Washington DC USA – January 13, 2020: The International Justice Group (IJG) has formally referred Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee to the Special Prosector of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, the Netherlands to be investigated for “Crimes Against Humanity”. In a 46-page dossier of referral and evidence compiled by the IJG and copied to African Star on Monday, the IJG informed ICC Special Prosecutor Madam Fatou Bensouda that, “…Mr. President, Weah has empowered his City Mayor as the perpetrator-in-chief. Mayor Jefferson Koijee, the Mayor of Monrovia, appointed by Mr. Weah behaves like a violent psychopath who acts under the authority of President Weah and is shielded and protected by him. IJG COMPLETE ICC REFERRAL 12JAN2020Download Logo of the IJG In its referral, the Washington based IJG noted that accountability for war crimes atrocities in the West African country is a “must.” “…We implore you, Madam Prosecutor, to act in Liberia. Our seriousness is well grounded on the realization that if nothing is done about past crimes, ongoing crimes against humanity and violence, and lawlessness will escalate, and Liberia may return to its once regrettable “Failed State” status. Because of their own involvement in committing Crimes Against Humanity, the Government of Liberia neither has the will nor the capacity to investigate and prosecute those involved. As the International Criminal Court is truly the court of last resort and must intervene to save the lives of innocent citizens of Liberia as well as put an end to the senseless violence, including wide scale rape and sexual violence against our girls and women who continue to be traumatized on a daily basis. Further, the State will regress into violence and human rights violations and impunity will become entrenched: “… the rule of law under President Weah may be undermined by individuals who records do not inspire confidence in attaining the goals of fighting corruption, ending impunity and promoting national reconciliation, as well as transparency, in public management…with the very weak separation of powers, weak rule of law and wrong people appointed, the country risk going down a slippery path, which may lead a plunge into the abyss. Given such a disposition, and judging from experience, journalists and the media, first in the line of fire, may be in for rough ride, given the torrent of vitriolic attacks against mediapractitioners,” the official communication said. The IJG says in the last two years it has been focused on Liberia due to the significant number of reported human rights violations. In laying the basis for the referral of the Monrovia City Mayor to the ICC, the IJG noted that, “ Since Liberia is a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and as a State Party the court has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute those government officials committing Crimes Against Humanity under various articles listed in the Rome Statute…”. Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee – File Photo Those articles include Crimes Against Humanity, Murder, Imprisonment or other severe or physical liberty violation of fundamental rules of international law, torture, rape and other inhumane acts. Mr. Koijee a a former Youth Leader of the ruling Congress For Democratic Change (CDC) in Liberia, has been accused of overseeing violent actions by “vigilante groups” loyal to the party and current Government. The IJG cited media reports of Koijee’s incitment and participation in acts of violence against citizens and opposition members. Mr. Koijee has denied any role in victimizing opponents of Government or the CDC. The IJG also cited the inaction by President George M. Weah on the widespread and systematic violence against Liberians. “Not only is Mr. Weah believed to be spinning the wheels of criminal violence from behind the scene against his own people, but his regime, His Office, has become conspicuously silent on the widespread and recurrent incidences of violence against women, young girls and children and people the regime has invariably referred to as “enemies of the state,” the IJG said in its referral letter to the ICC. According to procedures of the ICC, after crimes occur, preliminary investigations are conducted, followed by a formal investigation, if it is warranted. Evidence is collected and a pre-trial stage is adopted and then a full blown trial. If the individual is convicted there is an appeals stage and once that is exhausted, sentencing enforcement begins. ICC Chief Prosecutor Ms. Fatou Bensouda All accused are innocent until proven guilty before the ICC. The Information and Evidence Unit of the ICC is now in posession of the referral and accompanying evidence and will make a determination on whether to pursue a full investigation of Mr. Koijee. It remains unclear if any formal proceedings will actually begin. Liberia sustained devastating back- to-back wars in the 1990s leaving over 250,000 dead and nearly 1 million others dislocated internally and externally. Thousands others were maimed, raped and traumatized by bands of marauding militias loyal to various warlords who have yet to account for ther crimes in the country. The main rebel chief turned former President Charles Taylor was tried and convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone and is serving a 50 year jail sentence in the UK following loss of his appeal. A fragile peace currently holds in the country which has transitioned to democratic governance since 2005 but tension and repeated acts of violence by various actors continue to threaten the stability of the country. The IJG is headed by Counselor Jerome Verdier, former head of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). International Justice Group Executive Director Cllr Jerome J. Verdier Sr. The International Justice Group (IJG) is a US based Non-governmental Organization based in Washington, DC area chartered to perform five primary functions: A). To research, investigate, documents for war crimes, individual and group of individuals that receive support from institutions through the commission of such crimes that violate human basic standard of life; B). Create a mutual public awareness and respect for the principles of universal rule of law that is es established for perpetrators of war crimes and violators against humanity; C). Seek opportunities through which our human dignity, the spiritual, moral and social norms of our society can be advanced; D). Seek ways and means through which our understanding for the need to live in peached with no limit to our geographic location that determined our collective growth and development; E). Encourage global involvement for the purpose of promoting peace, stability, equality, justice under the rule of law, with opportunities for our individual, advancement to our one world; F). To create a forum through which society can be resolved to live in harmony, to practice fraternal love, tolerance and understanding as a people and being fully mindful of our obligation to adhere to the rule of law for the promotion of human dignity; By Emmanuel Abalo African Star Public Policy 

