Liberia’s civic reform group the Council of Patriots will hold another round of protests across Liberia today.
Today’s protests follow on from a similar march on June 7, which saw hundreds of thousands take to the streets of the capital Monrovia. Then, a formal reform petition was presented to President George Weah. The petition calls for a number of institutional reforms—such as requiring the president and his administration to disclose all public assets to Liberia’s anti-corruption commission and instituting a comprehensive audit of all government ministries. To date, the government has only responded half-heartedly to the Council’s demands.
Corruption in Liberia is indeed a significant issue. One corruption index has the country rated 120 out of 175 countries evaluated. While a UN report published last year claims that Liberia has made some progress protecting freedom of speech, it also highlighted rampant abuses against women and children.
Given that the ruling party has continued to stonewall the Council of Patriots reform petition, expect protests today to be larger and more widespread than the June 7 protests. Over the medium-term, the movement is likely to lead to either the implementation of the called-for reforms or possibly concerted public pressure for President Weah to resign.
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Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.