Liberia: Fired Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Gives Own Account of What Led to His Removal from Government

Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry B. Fahnbulleh, has publicly responded to his dismissal by President George Manneh Weah, which took place on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. Fahnbulleh expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve in the Liberian government and shed light on the circumstances surrounding his departure.

In a statement released on November 9, Fahnbulleh thanked President Weah for allowing him to serve in his government from June 2019 to November 8, 2023. He referred to his tenure as a “wonderful experience” and expressed appreciation for the opportunity.

Fahnbulleh revealed that on Monday, November 6, 2023, he intervened in a situation at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations involving a local staff member, Ms. Wynee Cummings, and New York City police officers. According to him, Foreign Minister Kemayah had ordered the police to prevent Ms. Cummings from entering the office.

The former Deputy Minister mentioned that Ms. Cummings had accused Minister Kemayah of harassment during his tenure as Liberia’s permanent representative at the United Nations. Fahnbulleh claimed he had received this complaint in September 2020, during his time as Acting Minister, following the resignation of Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar M. Findley in July 2020.

Fahnbulleh asserted that his intervention was based on his responsibilities, which included the supervision of all foreign missions. He spoke to the police on the subject matter as well.

He further disclosed that on Tuesday, November 7, he received calls from senior government officials closely associated with the presidency, urging him to retract his statement to the police, as it had validated Ms. Cummings’ allegations against Minister Kemayah. Despite these requests, he refused to withdraw his statement, considering it a statement of fact.

Fahnbulleh expressed surprise at the swift action taken by President Weah to relieve him of his duties as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He questioned why the government did not opt for a more transparent approach by constituting an independent committee to investigate the numerous similar allegations against officials. He emphasized the importance of accountability and taking responsibility for one’s actions.

Source: Front Page Africa