Liberia Seizes $100 Million Worth Of Cocaine

Credit: Facebook/Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency.


Liberian authorities on Monday said they had seized some $100 million worth of cocaine, with help from the United States’ international narcotics agency.

Liberian Justice Minister Musa Dean told reporters the national Drug Enforcement Agency, with help from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, had made the seizure Saturday in Topoe village, a western suburb of the capital Monrovia.

The operation led “to the seizure of $100 million worth of pure cocaine”, he said.

A Guinea-Bissau national and a Lebanese suspect were arrested, he added.

The drug agency could not confirm reports shared on social media that the drug had been stored in frozen fish containers. It said the investigation was ongoing.

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Drug enforcement agency chief Marcus Zehyoue said “a full-scale investigation” was underway along with a search for accomplices who escaped capture.

The US embassy in Liberia congratulated the Liberian authorities on the drug haul, saying in a statement that it was the result of swift joint action.

“The success of this operation is the direct result of excellent communication between law enforcement agencies around the world, including Brazil, the United States, and Liberia, among others.” it added.


‘Special Guest Of Honour’ Buhari To Attend Liberia’s 175th Independence Anniversary On Tuesday

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari will on Tuesday depart Abuja for Liberia to attend the country’s 175th independence anniversary celebrations.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this on Monday in a statement.

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He said Buhari, who will be the Special Guest of Honour at the event, will join other world leaders and organisations to rejoice with the people of Liberia at the event with the theme: “Fostering Unity, Protecting Our Peace for Development and Prosperity.”

Accompanying the President on his trip are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

After participating in the independence programme, Buhari is expected back in the country later on the same day, Tuesday.

Nigeria played a leading role in the stabilisation of the West African nation in the early 90s, leading to the establishment of democratic rule and has continued to assist the country in many ways especially through the Technical Aids Corps scheme.

In 2019, President Buhari was conferred with the highest national honour in the country, the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia, in recognition of Nigeria’s continued support for the development of the country.


See the full statement issued below:


President Muhammadu Buhari departs Abuja Tuesday for Monrovia, Liberia, to attend the 175th independence anniversary celebrations of the country.

The President, who will be the Special Guest of Honour at the event, joins other world leaders and organisations to rejoice with the people of Liberia at the event with the theme: “Fostering Unity, Protecting Our Peace for Development and Prosperity.”

Nigeria played a leading role in the stabilisation of the West African nation in the early 90s, leading to the establishment of democratic rule and has continued to assist the country in many ways especially through the Technical Aids Corps scheme.

In 2019, President Buhari was conferred with the highest national honour in the country, the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia, in recognition of Nigeria’s continued support towards the development of the country.

President Buhari who will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, is expected back in the country later on the same day, Tuesday.


Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

July 25, 2022

Osinbajo To Represent Buhari At Liberia’s Bicentennial Celebrations

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected on Monday morning to depart Abuja for Monrovia, Liberia, and represent President Muhammadu Buhari at the formal launch of the year-long commemoration of the country’s Bicentennial Anniversary.

This was announced in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

Osinbajo will join other leaders across Africa and beyond to grace the event scheduled to hold today at the Samuel K. Doe Stadium in Monrovia.

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The Vice President will also attend other events later today in Monrovia as part of the Liberian national celebrations.

Liberia was founded in 1822 when freed black people started relocating to West Africa from the United States. On July 26, 1847, the country proclaimed its independence and became the Republic of Liberia.

Osinbajo, who will be accompanied on the trip by Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada; and Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. (Amb.) Adeyemi Dipeolu; is expected back in the country tomorrow, Tuesday, February 15.

Liberia To Print New Banknotes To Address Cash Shortages

File photo of the Central Bank of Liberia.


Liberia has approved a scheme to print new banknotes, according to an AFP journalist, in a bid to address long-running cash shortages in the West African nation.

The central bank will now be empowered to print notes worth 48.7 billion Liberian dollars ($281m, 235m euros) and to withdraw old ones from circulation.

People regularly complain of the difficulty of getting cash in Liberia, in shortages the central bank has said are due to high demand, few ATMs, and the circulation of foreign currency.

Liberia has two legal currencies: the Liberian dollar and the US dollar.

The country also imports the vast majority of its food, and wholesale imports and taxes are payable in US dollars only.

