Liberian Gov’t Writes Global Witness On Its Recent Insinuations

Liberian-Information-Minister-Eugene-NagbeThe Minister of Information on behalf of the Liberian Government has written the Global Witness to clarify some allegations mentioned in its recent report of bribery.

In the letter written to Mr. Balint-Kurti, a copy in the possession of the GNN-Liberia, Minister Len Eugene Nagbe said:

Dear Mr.Balint-Kurti:

Kindly accept our appreciation for your email in which you informed the Government of Liberia that Global Witness will shortly be putting out a report on businessmen Phil Edmonds and Andrew Groves, including a chapter on Liberia. You also alerted us that the report will include evidence to support allegations that Sable Mining and its affiliates paid out bribes, through Cllr. Varney Sherman, “to a wide range of government officials” with the aim to have Sable “get hold of the concession for Wologizi”.

The Government of Liberia is concerned about these grave allegations of bribery and therefore wishes to encourage Global Witness to make available all information on this matter so that it can take appropriate action to investigate and prosecute if a violation of the laws of Liberia is determined.

However, we wish to clarify that the government of Liberia has never initiated, commissioned, nor participated in any process for granting a concession of the Wologizi Mountains to Sable.

In 2013, the Presidents of Liberia and Guinea signed a joint communiqué which mandated relevant ministries and agencies of the two countries to begin negotiations that would culminate into an agreement to grant third party access of the Tokadeh-Buchanan rail for the conveyance of iron ore mined in Guinea to the Port of Buchanan in Liberia.

Parties to these negotiations included the Governments of Liberia and Guinea, West Africa Exploration, an affiliate of Sable, and Arcelor-Mittal which currently holds a Mineral Development Agreement with Liberia that grants it first party use of rail.

Though not yet consummated, the process of negotiating said agreement is being carried out with full transparency in keeping with the laws of Liberia and international best practice.

Once again, please be assured that the Government of Liberia remains committed to working with Global Witness and other partners in ensuring openness, transparency and good governance. Be further assured that the Administration of President has zero tolerance for any act of corruption and will therefore spare no efforts in getting to the bottom of the issue and bring to justice anyone found to be culpable”, the communication to Mr. Balint-Kurti concluded.

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About Cholo Brooks 14321 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.