Liberia’s president suspends minister for stoking ethnic tensions

George weah

Liberian president George Weah attends the opening session of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at the UNESCO headquaters in Paris, on November 12, 2018. - Fifty-one states, including all EU members, have pledged their support for a new international agreement to set standards on cyberweapons and the use of the internet, the French government said on November 12. China, Russia and the United States did not sign the pledge, reflecting their resistance to setting standards for cyberweapons which are at the cutting edge of modern warfare. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)

Liberian President George Weah on Monday suspended his junior press minister for stoking ethnic tensions in a country ravaged by tribalism and two civil wars which killed some 250,000 people.

Weah suspended Eugene Fahngon over comments that a call for a big anti-government demonstration on June 7 was engineered by the so-called “Congo Liberians,” or descendants of freed slaves who returned from the United States to found Africa’s first independent republic.

Weah, who overcame childhood poverty to become an international football legend, is not from this class, which has dominated politics in Liberia for 170 years.

Weah and his government were “committed to a ‘one country, one people’ policy with zero tolerance on divisive politicking or tribalism,” a statement said.

“I will not go for the June 7 demonstration,” Fahngon had said on Facebook. “It is the Congo people who are behind the June 7 demonstration.”

The US embassy on Monday said it was “concerned by recent comments made in various forums which could impede Liberia’s progress. 

“Those who promote through their words or deeds a Congo-Country divide do not have Liberia’s best interests or that of their constituents at heart, but rather appear motivated by personal ambitions or fears,” a statement said.


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