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Among other economic woes, the country of 5 million people suffers periodic fuel shortages and suffers from high inflation.

President George Weah, 54, in January urged the Liberian legislature to approve his plan to print banknotes to resolve supply shortages.

Liberia’s lower house signed off on printing new bills on Thursday, before the Senate approved it on Monday.

The new scheme will not introduce new denominations, although the five and ten dollar bills are due to become coins.

Liberia is still recovering after back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003, and the West African 2014-16 Ebola pandemic, which killed 4,800 people in the country.


29 People Dead In Liberian Stampede

People search through piles of shoes left at a field in Monrovia, on January 20, 2022, where 29 people, including a pregnant woman and 11 children are confirmed dead after a stampede broke out at a Christian crusade on the night of January 19, 2022. – A stampede started after a group of men carrying knives tried to rob worshippers. (Photo by EMMANUEL TOBEY / AFP)

A stampede at a Christian prayer gathering in Liberia’s capital Monrovia has killed at least 29 people, police said on Thursday, adding that the death toll may rise.

The disaster occurred on Wednesday night or during the early hours of Thursday morning, according to media in the West African country.

Police spokesman Moses Carter told AFP the death toll was provisional and “may increase” because a number of people were in critical condition. He added that children were included among the dead.

Details about the incident remained sketchy. Local media said the event was a Christian prayer gathering — known in Liberia as a “crusade” — held in a football pitch in New Kru Town, a working-class suburb of Monrovia.

Such gatherings typically gather thousands of people in Liberia, a highly religious country where a majority of the population of five million are Christians.

Pastor Abraham Kromah, a popular preacher, staged the two-day prayer event in New Kru Town and attracted large crowds, according to images circulating on social media.

Robbers wielding knives and machetes attacked the worshippers, local media reported, suggesting that this may have triggered the stampede.

Eye witness Emmanuel Gray, 26, told AFP he heard “heavy noise” towards the end of the event, and saw several dead bodies.

Accidents and disasters are relatively common in Liberia.

A stampede at a similar prayer event in the centre of Liberia in November 2021 killed two infants, and hospitalised several others, according to local media.

Seventeen people were also reported missing after a shipwreck off the country’s coast in July last year.

And about 50 people died in a mine collapse in the northwestern Liberia in May 2020.

Liberia, Africa’s oldest republic, is an impoverished country that is still recovering after back-to-back civil wars between 1989-2003, which killed about 250,000 people.

It was also ravaged by the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola epidemic.

According to the World Bank, 44 percent of Liberia’s population lives on less than $1.9 a day.

The UN’s Human Development Index, a barometer of prosperity, ranks Liberia 175th out of 189 countries and territories.

Liberia Shipwreck Survivors Hospitalised As Search For Missing Continues

Liberia is a country in West Africa.


Eleven survivors of a Liberian shipwreck arrived in the capital Monrovia on Monday, an AFP journalist saw, as rescue workers sought for as many as 17 people who were feared missing.

The cargo ship Niko Ivanka foundered off the coast of central Liberia on Saturday while on a trip from the capital to the port of Buchanan, 100 kilometres (60 miles) to the southeast.

The ship’s manifest showed 18 people were officially registered aboard, comprising nine crew members and nine members of a regional education body, according to investigators.

But information gathered from the 11 rescued from the sinking vessel indicate that up to 28 people may have been aboard, they said.

A handful of people awaited survivors outside Monrovia’s John F. Kennedy Hospital. One woman collapsed after failing to spot her loved one among the group.

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“Our priority is to still try to find those who are missing,” the head of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Eugene Lenn Nagbe, told reporters.

The vessel was not authorised to carry passengers and had also been placed “under detention orders” as it was unseaworthy, according to Nagbe.

He said a criminal investigation had been opened.

Liberia is a poor country that is still recovering after back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003 and the West African 2014-16 Ebola pandemic, which killed 4,800 people in the country.


Liberia Votes On Weah’s Plan To Reduce Presidential Terms

Liberia is a country in West Africa.


Liberians began voting on Tuesday on President George Weah’s plan to shorten presidential terms, with critics fearing he could use the change to cling to power.

Former football star Weah has told supporters keeping the same leader for years “is not the way to go” and wants presidents and lower-house lawmakers to serve five years instead of six; and senators seven years instead of nine.

