Source: The Liberian Observer
Keynote Address By: Hon. Emmanuel S. Wettee, Chairman, All Liberian Conference on Dual Citizenship, Delivered at the Liberian Association of Wisconsin, Celebrating Liberia’s 172nd Independence Day – July 26th, 2019.
I was invited to speak to you on the topic “Dual Citizenship for Liberians Living Abroad: The Challenges, Advantages and Way Forward to the Future” and not to school you on the pros or cons of celebrating Liberia at 172. However, understanding the views of the two parties provides the justifications for dual citizenship in Liberia.
To enable me to perform my assigned task I will like to seek your permission to alter the topic to “Dual Citizenship for Liberians: The Challenges, Advantages and Way Forward to the Future.
”Liberia at 172 is a founding member of the United Nations, African Union, The Economic Community of West African States and signatories to many human rights organizations. Ambassador Angie Elizabeth Brooks-Randolph, a Liberian diplomat, was the first African woman to be President of the United Nations General Assembly in the 60’s. In 1960, Liberia filed legal proceedings against South Africa at the International Court of Justice. In recent history, Liberia elected the first female President of Africa. Despite all these diplomatic achievements, the government of Liberia has from 1847 to now, discriminated against its own female citizens.
According to Liberia’s 1974 Aliens and Nationality Laws, at the time of birth, the rights to citizenship only descend to a child by way of their father and not their mother. A natural born Liberian who migrated to another country and naturalized is no longer considered a Liberian and the same applies to their children. The 1974 Aliens and Nationality Laws do not support dual citizenship by allowing you to keep your Liberian citizenship and your naturalized citizenship. And since the constitution of Liberia states that only a Liberian can own land, any land owned by a Liberian before naturalization is no longer for them after nationalization. Also, their children born outside of Liberia who are citizens of another country can’t take ownership of the land.