Thousands of Liberians took to the streets of the capital, Monrovia, on Friday to protest against the corruption and economic decline that many blame on their once hugely popular president, former football star George Weah, Trend reports citing Reuters.
In a stark contrast to the wild celebrations that greeted Weah’s election victory in 2017, throngs of chanting demonstrators bearing signs calling Weah a “traitor” gathered near the president’s official residence.
Among protesters’ main gripes: a stagnant economy in which most still live in deep poverty and a scandal in which the country last year lost $100 million in newly printed bank notes destined for the central bank.
“Weah is not governing our state the right way,” said Ishmael Hassan, who voted for Weah in 2017 but has since become disillusioned. “The economic situation in our country is going down the drain.”
Liberia’s economy was hit hard by a 2014-16 Ebola outbreak that killed thousands, low prices for its chief exports, iron ore and rubber, and declining foreign aid.
The International Monetary Fund in March revised down Liberia’s economic growth forecast for 2019 to 0.4% from 4.7%. Inflation peaked at 28.5% in December, pushing up the price of everyday items.