But reducing term limits is a relative novelty for the region, where ageing presidents have used constitutional changes to hold on to power.

In Guinea, 82-year-old President Alpha Conde won a controversial third term in October after pushing through a new constitution that allowed him to bypass a two-term limit.

Opposition politicians in Liberia fear that Weah, 54, could try a similar move, although his office has denied the claim.

He was elected in 2018 and is still serving his first term in office.

Alongside the vote on reducing terms, Liberians are also choosing whether to repeal a 1973 ban on dual nationality, a move which some hope could be an economic boon in the poor nation of 4.8 million people.

The country is still recovering after back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003 and West Africa’s 2014-16 Ebola crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of Liberians are thought to reside overseas, having fled war and poverty.

If they adopt another nationality they are barred from owning property at home, however, among other restrictions.

“I got here at 5:30 am to vote yes for the dual citizenship,” said Manuela Jackson, a 23-year-old university student voting in the capital Monrovia, whose brother has US citizenship.

Should voters opt to lift the dual-nationality ban, Liberians with two passports will still be barred from holding elected office.

The referendum is taking place alongside a mid-term senatorial election. About 2.5 million voters are registered, according to the national elections commission.

Polls are set to close at 6:00 pm, with initial results expected this week.

George Weah Inaugurates New National Carrier For Liberia

File photo of Liberian president, George Weah                                                 Credit: SEYLLOU / AFP


Liberian President George Weah on Friday inaugurated a new national carrier for the West African country, named Lone Star Air, about 30 years after the country’s previous airline went bust. 

Speaking at a ceremony at Liberia’s international airport, near the capital Monrovia, Weah said the new airline would “connect our country to our region and to the world”.

“It is my dream, my hope and my ambition that we will very soon see Lone Star Air, the wings of Liberia, flying our flag in international skies, shining so brightly,” said the footballer-turned-president.

Liberia’s flag bears resemblance to the flag of the United States, but features one star instead of 50.

The country was founded in the 19th century with US support as a home for freed American slaves, whose descendants have a long history of dominating political life.

Liberia currently has no active national carrier, with the country’s former airline folding in the early 1990s, according to a statement from Lone Star Air.

It is unclear when the new airline will begin flights, and neither Weah’s office nor the ministry of transport was immediately available for comment.

However, the airline initially plans to operate flights between Monrovia and regional hubs such as Abidjan in Ivory Coast or Nigeria’s Lagos.

A poor nation of some 4.8 million people, Liberia is still recovering after back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003 and West Africa’s 2014-16 Ebola crisis.


Liberia Declares Rape A National Emergency

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 25, 2017 shows former football player and candidate in Liberia’s presidential elections, George Weah posing during a photo session in Paris.
Weah was sworn in as Liberia’s new president on January 22, 2018, in the country’s first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944. / AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET


Liberian President George Weah has declared rape a national emergency and has ordered new measures to tackle the problem after a recent spike of cases in the poor West African state.

The moves comes after thousands of Liberians protested rising incidents of rape in the capital Monrovia last month, in a bid to draw attention to the country’s alarming rate of sexual assault.

Late on Friday, Weah said he would install a special prosecutor for rape in Liberia, as well as set up a national sex offender registry, a statement from his office said.

The government will also establish a so-called “national security task force” on sexual- and gender-based violence.

The high rates of rape in impoverished Liberia, forced to contend both with war and the Ebola virus in recent years, has been a longstanding concern.

A UN report in 2016 recorded 803 rape cases the previous year in the country of 4.5 million, and found that only two percent of sexual violence cases led to a conviction, for example.

It was the resulting sense of impunity and the legacy of the 14-year civil war between 1989 and 2003, when rape was commonplace, that had created the current problem, it said.

Incidents of rape appear to have risen sharply this year, however.

Margaret Taylor, the director of Liberia’s Women Empowerment Network, told AFP last month that her NGO had recorded 600 cases of rape between June and August, for example.

That was up from between 80 and a hundred cases in May, she said.

Weah’s announcement of a national rape emergency follows a conference in the capital Monrovia on tackling sexual violence on Wednesday.

Addressing the meeting, the footballer-turned-president said Liberia was “witnessing what is actually an epidemic of rape within the pandemic, affecting mostly children and young girls across the country.”

