MRU SG Handover Suffers Indefinite Postponement in Guinea

The outgoing Secretary General of the Mano River Union (MRU) handover ceremony to the new Secretary General which was expected to have taken place yesterday, November 7, 2022, has been postponed indefinitely due to Guinea expressing reservation over a breach in protocol.

According to diplomatic sources, the postponement of the handover ceremony was predicated on the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea, a member country of the MRU, to a later date until Guinea, which chairs the regional body, is properly involved.

President George Manneh Weah on September 7, 2022, appointed Mrs. Maria G. Harrison as Secretary General, replacing Ambassador Medina Wesseh, but the transition had not taken place, triggering speculations from media institutions that Ambassador Wesseh whose tenure had expired was allegedly refusing to hand over the position.

The speculations from the media catapulted the Government of Liberia into action as if to suggest that Ambassador Wesseh was recalcitrant in turning over to the newly appointed MRU Secretary General.

Inside sources close to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning said, the Ministry had issued a directive, instructing Ambassador Wesseh to hand over to her successor by October 15, 2022; but when the directive did not materialize, incoming Secretary General Harrison was dispatched to Freetown, Sierra Leone, a move that suggested she was mandated to hold talks with the Government of Sierra Leone to ensure the handover.

“There are protocols and procedures which guide such a turning over ceremony and all countries must be guided by such, and this calls for consultation with the chair who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea,” a diplomatic source informed this paper.

Some diplomatic observers said they  are of the belief that for Guinea to stop the handover ceremony from taking place due to the alleged diplomatic faux pas only validates the submission and views of the outgoing Secretary General Ambassador Wesseh

This according to them poses serious diplomatic embarrassment against Liberia; a situation that would have been averted if the Government of Liberia had simply consulted with the incumbent and been guided by the standing protocols, then having the turning-over ceremony postponed.

And that they said sends some serious political undertones.

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