Africa

Liberia’s UN Ambassador Lewis G. Brown Recalled From Post By His Government

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The Liberian Ambassador accredited to the United Nations (UN) has been recalled by his government. A letter issued to Ambassador Lewis G. Brown on Monday under the signature of the country’s Foreign Minister Gbenzhongar M. Findley says, ” I present my compliments and have been directed by the President of Liberia H.E. George Manneh Weah , to have you recalled from post with immediate effect…”

The letter requested Ambassador Browne to provide the names of family members to facilitate arrangements for his return home and “…to officially take leave of the Secretary General of the United Nations immediately…”

Ambassador Brown, once a fierce critic of former Liberian President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf made an about face to support her following the breakdown of an opposition coalition known as the National Democratic Alliance (NDC).

He was shortly thereafter appointed as his country’s UN Ambassador Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Cuba by President Johnson-Sirleaf.

Outgoing Liberian UN Ambassador Lewis G. Brown

Outgoing Liberian UN Ambassador Lewis G. Brown

Prior to his UN appointment, Mr. Brown served as Liberia’s Minister for Information between 2012 and 2016.  In 2003, he served as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chief Negotiator at the Accra Peace Talks in the Charles Taylor government, having served as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in 2002. He is a former Security adviser to former rebel leader turned former President Taylor at the height of the civil conflict between 1999 – 2002.

In June 16, 2016, Ambassador Brown officially took up assignment when he presented his letters of credence to then UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in New York.

TRC Head Cllr Jerome Verdier

Liberia’s TRC Head Counselor Jerome Verdier

The top Liberian diplomat is not without controversy as he was named in the Final Report of the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as one of 21 individuals named as responsible for committing economic crimes. No one has been held to account for economic and serious human rights violations since the cessation of hostilities, completion and submission of the TRC’s Final Report to the government of Liberia in 2009. Outgoing UN Ambassador Brown once served the head of the government owned Liberia Petroleum Corporation (LPRC) in the Taylor government between 1997 – 1997. LPRC’S main function which generates revenue for government include providing supervision of the importation, distribution and retailing of petroleum products to government ministries and agencies

International Non-Governmental Organizations, the United Nations, the United States and the international community are pressuring the Weah Administration to implement the recommendations of the TRC Report as a step forward in addressing issues which led to back-to-back wars in Liberia in between 1990 – 2003.

The Weah Administration has yet to committ to implementing the TRC Report inspite of local and international outcry.

Meantime, the Executive Mansion disclosed late Wednesday that Mr. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah Sr. has been appointed by the Liberian President George M. Weah as UN Ambassador and Plenipotentiary envoy to Cuba pending confirmation by the Liberian Senate.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine