Liberian Leader Tested by Mass Anti-Government Protest

President George Weah during his first State of the Nation Address

Thousands of protesters gathered Friday in Monrovia, marking Liberia's largest anti-government demonstration since George Weah became president in early 2018.

Twenty-nine-year-old secretary Phetah Mondeh said she was fed up with allegations of corruption.

"He's got a bunch of criminals in his government and calls them ministers and government officials and they are looting our country," she said. "We are suffering in this country and Weah has nothing to say but only to justify and defend his government every time."

The nation was rocked by claims last year that more than $100 million in Liberian banknotes had disappeared.Although an investigation concluded the banknotes had not disappeared, it did reveal serious mismanagement of the country's finances.

Protester Noel Gibson voiced a common complaint about inflation and the poor economy.

"The hardship in this country is even higher than the previous government they replaced," he said. "For example, the nation's staple food was $1,850 at the time that they came. Now it's $2,800."

The organizers of the demonstration said they would present a list of demands to the government of Weah, a former pro-footballer turned politician.

Weah has said they have a right to protest and would not be stopped. The demonstration was seen as the first in a string of tests for the Liberian leader as criticism of his government grows.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: VOA

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.