Justice Group Refers Jefferson Koijee To ICC; Wants Him Investigated

  Washington DC USA – January 13, 2020: The International Justice Group (IJG) has formally referred Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee to the Special Prosector of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, the Netherlands to be investigated for “Crimes Against Humanity”. In a 46-page dossier of referral and evidence compiled by the IJG and copied to African Star on Monday, the IJG informed ICC Special Prosecutor Madam Fatou Bensouda that, “…Mr. President, Weah has empowered his City Mayor as the perpetrator-in-chief. Mayor Jefferson Koijee, the Mayor of Monrovia,…

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Mane won the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup with his teammate Salah, but he went the extra mile to inspire his nation Senegal to the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt. He was also joint English Premier League top scorer with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 2018/19. The Senegalese award has brought an end to Mohamed Salah’s reign as African Footballer of the Year- won it in 2017 and 2018. Sports 

African Footballer Of The Year, Mane Named In A Colorful Ceremony In Cairo

Mane was named in a colourful ceremony held in Cairo, Egypt on recently. Sadio Mane who had a sensational year of football with club and country beat off competition from his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and Riyad Mahrez to win the most prestigious individual football honour on the continent. Mane won the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup with his teammate Salah, but he went the extra mile to inspire his nation Senegal to the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt. He…

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The leaked recording, which became public, in December 2019, claimed the attention of members of the 54th Legislature, who immediately called for an investigation into the veracity of the recording with a threat to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Weah if the utterances attributed to Morlu proved to be true. Public Policy 

“I was his bag boy in Clara Town,” opposition lawmaker bowed to Weah

    It appears that President Weah might be growing a bit more thick skin since his earlier statement in June 2019, that anyone caught insulting the President would be dealt with accordingly. When pundits expected the President to heavily chastise the chairman of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, Mulbah Morlu, for utterances released in a recently leaked audio, which Morlu later described as ‘liquor talk’, the President brushed the recording off as a “blackmail attempt by racketeers” and that, “anyone can get angry and talk…” In the leaked…

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Senator Cooper added that Liberians need to maintain the peace and stability of the country, and President Weah must take the lead. The Legislature is the first branch of government that makes law; with the Senate being the only body in the Legislature responsible constitutionally to confirm appointed officials who are subject to confirmation.  Senator Cooper is, therefore, a member of the Senate through whom public officials subject to confirmation have passed through to occupy public posts such as the Ministry of Finance. Public Policy 

Today, The Legislature Is responsible For Liberia’s Governance Problems

  A staunch critic of the George Manneh Weah-led government, Senator Oscar Cooper, has said that the National Legislature plays key roles in the declined state of the country and not the Executive alone. He said for over forty years now the Liberian presidency has been an area of focus for transforming the Liberian governance structure—which has come with little or no success though many heads of state have lost their lives in the process. This is now time, he added, that Liberians focus on the legislature, which is the…

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This fact is often framed as a continent-wide struggle between the ancient and the modern, between Africa’s age-old tribal allegiances and its modern political institutions inherited from Europe. According to this narrative, African societies are yet to be fully reformed by modern life. When faced with elections therefore, voters continue to express old tribal solidarities rather than deciding based on ideology or policy. This argument presents European colonialism as a civilising mission against the customary order, albeit one which failed to fully de-tribalise its subjects. The 1884 Berlin Conference, far from dividing Africa among European powers, becomes seen as a unifying exercise that brought tribes together into modern political entities. As foreign affairs commentator Jonathan Power wrote in a 2006 article for The New York Times: Op-ed 

Colonialists didn’t fail to root out Africa’s tribal politics. They created it.

Standing in line at a Nairobi polling station to cast my ballot in Kenya’s 2017 presidential election, I struck up a conversation with fellow voters in the queue. The result was a foregone conclusion, said one of the gentlemen proudly. We had the numbers and our candidate was going to win. Everyone else agreed. No one needed to ask which candidate we would be voting for. That was another foregone conclusion. We were speaking in Kikuyu, and the Kikuyus were voting for President Uhuru Kenyatta. In the end, Kenyatta was…

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The UN Envoy expressed commitment to working with the Liberian Government in achieving the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development. However, he noted that UN adheres strictly to its fiduciary standards to safeguard UN funds against misuse and integrity risks. Public Policy 

Assemblyman wants hearings that Weah is demanding sex before appointing females

    MONROVIA – The Chairman of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) Legislative Caucus, Representative Hanson Kiazolu, says allegation of President George Manneh Weah allegedly requesting sex from females before appointing them in his government has defamed Liberia’s image both locally and internationally. Lawmaker Kiazolu represents the people of electoral district 17, Montserrado County in the 54th National Legislature. The Chairman of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Mulbah Morlu was heard in a leaked audio recording, that went viral on the social media, accusing President Weah of…

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The central African country needs an IMF bailout to deal with a crisis that shrank its economy by a third to $13 billion last year. Under a program agreed to last week, the state will be required to increase transparency, improve governance and implement reforms to fight corruption, Lisandro Abrego, the lender’s mission chief for Equatorial Guinea, said in an interview. Public Policy 

African Leader must reveal assets before IMF approves aid to his country

Equatorial Guinea’s leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the world’s longest-serving president, should declare his assets before the nation receives more financial support, according to the International Monetary Fund. The central African country needs an IMF bailout to deal with a crisis that shrank its economy by a third to $13 billion last year. Under a program agreed to last week, the state will be required to increase transparency, improve governance and implement reforms to fight corruption, Lisandro Abrego, the lender’s mission chief for Equatorial Guinea, said in an interview. “Authorities…

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the former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Cllr. Jerome Verdier, responding to a VOA Day Break Africa report on the case, welcomed the civil lawsuit against former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf specifically Public Policy 

The Sad Disconnect: The Corrupt Legacy of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

    ROME, Italy – Over the past period, every day, especially today, is a sad day in Liberia. Our entire country is a joke. While youth in other countries are talking about, engaged in and undertaking the next best thing in technology, sharpening their skills and preparing their analytical minds, what is happening (continuous but understandable anti-government protests, lateral and vertical incompetence, economic paralysis and social meltdown, endemic mismanagement and misrule) in Liberia is exactly what Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her core humanly insensitive crew wanted, and this…

