News / Africa

    Liberia’s President Fires Officials Who Left Amid Ebola Outbreak

    FILE - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
    FILE - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
    James Butty

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered the dismissal of some junior and senior level cabinet ministers, who, in the wake of the deadly Ebola outbreak left the country and have yet to return.

    A week ago Sirleaf gave cabinet ministers out of the country one week to return home or they would be considered dismissed, except for those with serious health-related excuses.

    Information Minister Lewis Brown said although the list of those affected is still being compiled, it includes the Chairman of the National Investment Commission and several deputy and assistant ministers.

    Critics say the exodus of government officials has added to a state of uncertainty in the country.

    Brown said President Sirleaf wants all her cabinet ministers at home to join the fight against Ebola.

    “You might remember that about a week and a half ago, the president issued an ultimatum that she wanted all officials of the Executive Branch back home. And so many of the officials on various assignments honored this and returned home. But a few still have not. And so with the expiring of the deadline, the president proceeded to issue dismissal orders," he said.

    Among those said to be affected by the dismissal order is Michael Wotorson, chairman of the National Investment Commission, a full cabinet position.

    Local reports said Wotorson wrote to his cabinet colleagues to inform them that he was resigning his position. “This was a difficult decision for me, but it was the right one for me and my family,” he reportedly said.

    Earlier this month, President Sirleaf canceled her planned trip to the United States, where she was to attend the first-ever US-Africa summit in Washington.

    Local reports say Wotorson was a member of the Liberian delegation to the US-Africa summit headed then by Vice President Joseph Boakai.

    A number of cabinet ministers who were also part of that delegation have since returned to Liberia.

    Brown said Liberia finds itself at a time of extreme need due to the Ebola outbreak and that the duty of any democratic government is to respond to the needs of its people.

    “This [Ebola] is [a] scourge that requires all of us to work together to give support to our lead agencies, including the Ministry of Health to make sure that they have all of the support that we can muster to provide them the capacity they need to be able to help the country deal with this situation,” Brown said.

    Several other officials are still out of the country but not affected by the dismissal order because they are said to be attending to medical needs, while others are performing official duties.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora