The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Did Gov’t Summon
US Ambassador?

United States Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy’s appearance on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs premises yesterday has sparked public debate in Monrovia as the detail remains masked.
Sources familiar with the meeting confirmed that he was cited but gave no further details as to why the US Diplomat was summoned by Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah and other officials.
Many are wondering as the debate heats up if McCarthy’s invite was to provide further clarity or explanation for his opinion in connection to cleaning the city of Monrovia.
It is a known fact that McCarthy’s opinion piece might have not represent what Liberian diplomats expect of a high ranking official of the United States but his view was contained in an opinion piece in commemoration of Liberia’s founding President, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, 213 birthday on Tuesday, March 15.
In paragraphs 5 to 6 of that feature titled: “What would J.J Roberts have to say about this?” McCarthy recounted how as a Peace Corps Volunteer, he was blessed to live for two years in villages without electricity or running water in West Africa.
McCarthy said villagers then coordinated with the local government to deliver waste daily to a designated land fill, adding, “The state of cleanliness of Monrovia, which is more developed and a far wealthier community, sadly does not compare.”
“No donor or external partner is funding the recurrent cost of solid waste collection and disposal. Is there a more basic local government responsibility than the collection and proper disposal of garbage?” McCarthy continued.
However, Mayor Jefferson Koijee considered McCarthy’s criticisms of the Monrovia City Government as a challenge.
It can be recalled that last month, Koijee stated that there is a lack of “Donor or external support from partners to fund the recurrent cost of solid waste collection and disposal on Monrovia.”
McCarthy is the second foreign envoy to openly raise diplomatic concern regarding matters of national concern mainly on health and corruption because monies used here for Liberia’s reconstruction and economy recovery programs following almost 20 years of the war closure comes from these western nations’ taxpayers.
Meanwhile, the Head of the European Union Delegation in Liberia, Laurent Delahousse, made similar statement against the country but mainly the Monrovia City Government describing Monrovia as the most “dirtiest city” in Africa that he ever saw and lived in all his lifetime.
Following Delahousse’s comment, he was immediately summoned at the foreign ministry after which he withdrew and offered an apology to the country (Liberia).
It is not yet known whether McCarthy coping with his diplomatic status will also do the same like Delahousse by rendering an apology or will he be left to go.
About 60 years now after the arrival of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Liberia, the United States taxpayers’ contribution to Liberia is over US$110 million per year as foreign assistance.
This includes over US$79 million per year donated to the health sector with approximately US$9 million specifically for purchasing medications and commodities for Liberians and improving the health ministry’s effective distribution as well as warehousing of pharmaceuticals.

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