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President Paul Kagame has talked about the possibility of not running for a fourth term, noting that his wish is for a woman to replace him when he retires from office. “My wish is that one day, a woman takes up this position that you gave me,” Kagame told delegates during the Nation Address at the 17th National Annual Dialogue last Thursday. He has previously made similar claims, notably in 2017 when he said he “can only accept” to run for a third term after being persuaded by the Rwandan population. While it would be difficult to dislodge a president who is credited with the nation’s economic transformation, no woman has made it to the ballot for the presidency in Rwanda’s history despite the president’s wish. Only two women have attempted to run for the top seat—Victoire Ingabire in 2010 and Diane Rwigara in 2017. Their attempts were, however, short-lived and unsuccessful as both were arrested shortly after announcing their bids to run against Kagame. Related Stories KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Advertisement Potential successors The ruling party, RPF, has notable women who have previously risen through the ranks and are seen as potential successors once Kagame decides to pass on the button. Experts say Rwanda has a pool of women leaders who can match the challenge. The Cabinet is 52 per cent female while they make up 68 per cent of parliament. “There are many young and experienced women in political offices now. One name that comes up to me easily is Louise Mushikiwabo, who has vast experience in leadership and can take the challenge,” Ismail Buchanan, a professor of politics told The EastAfrican. “But most importantly, I think it is not about a particular individual but the need for continuation of Rwanda’s (upward) trajectory.” Still energetic Ms Mushikiwabo is the secretary-general of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and previously served as Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Rwanda from 2009 to 2018. A week ago, President Kagame had again talked up his retirement, this time in a more subtle manner. While attending the 2019 Doha Forum, he answered “most likely not” to a question on whether he will seek for a fourth term in 2024. “I don’t know yet, but most likely no. When I say most likely, I mean I don’t want to lock myself into anything. I want to have some breathing space,” Kagame said. “But I think that given the way things are or have been in the past, it depends on two things. But I think I have made up my mind where am concerned personally that it is not going to happen next time.” President Kagame won a resounding third term in 2017 by 99 per cent of the vote, following a referendum in 2015 that suspended term limits. Before that, Kagame had made several suggestions that he might not seek a third term, but changed his mind after the constitution was amended in 2015 with 98 per cent voting to amend article 101 on presidential term limits. Now having served as president since 2000, he is alongside President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as the longest-serving leader in the East African Community. The constitution allows him to run for another two five-year terms until 2034, and Mr Kagame says he still has a “lot of energy left to keep going” despite the economic transformation that he has overseen since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. “I can go on for several more years; I am not tired of doing what I am doing. I am working with my people and my country, and moving from the past of tremendous challenges but also making progress and creating hope for the people of Rwanda,” he said in Doha. He added: “It is never mission accomplished. As far as we are concerned, it is work-in-progress.” News 

President Paul Kagame wants to retire from office

President Paul Kagame has talked about the possibility of not running for a fourth term, noting that his wish is for a woman to replace him when he retires from office. “My wish is that one day, a woman takes up this position that you gave me,” Kagame told delegates during the Nation Address at the 17th National Annual Dialogue recently. He has previously made similar claims, notably in 2017 when he said he “can only accept” to run for a third term after being persuaded by the Rwandan population.…

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Williams won 12 Grand Slam titles over the past decade — no woman has won more than three over the past 10 seasons — and spent more than three years straight at the top of the WTA rankings. She became the oldest No. 1 player in WTA history, too, and tied Steffi Graf’s record for most consecutive weeks at the top. Sports 

Serena Williams named Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Decade

After consistent dominance on the court over the past 10 years, it’s only fitting that Serena Williams takes the top honors as the decade comes to a close. Williams was named the Associated Press’ Female Athlete of the Decade after a vote by AP sports editors and beat writers, the AP announced on Saturday. It will announce the Male Athlete of the Decade on Sunday. “When the history books are written, it could be that the great Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time … I like to call it…

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