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African officials experiencing US visa difficulties for various reasons

NEW YORK —In December 2017, several African nations joined most member-states of the United Nations General Assembly votes to condemn President Trump’s Jerusalem decision.

A lopsided majority of United Nations member-states rebuked the United States on a Thursday, denouncing its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ignoring President Trump’s threats to retaliate by cutting aid and possibly denying visas to countries voting against it.

President Trump had also threatened that the US would pull funding from the world body. Some 128 countries voted for the resolution, while nine voted “no,” and 35 nations abstained.

The seven countries that sided that Thursday with the United States and Israel on the U.N. General Assembly resolution declaring “null and void” President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital are all small and obscure as world players.

Here’s the list: Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Togo.  Four of the countries — Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau — have combined populations less than the U.S. city of Boise, Idaho.  Nauru, for example, has a population of 10,000.

Another 35 nations abstained from the 128-9 vote. Two are the United States closest neighbors, Canada and Mexico. The others are allies across the globe.  Here’s the list: Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, and Vanuatu.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Sr.

What many of the leaders in African nations that voted against the U.S. and Israel failed to realize was the fact that current U.S. president Donald J. Trump, Sr does not compromise in dealing with individuals and entities that cross his path.  Already, the United Nations has started to have serious budget problems and the Trump administration has no expressed intention of changing its position.

Few African nations including Liberia, a traditional ally of the United States and Israel, which voted blindly in favor of the UN General Assembly’s resolution is among countries to experience the Trump administration’s wrath.

Although many Liberians say Liberia’s vote against the United States was naïve and did not reflect the will of the Liberian people but rather the one-sided perception and singular disposition of the past leadership.  However, the impact the Liberian vote imposed has not been undone by the current Liberian administration and so it would imply that the current Liberian government is likely in support of the vote unless incumbent president, George Manneh Weah can clearly and openly state the position of his government with respect to the UN General Assembly vote.

According to sources, certain senior-level officials in several African nations, including business leaders, are experiencing difficulties obtaining visas to visit the United States.  The indirect imposition of visa restrictions is said to be one of the elements used to make several African countries realize the impact of their vote.

In Liberia, besides the UN General Assembly’s vote, sources say there is a long list of past and present Liberian government officials who could possibly experience visa denials for several reasons, including economic crimes and corruption. According to sources, serious documentation is said to be proceeding by various groups into the assets and properties of African officials suspected of stealing wealth from their countries and people.

Dozens of officials from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria are expected to be affected.  The possible asset freeze could extend as far as Europe where some African officials have deposited a substantial amount of stolen wealth.  Recently, intelligence sources discovered that most Liberian officials have secretly kept stolen wealth in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon and others have taken their wealth to Morrocco, South Africa, and Ghana.

A long list of human rights groups, including the New York-based Human Rights Watch, have called on incumbent Liberian president, HE George Manneh Weah to speed up with the process that would prevent the extension of impunity for economic crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Liberia.

Reliable international sources told Globe Afrique that should Liberia continues to renege on such international obligation, future funding and development support could be jeopardy.

In a related development, there is credible information that various groups from Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are preparing legal suits against former Burkina Faso’s president Blaise Campaore and former Liberian president, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for their association with key aspects of instabilities in the West African sub-region.  The Burkinabe group is calling for the prosecution of Campaore for the murder of Captain Thomas Sankara, the country’s former beloved military leader.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf retired as head of state of Liberia after two terms.  She is a recipient of several international awards including the Nobel Peace Prize (2011) and the Ibrahim Prize (2018).  Since her retirement, she continues to live freely in Liberia from where she is to engage in international and national issues relating to human development.

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Globe Afrique News Desk

Globe Afrique’s News Desk coordinates and analyses news stories from around the world as well as the gathering or distribution of news. Globe Afrique, a US-based institution, is Africa’s leading investigative media entity. The institution’s researchers, analysts, reporters, and contributors deeply investigate and report on a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. The institution, which sometimes spends weeks or months researching and preparing investigative reports, also researches into social and legal issues. Have a news tip, write to globeafriquellc@gmail.com

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