President Sirleaf Acts on student-Police Standoff Report

Monday, 1st August 2011

Observation of Ramadan
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf extends best wishes to all Muslims in Liberia as they embark on the Holy Month of Ramadan. She expresses the hope that the month-long Fast and Prayer will help sustain the peace and stability in the nation, as we enter the election season. 

Report of Special Presidential Committee on March 22 Standoff
I am pleased to inform you that President Sirleaf has reviewed the report of the five-member Committee she appointed following the March 22, 2011, standoff between students of the Monrovia Consolidated School System and the Liberia National Police. Her Excellency has carefully weighed each recommendation of the Committee headed by Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe and, following very thoughtful consideration, has decided the following actions:

1. The Inspector-General of the Police, Col. Marc Amblard, is being seriously warned to ensure that the Liberia National Police adheres strictly to the laws and policies of government related to street protests, demonstrations and incidents that could disturb the peace. The Committee recommended the Inspector-Generalís suspension for two months without pay for his failure to exercise leadership, control and proper supervision over his men. The President, however, upon the recommendation of the Joint Security, has opted to send Inspector-General Amblard a strong written warning.

2. Also acting upon the recommendation of the Committee, the President has suspended the Deputy Director of Police for Operations, Mr. Al Karley, for a one-month period without pay, effective today, August 1, 2011, and he is to refrain from the use of Government assets and properties during this period. The Committee had asked for the dismissal of the Deputy Director. The President, however, again upon the recommendation of the Joint Security, has opted to suspend the Deputy Director for the period of one month.

3. Other recommendations of the Committee were forwarded to the Minister of Education for his action. However, regarding the suspension of students for one whole academic year, the President has decided to reduce that penalty to one semester. She also calls upon the Minister of Education to study with concern the assertion contained in the report regarding the neglect, and the effect thereon, of teachers in government schools across the country. The President takes the incident of April very seriously, and has made it clear that the police and other law enforcement agencies of government have to adhere to the highest standards in keeping with the laws of the land, in their dealings with the public.  The President continues to frown on any heavy-handed approach by law enforcement officers, and vows to ensure that the civil liberties of citizens are upheld. The President takes this opportunity to commend the Special Presidential Committee, headed by Cllr. Gongloe, for its thorough investigation and recommendations.

4. The President has also instructed the Minister of Justice to further investigate the actions of the Police during the incident and take all necessary corrective measures.

5. The Ministry of State of Presidential Affairs will intervene in cases where students sustained injuries during the incident, through their respective schools.

Nimba Superintendent Relieved of Duty to Pursue Political Ambitions
President Sirleaf has, as of today, relieved Nimba Superintendent Edith Gongloe-Weh of her post, to enable her to pursue her political objectives. The Presidentís decision is in keeping with her decision that all political appointees vying for electoral office must step down. Replacing Mrs. Gongloe-Weh will be replaced by Madam Christiana Dagadu. Replacing Development Superintendent Cooper Mykers will be Mr. Peter Faiweah.

In response to the Presidentís stated policy, the Superintendent of Grand Kru County, Madam Rosalind Sneh, has taken leave of absence to contest for elected office. She is to be replaced by Madam Elizabeth Dempster.

Appointments at Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation
President Sirleaf has today nominated Mr. Nortu A. Jappah as Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC). Mr. Elmos B. Glay has been appointed as Deputy Director for Technical Services.   

Central Monrovia Parking
In response to complaints about new parking regulations in central Monrovia, President Sirleaf is constituting an independent assessment team to review the new parking rules.