President George Manneh Weah has been, or will soon be, invited to visit the capital city of the United States of America, Washington, D.C. The visit is not a state-visit; it is to attend the US-Liberia Dialogue Forum, hosted by the US Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. from September 17 to September 18, 2019.
Fortunately, the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who previously served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), will be in attendance. Pompeo is aware of the happenings in Liberia and might just have a sympathetic ear for President Weah.
But there are frantic efforts on the part of the war and economic crimes investigators attending the meeting, headed by the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) boss, Jerome Verdier, to make sure that President Donald J. Trump does not give audience to President Weah.
Also, there is a planned demonstration against President Weah by Liberians living in the United States for obvious reasons—corruption, war and economic crimes court, impunity, harassment of the press and many more.
It is being speculated in the US that President Weah may not be attending the Peace Forum due to the Newton County Court case, which was previously in Georgia. The mother of President Weah’s daughter accused him of child abandonment as well as failing to pay child support.
The case was transferred from Georgia to New York, where President Weah once resided. The Civil Court in New York investigated President Weah’s income and finances and found out that the current President of the Republic of Liberia, who is also an American citizen, lied under oath, which is a federal crime. The protection that the United Nations 25-mile radius provides for visiting Head of States and delegation to the United Nations, which central point is the United Nations Headquarters as far as Columbus Circle in New York, will not apply in Washington, D.C.
This presupposes that the New York Court could bring up charges against President Weah for perjury.
It can be recalled that, while attending the United Nations General Assembly, President Weah hired the law firm of US President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to lobby on behalf of his government. The deal was later signed in Liberia for US$25,000 (twenty-five thousand US dollars) monthly. Unfortunately, the deal allegedly went sour due to Liberia’s inability to live up to the payment terms. It is said that there is a pending lawsuit against the Republic by Rudy Giuliani’s law firm.
It is also said that an international corporate institution operating in Liberia is lobbying against the Weah-CDC government’s interest in the States. It seems like no matter where the chips fall, the CDC government is in a tight spot and definitely needs help.
Despite all the odds, international barriers and impediment, it goes without saying that the President of the Republic of Liberia should brave the storm and attend the Peace Forum in Washington, D.C. This might just be the opportunity his government has been yawning for.