By: Ayeason Yeeba
MONROVIA – Former rebel General Prince Yormie Johnson, a sitting Liberian senator representing Nimba County who was last December sanctioned by the United States Government based on the Global Magnitsky Act, may be arrested soon, according to reports.
Reports said recent prosecutions of some former Liberian warlords and sanctions of other politicians by the US show the lengths that the White House will go to pursue war criminals and kleptocrats in Liberia.
It said the sweeping legislation that authorizes sanctions against any individual viewed to have violated human rights or engaged in corruption in Liberia which is under consideration in the US Congress, is a clear sign of the US Government’s readiness to nip criminal public officials and former warlords in Liberia in the butt.
Prince Johnson publicly authorized, watched, and drank Budweiser Beer while his rebel tugs mutilated the living body of former Liberian President Samuel Kanyon Doe; before killing him.
Johnson also admitted during a TRC hearing in Monrovia that he was part of those who killed Burkina Faso’s President, Captain Thomas Sankara.
In December 2020, the United States sanctioned Senator Harry Varney Sherman, a former Chairman of Liberia’s ex-ruling party, for his involvement in a bribery scheme.
Under the Biden administration, the fight against corruption and impunity on a global scale has officially become a major foreign policy priority.
Nowhere is this policy more evident than in the U.S. government’s pursuit of Liberian war criminals, whose violence threatens to tarnish the bicentennial of the arrival of the first free Black Americans to Providence Island, Liberia.
Last December, following President Joe Biden’s June 3, 2021, statement that “Corruption threatens U.S. national security, economic equity, global anti-poverty and development efforts, and democracy itself,” the administration unveiled the nation’s first-ever Strategy on Countering Corruption.
The strategy is centered on five mutually reinforcing pillars of work: modernizing and coordinating government efforts to fight corruption; curbing illicit finance; holding corrupt actors accountable; preserving and strengthening the multilateral anti-corruption architecture; and improving diplomatic engagement and leveraging foreign assistance resources to advance policy goals.
Among the fruits of the new strategy is the forthcoming extradition according to the United States of former Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez to face drug trafficking charges.
The Biden administration has also imposed sanctions on Russian president Vladimir Putin and dozens of sitting Duma deputies and Kremlin cronies for their roles in Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine.