Ex-U.S. Envoy Says Liberians Resilient; Calls For Joint Efforts To Combat COVID-19

Madame Christine Elder

The former United States Ambassador to Liberia, Madame Christine Elder, has acknowledged the resilience of Liberians in finding an amicable solution to problems in times of difficulties.

In her farewell message on March 25, from Washington, D.C., the former U.S. Ambassador noted that if urgent containment measures are uniformly observed by all Liberians, Liberia has the ability to successfully manage COVID-19 within its borders.

The U.S envoy stressed that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be global, which Liberia will have her fair share, but cited that Liberia can emerge stronger from COVID-19, if its people face this challenge united, if political parties and all branches of government work together for the greater good, and if Liberians and visitors follow the advice of the health professionals.

“I recognize that Liberia faces many challenges, and the pace of progress can be frustrating for some,” Elder noted.

However, recalling just a few of Liberia’s successes during my time, I was reminded that as a nation and as a people, Liberia has a lot to be proud of” She maintained.

However, she outlined some of Liberia’s successes during her time, stating: “We saw the successful conclusion of UNMIL’s mission, including the transfer of security responsibilities to the Liberian government.

Liberia has conducted multiple free and fair elections, including the historic national elections in 2017 that yielded the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power between parties in Liberia’s history, the American diplomat observed.

She added that hundreds of kilometres of roads have been built or resurfaced, and hundreds more kilometres are scheduled to be done.

Also, Madam Elder named the reopening of the Mount Coffee hydroelectric power plant which feeds clean, reliable power to more and more consumers every week as another major achievement of Liberians working collectively.

“I admire the Liberian people: their resilience, their determination, and their good will. Although my new position will be in Washington, D.C., I will always carry Liberia in my heart, and be a friend forever of Liberia and of her people,” she emphasized.

Meanwhile, the U.S envoy said she is deeply honored to serve as Ambassador of the United States of America accredited near Monrovia for almost four years.

She noted that the opportunity was a gift to be asked by her government to extend beyond the traditional three-year assignment, ultimately having served in Liberia longer than any U.S. ambassador in 35 years.

The U.S diplomat expressed satisfaction in farewell messages Liberians extended, during her time of departure, stating: “I was touched by your comments about my departure, and I want to offer my appreciation and some remarks in return.

“Let me begin by saying that I am very moved by your expressions of concern for my health. I am deeply appreciative of the warm friendship extended to me by the Liberian people.  I was able to express my thanks to President Weah and the Foreign Minister on Saturday, and I hope to return to Liberia on a personal visit in the future so I can express my thanks and say goodbye in person to many more of you,” Ambassador Elder said.

She explained that her action to leave Liberia prior to the stipulated time was based on health reasons, citing: “I am quite well, but over the past 15 years, I have had 3 surgeries on my lungs.”

“With the closure of international air routes, the U.S. government and I decided that this was the right time to transition the leadership of our Embassy, which had been anticipated for this May or June.”

She extended her appreciation to Liberians, saying: “Until then, I wish to extend my deep appreciation for all of our work together… to President Weah, to former President Sirleaf, to the government, members of opposition parties, in particular the young political leaders, to the Members of the Legislature, the Judiciary, the security sector, the business community, the United Nations family, the Dean and colleagues in the diplomatic corps, traditional and faith leaders, and our many, many partners and friends in civil society,, most especially the media.

“Equally, I am deeply grateful to our U.S. Embassy team for their tireless efforts, alongside Liberians, to protect public health and stability, to promote economic growth, and strengthen civil society,” Ambassador Elder said.


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About Cholo Brooks 13966 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.