Weah’s office said in the statement on Friday that further anti-rape measures will be announced.



Liberia’s Taylor Denied COVID-19 Jail Move



Judges have rejected a bid by Liberian ex-president and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor to be moved from a British jail, where he claimed he risks dying from coronavirus.

Taylor is serving a 50-year sentence at Frankland prison near Durham in northeastern England after being convicted in 2012 by a court in The Hague of fuelling civil conflict in Sierra Leone.

The warlord had argued that due to a “massive outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK” his life was at risk from continued detention in Britain and that he wanted to be moved to a “safe third country”.

But the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone said in a statement late Monday that “Taylor had failed to comply with court directions that he specify which countries he considered safe.”

The court said Teresa Doherty, the duty judge dealing with Taylor’s application, “noted that the World Health Organization has not declared any place in the world safe from COVID-19”.

Taylor’s claims that his prison was overcrowded and offered bad conditions were also “at variance with facts”, the judge found.

Taylor lost a previous bid to be allowed to serve the remainder of his term in an African jail in 2015.

Taylor was the first former head of state to be jailed by an international court since the Nazi trials at Nuremberg in Germany after World War II.

He was convicted in 2012 on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity over acts committed by Sierra Leone rebels he aided and abetted during the war.

The residual court is the successor to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, which was established by the UN in 2002 to try those who bore “the greatest responsibility” for the atrocities committed during the civil war.


AfDB: Adesina’s Re-election Signifies Africa’s Confidence In His Leadership – George Weah

Liberian President, George Weah, speaks during the virtual swearing-in ceremony of Akinwumi Adesina as AfDB President in Cote DÍvore on September 1, 2020.


President George Weah of Liberia has congratulated Dr Akinwumi Adesina on his re-election as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a second five-year term.

Speaking virtually during Adesina’s swearing-in ceremony, Weah said that his re-election shows the level of confidence the continent and its leaders have in him and Liberia looks forward to partnering with his leadership.

Describing Adesina’s re-election as historic, the Liberian leader said the AfDB President was able to distinguish himself within the past five years.

“Liberia looks forward to the continuous leadership under your leadership. Dr Adesina my good friend, your re-election signifies Africa and the world’s confidence in your leadership.

“God bless you in your endeavours. All the best, my brother, and congratulations,” the Liberian President said.

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Adesina made history by becoming the first President of the financial institution to be re-elected for a second term of five years.

Upon assuming office in 2015, he brought several reforms aimed at empowering Africans and Africa on a global sphere with his election taking place electronically for the very first time.

Prior to his re-election on August 27, Adesina was mired in controversy after he was charged with alleged ethical violations.

However, after repeated investigations, the former Nigerian Agriculture Minister was cleared of all charges levelled against him, paving the way for his re-election.

He is the first Nigerian to hold the post of the bank’s President.

The AfDB, founded in 1964, is geared towards spurring “sustainable economic development and social progress” among member African countries.

Nigeria is the AfDB’s largest shareholder with 16.8 percent of rights, while Germany and the United States own 7.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.

UN To Use Liberian President Weah’s COVID-19 Awareness Song

(FILES) In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.


Liberian President George Weah, a former international football legend, has released a song to be used by the UN to spread awareness about the new coronavirus, his office said Saturday.

Weah hopes to appeal to music lovers across the West African nation of some 4.5 million people to ensure COVID-19 does not spread further.

It is not the first time Weah has used his singing skills. During the 2014 Ebola crisis, when he was a senator, he released an awareness song.

“The song, ‘Let’s Stand Together to Fight Corona”, will be a part of the second phase of UNESCO’s #DontGoViral campaign, which they say is aimed at informing and sensitising communities across Africa about the dangers of the disease,” Weah’s office said.

“The organisers say the music will be subtitled in French and Arabic, and is expected to be featured on various platforms during the campaign – including the BBC and France 24.

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“The Liberian leader was also asked to be the public ambassador of the campaign in order to mobilise innovators and artists across Africa,” it said.

The song’s lyrics list several dos and dont’s — including washing hands regularly — to keep the virus at bay. Weah’s office said he penned it himself.

Liberia has 280 declared cases so far and 27 COVID-19 deaths.