The United States Embassy near Monrovia has issued a statement strongly condemning the election of “notorious Warlord” now Senator of Nimba County, Prince Johnson.
“Senator Johnson’s gross human rights violations during Liberia’s civil wars are well-documented; his continued efforts to protect himself from accountability, enrich his own coffers and sow division are also well known,” the US Embassy said in the statement issued on the evening of May 19, 2021 in Monrovia.
To this end, the United States said inasmuch as it will continue to support the Ministry of National Defense, the United States “can have no relationship with Senator Johnson”.
“That the Liberian Senate would see fit to elevate him to a leadership role – particularly in the area in which he has done this country the most harm — creates doubts as to the seriousness of the Senate as a steward of Liberia’s defense and security.”
The U.S. government is proud of our longstanding partnership with the Ministry of National Defense and Armed Forces of Liberia which will continue — but we can have no relationship with Senator Johnson,” the US Government emphasized.
The statement continued: “We note as well the continuation of Counselor Varney Sherman, sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for corruption involving judicial bribery, as chair of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims and Petitions. By giving Senators Johnson and Sherman these leadership roles, the Senate is effectively ensuring that corruption and lack of accountability flourish.”
Senator Johnson, who played a pivotal role as one of the leaders of the many warring factions in the Liberian civil war, in recent times, has not taken kindly to discussions concerning the need to establish a war crimes court.
The Liberian Senate has elected six of their colleagues to fill in vacancies on six Statutory Committees created by the defeat of Senators on those committees during the December 8, 2020 special senatorial elections. Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe now chairs the Senate committee on Public Works; Senator James Biney chairs the Foreign Affairs committee, coincidentally vacated by his defeated Maryland County kinsman H. Dan Morais; Bong County Senator Prince Moye is the new chair of the committee on Education.
Also joining the Senate leadership are Senators Prince Y Johnson, returning to the helm of the Defense and Intelligence Committee, which he once chaired, while Sinoe County Senator Augustine Chea is the chair of Health and Social Welfare Committee, which was once chaired by Grand Kru County defeated Senator Dr Peter Sonpon Coleman. Senator Emmanuel Nuquay is now chair of the Public Accounts Committee.