After Liberia’s Costly Rioting, Great Soul‐Searching

  April 14 1979, is some 38 odd years ago, an important day nonetheless in Liberia’s trajectory and troubled recent history. We bring verbatim a New York Times piece of what actually happen on April 14, 1979   New York Times, MAY 30, 1979 By Carey Winfrey MONROVIA, Liberia, May 26 — The event is remembered here simply as “April 14.” On that day last month, at least 41 demonstrators protesting a proposed increase in the price of rice were shot and killed by army and police forces here, triggering…

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Biography of Sirleaf Illustrates Adichie’s ‘Danger of a Single Story’

By Brooks Marmon In an animated interview with The Atlantic, ‘On What Americans Get Wrong About Africa’, the acclaimed Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie observes, “I don’t think stereotypes are problematic because they are false, I think that’s too simple.  I think stereotypes are problematic because they are incomplete, so it is important constantly to question them.” It’s doubtful that Adichie would expect the plethora of positive media coverage surrounding Africa’s first female elected head of state to be problematic, but the publicity for a new biography of Liberian President…

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Caine Prize: For Emergent African Writers, or the Best African Writers

This essay was originally published in the second volume of Oduor Oduku’s KUT Anthology.  It’s hard to tell the story of contemporary African literature without talking about the Caine Prize for African Writing. It’s the biggest and most prominent prize for African Literature—or at least the best publicized—and in the 17 years of its existence, what it means to say “African Literature” has changed quite dramatically, a transformation the Caine Prize has in part reflected, and in part helped to produce. This is easy to see at the level of the individual writers:…

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Opposition MOVEE prepared to provide new leadership for Liberia

The Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) has called on voters not to reward incompetence in the October presidential and legislative elections so that Liberia can move forward in its development. In a statement reacting to the recent State of the Nation address delivered by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf a week ago, MOVEE said no nation that wants to move forward will reward incompetence, and certainly not one that has been stuck in the pit of underdevelopment for so long as Liberia has been. MOVEE said while there was a list…

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Tribute: Joe Max Hinneh, Jr. 1978-2016

By Emmanuel Savice I write with great sadness over the unbelievable loss of a very good friend, a family friend, to an unknown illness in Liberia these past few weeks—a sad tragedy indeed—because the health situation in our country is bad, and the government cannot guaranteed adequate, or a some sort of partial health care to its citizens, my friend’s illness was undiagnosed, in Liberia in this 21lst century. I encountered my friend, the late Joe Max Hinneh Jr, in the early part of 1995, and we have remained friends…

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Reduce Liberia’s political parties to 3

By Cllr Jerome Verdier So, I believe the real issue or difference between political parties in Liberia should not be based on who articulates those issues better but rather how to address those issues in Liberia. I think that is the real difference we should present to the electorates, otherwise the existence of several different parties serves no useful political purpose except to divide and confuse the electorate. This is my position in Liberian politics that all the parties are saying the same thing without any unique approach to tackling…

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PHOTO ESSAY: IS Gen. Ziankahn Confused?

AFL Chief of Staff Gen. Ziankahn ordered the Liberian Observer editor and publisher, the respected Kenneth Best to without delay appeared at his office this week, over a news article that met his displeasure. Gen. Ziankahn is supposed to, or expected to be the best and intelligent ever army Chief of Staff of the Liberian Army given Liberia’s brush with military dictatorship and armed conflict which lasted for almost three decades. Plus, he was meritly vetted by some of the best military trainers in the world, and tax payers and…

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Liberia: How a Nobel Laureate Turned Fear into Fortitude

PRESS RELEASE Boston — Before Leymah Gbowee was able to make sig­nif­i­cant social change in Liberia, lead the women’s move­ment there in the early 2000s, and earn the des­ig­na­tion of Nobel lau­reate, she had to break down walls. Not lit­eral walls made of brick and mortar, but walls con­structed using fear and vit­riol. Walls that led those in her home country to see one another as things, rather than people. “When we are per­sis­tently told that someone from this group is evil and you act on it, you build a…

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Liberia: Dissolve Taskforce, Let LACC Lead GW Probe -CWG

The Concessions Working Group’s (CSG) attention has been drawn to the startling and unfortunate allegations of corruption and bribe-taking involving very senior members of the Liberian government as detailed in the Global Witness latest report titled, ‘The Deceivers.’ CWG is a network of local and international non-governmental organizations working on the Liberian extractives sector that seeks to influence pro-poor national policies so that the natural resources is assured for the most vulnerable segments of the population. In a press release CWG says while it recognizes the right of the President…

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The Fall of Varney Sherman

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh Senator H. Varney G. Sherman, Chairman of the ruling Unity Party has been an influential party insider, a heavyweight in the Liberian political sphere, a top-notched lawyer for nearly his entire adult life and a presidential confidant. Sherman’s role as a presidential confidant won him the coveted slot in 2013 to be the national orator during the nation’s 166th Independence Day ceremonies held in Monrovia. So cunning and effective in his dealings with all sides of the political spectrum including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whom he often…

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