The U.S. Embassy strongly condemns the election yesterday of notorious warlord Prince Y. Johnson as Chair of the Liberian Senate Committee on Defense and Intelligence. 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. 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.
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.