US Freezes Assets Of Monrovia City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee
By AFP |
The US government has frozen the assets in the United States of Monrovia’s mayor, accusing him of violence against political opponents, rights violations and corruption, according to the embassy in Liberia’s capital.
Jefferson Koijee ordered paramilitary-type organisations linked to his party, and over which he has control, to take brutal action against demonstrations by opponents, government critics or anti-rape activists between 2018 and 2022, the US Treasury Department said.
Koijee, a senior official of the Congress for Democratic Change, the party of the recently defeated incumbent president George Weah, is “responsible for, complicit in, or directly or indirectly involved in serious human rights violations”, the Treasury said in a statement seen on the US embassy in Monrovia’s website on Saturday.
Koijee “has also engaged in corrupt acts, including bribery and misappropriation of state assets for use by private political movements and pressuring anti-corruption investigators to halt corruption investigations”, the statement added.
The voice of the United States carries weight in Liberia, given the historical and current relations between the two countries and the size of the Liberian diaspora on the other side of the Atlantic.
In recent years, the United States has imposed sanctions on several senior Liberian officials, including one who served as President Weah’s chief of staff, for alleged corruption, misappropriation of funds and acts of intimidation against opponents.
Corruption is reputed to be endemic in the small West African country, one of the poorest in the world.
Last month Liberian voters elected political veteran Joseph Boakai as the next president in a general election widely hailed for its smooth running, in a region plagued by coups and unrest in recent years.