weah.  As you are aware, [he] was very instrumental in the disarmament of young people working as a UNICEF Ambassador. So, I think [Weah] has been a pillar of peace in this environment and he has been one of the custodians of the sustainability of the peace that we enjoy today.  So, it’s nothing new.  It’s just a continuation of the manifestation of his commitment to peace,” he said.

    Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee stepped down in October as head of the National Reconciliation Commission after criticizing Sirleaf for not doing enough to fight corruption.

    Gbowee said they had “differences in opinion on the pathway for national healing and reconciliation.”

    Butty interview with Solo
    Butty interview with Soloi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    Solo said Weah, by virtue of his acceptance, will also take over the chairmanship of the National Reconciliation Commission because he believes the national interest supersedes the interest of any one individual.

    “I believe he will be the chief patron of the roadmap for national reconciliation, and I think Ambassador Weah is well-placed to handle the reconciliatory process because he is one of the aggrieved parties who has agreed to put his personal qualms on hold in the interest of Liberia. I think this is a symbol of patriotism that needs to be congratulated and emulated,” Solo said.

    Weah, as standard bearer of the CDC, came second in the 2005 presidential election. In 2011, he ran as the party’s vice presidential candidate, and the party again finished second.

    Solo said Weah’s acceptance of the position does not mean that the Congress for Democratic Change has abandoned its desire to be Liberia’s ruling party.  Instead, he said it solidifies the party’s ambition.

    “I don’t think this changes the dimension of the opposition of the Congress for Democratic Change to the ills in our society.  I don’t think this changes the perspective and psychology of the Congress for Democratic Change of equal rights and accountability and proper governance.  I think this further manifests that we are willing to stand up for all these positions and highlight all these necessary changes in our society, with the frame of mind that the bedrock for all of these different implementations and exhibition of our civil liberty need to be on the basis of peace,” Solo said. 

    Solo said the CDC, as Liberia’s leading opposition party, was somewhat consulted about the government’s National Vision 2030.  

    “One of the things that the Congress for Democratic Change has maintained is that, if you make us stakeholders and consultative partners in the early stages of implementation, we are more than happy to give our input, and we hope that these inputs are taken genuinely. But, if you do not do that and present these implementations and they pose a threat to what we see as the harmonization of our society, then we will fight against it,” Solo said.

    He said representatives of major political parties would meet later this month in Gbarnga to officially comment on the government’s National Vision 2030.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.