A Picture Is NOT Worth a Thousand Liberian Lives

I squirmed when I saw the photo online of a female protester in her crisp white T-shirt, with ruby red liquid dripping down her neck and face. There were other photos in a series. One man lay on the naked carpet of a room, surrounded by the living, his thin vertical body lifeless. Another man…

Will Liberia’s Women Support “Ma Ellen” again?

Women make up about half of the total registered voters in Liberia, according to the National Election Commission. They made up slightly more than half of voters in 2005. That is almost certainly what propelled Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to become the first woman elected president of an African nation.  Does Ma Ellen have the women’s…

Women at Particular Risk in Liberia’s New Drug Trade

Drug trafficking and drug use is on the rise in Liberia according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The problem is fueled by the influx of drugs into the region by South American drug cartels who see this as an easy route to get their products to Europe….

The Morning After Is Only the Beginning

I knew I had to be home on October 11. Although it would mean blowing my modest student budget for a few months, I bought the cheapest ticket I could find from London to Monrovia. And despite well-intentioned warnings from those whom I love most, I came back to cast a ballot for the first…

Is former warlord Prince Johnson fit to rule?

Surrounded by bodyguards, Prince Yormie Johnson swaggers with confidence toward a meeting hut in the center of his large Monrovia compound, decorated with brass figurines and farm animals. The Liberian senator and former warlord is among the 16 candidates vying for the presidency in the Oct. 11 general elections. Johnson, 52, already behaves like a…

Nobel Peace Prize winner Johnson Sirleaf runs for re-election

Just days before winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stood on a makeshift stage at the jam-packed Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia. She launched into a rousing campaign song. Singing “Ellen’s got the Mansion Key” to cheering supporters, Johnson Sirleaf appeared confident that she would win a second term as Liberia’s…

Broken Promises of Foreign Palm Oil Company Anger Locals

Two years ago the government of Liberia signed an $800 million dollar concession agreement with Malaysian palm oil giant Sime Darby to cultivate 220,000 hectares of land. In the agreement, the company promised to build schools and clinics and provide workers with decent housing. More than a year later workers are living in the shells…

Is Liberia Losing the Battle on Water and Sanitation?

A Diary from World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden “We run the risk of losing the battle on water and sanitation in many cities around the world, and that is a fight we cannot afford to lose.” These are the words of Anders Berntell, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), one of the…

UN Prepares for Violence in Liberia’s poll

MONROVIA, Liberia — On a rainy August evening three days before a national referendum, white United Nations tanks rolled down Tubman Boulevard, the Liberian capital’s main road, and took up positions in front of the president’s house and the national legislature. It was a signal Liberia’s security forces and the U.N. force feared poll violence….

She Na Fini Yet ‘O: Why Ellen Is the Only Choice on October 11

There was a lot “spoiled” about Liberia in January 2006, when a woman draped in regal gold, with a glitter of hope in her eyes, took the podium, offering a promise of renewal. Monrovia roads had pot-holes the size of bomb craters, and the streets were littered with dirt and debris. Rural roads were barely…

Dangerous Pregnancy: Unsafe Abortion a Problem for Liberian Teens

Monrovia – Pale and weak, Pauline Kule was rushed to the James N. Davis Memorial hospital in July because she had been bleeding profusely. The 19-year-old swallowed 15 pills hoping to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. A ninth-grade student, Kule says she was afraid her father would withdraw his financial support if he found…

Environmental Activists Threatens to Sue Liberian Government Over Rights Abuses

The Key campaigner of Green Advocates, Cllr. Alfred Brownell has threatened a lawsuit against the government for allowing Sime Darby, an oil palm production company to operate in Cape Mount and Bomi Counties in violation of the citizens’ rights under the constitution of Liberia. Cllr. Brownell said in an exclusive interview with this paper that…

Doctors Blame High Number of Child Burns on Parental Ignorance

Two-year-old Rosetta Fokpa lies on her back, left foot raised in the air. A pretty little girl with braids, she cries bitterly. Boiling water scalded her legs, exposing a layer of fresh pink skin. It happened a week ago but the little girl is still in terrible pain. Fokpa’s mother says the child stepped into…

Women lifted Ma Ellen to president in 2005. Will they do it again?

Maima Sackie has lived here in Memeh Town, a collection of mud and thatch-roof houses 30 minutes from Monrovia, for fifteen years, selling potato greens to take care of her four children. The stout 46 year-old, wearing a dark t-shirt and flowery lappa, says incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf hasn’t done enough to improve women’s…

Fugitive Police Officer Arrested, Charged in Rape of 13-year Old

Monrovia-A 38-year-old police officer has been arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl, authorities said.  The alleged perpetrator had evaded police since the incident was reported on May 14. He was arrested last night at an undisclosed location in Paynesville on an insider tip. The officer was disrobed immediately, said Vera…

Another Rape Victim: Police Officer Allegedly Rapes 13-year-old Girl

Barely two weeks following the arrest of 21-yr-old rape suspect, who was charged with statutory rape of a 12 yr-old girl on old road, another rape case has surfaced with a Police officer accused of raping a 13 yr-old girl in the Paynesville- ELWA Junction area.FrontPageAfrica is withholding the name of the accused officer –…

Jobless Without Qaddafi: Withdrawal of Libyan Investment Spurs Unemployment

Foya, Lofa County – Theresa Fallah, a 26-year-old mother of two, worked in this green, mountainous region tilling the soil to grow rice, a Liberian staple, under a Liberian-Libyan partnership launched in 2007. Now Fallah, like other workers, is unemployed as Libya withdraws its investments in Liberia. Once a field laborer with the rice production…