The United States has imposed sanction on Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Tamba Koijee, and Secretary General of the ruling CDC party who according to the US, has a reputation for stoking violence and has a powerful grip on Monrovia’s youths.
Mayor Koijee is listed among a number of individuals around the world who the US Department of Treasury listed as, “perpetrators of Human Rights abuse” around the world in a press release issued in Washington on Friday December 8, 2023 to mark the 76th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The US government went on to catalogue a list of allegations of human rights abuses and other violent incidents the CDC Secretary General is said to have been the brain behind. The latest sanctioning of Koijee brings to five the number of Liberian Government officials slapped with US sanctions.
SEE FULL TEXT OF THE US PRESS RELEASE BELOW:
WASHINGTON — December 10, 2023 marks the 75thanniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the landmark document enshrining human rights and fundamental freedoms for all individuals. Ahead of this historic anniversary and Human Rights Day, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) reaffirms its steadfast commitment to promoting respect for human rights and accountability for perpetrators of human rights abuse.
“Our commitment to upholding and defending human rights is sacrosanct,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “Abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms—wherever they occur in the world—strike at the heart of our shared humanity and our collective conscience. Treasury’s targeted sanctions announced today and over the past year underscore the seriousness of our commitment to promoting accountability for human rights abuse and safeguarding the U.S. financial system from those who commit these egregious acts.”
Over the past year, including the actions taken today, Treasury has designated more than 150 individuals and entities across a dozen countries for issues relating to human rights abuse. These designations have leveraged numerous sanctions authorities and have targeted a range of activities that violate or abuse human rights and betray the vision laid out in the UDHR. Treasury designations also targeted instances of human rights abuse linked to terrorist organizations, criminal activity, repression of LGBTQI+ persons, transnational repression, and environmental crime and degradation. Treasury will continue to leverage all relevant sanctions authorities to promote respect for human rights and accountability for human rights violations and abuses. These include violations and abuses involving the repression of members of civil society, protesters, and journalists; violence against civilians; arbitrary detention and kidnapping; and gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) which the President has identified as a priority through issuing the Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Accountability for CRSV.
Promoting accountability for conflict-related sexual violence is a top priority for President Biden, who last year signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the U.S. government to strengthen our exercise of financial, diplomatic, and legal tools against this scourge—leading to the first-ever imposition of sanctions resulting from a dedicated focus on conflict-related sexual violence. Today’s sanctions include 13 targets that have been identified for designation by the United States, and several in coordination with allies and partners on the United Nations Security Council, for their role in perpetrating or condoning the perpetration of rape and other forms of sexual violence, further implementing the Presidential Memorandum and underscoring the Administration’s commitment to recognizing this abhorrent abuse and promoting accountability.
Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 20 individuals for their connection to human rights abuse in nine countries. An additional two individuals were sanctioned under the Department of State’s counterterrorism authority. Furthermore, the Department of State likewise designated individuals in Russia, Indonesia, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for visa restrictions pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Annual Appropriations Act. These actions are taken in concert with measures imposed by partners in the United Kingdom and Canada, which have similarly utilized economic measures to deter human rights abuse globally. We stand with our partners in upholding international ideals.
Treasury Designates Perpetrators of Human Rights Abuse and Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights | U.S. Department of the Treasury
LIBERIA: Today, OFAC designated Jefferson Koijee (Koijee), who is the mayor of Monrovia, Liberia and is a senior leader in the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) political party. Koijee has a reputation for stoking violence and has a powerful grip on Monrovia’s youth.
He controls paramilitary-style organizations associated with the CDC which allegedly recruits former combatants and recently released prisoners. OFAC has reason to believe that Koijee has instructed these organizations to violently disrupt demonstrations conducted by government critics or political opposition. Koijee and his supporters have been involved in violence in connection with: an opposition rally in July 2022, students attending a memorial service for former Liberian president Amos Sawyer inMarch 2022, an anti-rape protest in August 2020, a student graduation ceremony in December 2019, and an opposition rally in November 2018. Koijee has also engaged in corrupt acts, including bribery and misappropriation of state assets for use by private political movements and pressuring anti-corruption investigators to halt corruption investigations.
Koijee is being designated for being a foreign person who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse and for being a foreign person who is a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery pursuant to E.O. 13818.