President George Weah in talks offer to Liberian protesters

Revered in Liberia and beyond for blazing a trail for African footballers in Europe, George Weah is struggling to revive a country that is one of the poorest in the world. (AP Photo)
Updated 11 June 2019

President George Weah in talks offer to Liberian protesters

  • Weah, 52, is now being challenged over the same issues on which he campaigned in his rise to the presidency of the West African state just 18 months ago
  • Weah acknowledged that the economy is still facing challenges, stressing that his government had inherited a broken economy

MONROVIA: Liberian President George Weah on Tuesday invited opponents to “round table” talks to seek solutions to the country’s economic woes, four days after thousands protested against rising prices and corruption.
Weah made his offer to “leaders of political parties, civil society groups, elders, religious leaders, our traditional leaders, student leaders and the business community,” in a speech aired on national radio.
He suggested “a round table discussion to afford them the opportunity to present their alternative views, or their suggestions on the economy.”
A protest coalition on Sunday gave Weah a string of demands with a four-week deadline.
They include improvements in areas such as human rights and corruption, as well as the prosecution of Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Central Bank Governor Nathaniel Patray in connection with financial problems at the Central Bank of Liberia which led to price hikes.
The coalition also called for Weah and all of his officials to declare their assets.
Revered in Liberia and beyond for blazing a trail for African footballers in Europe, Weah is struggling to revive a country that is one of the poorest in the world and still traumatized by back-to-back civil wars between 1989 and 2003 that claimed a quarter of a million lives.
Weah, 52, is now being challenged over the same issues on which he campaigned in his rise to the presidency of the West African state just 18 months ago.
In his radio address the Liberian president appealed to all citizens: “Let us sit and dialogue on the way forward. Bring your ideas to the table and I assure you that they will be given my most careful consideration.”
He acknowledged that the economy is still facing challenges, stressing that his government had inherited a broken economy.
Addressing last Friday’s peaceful protest, Weah said that “some of our citizens have exercised their constitutional rights to publicly assemble with the objective to petition their government. We commend them for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they exercised their rights.”


Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

Updated 3 min 51 sec ago

Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

  • Protesters managed to stop the truck and beat up the driver, who was later arrested by police
  • A New York City Police car earlier drove into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: A tanker truck drove through thousands of people marching on a Minneapolis highway to protest the death of George Floyd on Sunday before protesters dragged the driver from the cab and beat him, according to a Reuters witness and authorities.
It did not appear any of the marchers were injured when the truck raced toward them on I-35, blowing its horn, sending protesters scattering before coming to a stop, according to the witness and a tweet by the Minnesota Department of Public Security (MNDPS).
Police arrived soon after and arrested the truck driver, who was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, MNDPS said.
Video of the incident shows protesters swarming the vehicle before it comes to a stop.
“The incident just underscores the volatile situation we have out there,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told a news conference, adding he did not know the motives of the driver.
It marked the second incident in as many days of a vehicle driving at people protesting Floyd’s death after a New York City Police car was captured on video on Saturday driving into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” MNDPS tweeted.
Video showed the truck had a logo on its side for “Kenan Advantage Group,” an Ohio-based transportation company.
The company said in a statement that it was informed of an incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis and it would be cooperating with investigating authorities.
MNDPS did not identify the driver but said the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were investigating the incident as a criminal matter.