Liberia. Planned municipal elections, which would have been the first since 1985, had until now been canceled for cost reasons. The Supreme Court authorized the president to appoint mayors in consultation with local politicians.
In March, however, the first census was carried out since 1984; of great importance for community planning during the reconstruction work after years of civil war.
The suites of the war are still constantly reminded, despite some financial progress. Above all, increased crime and violence were reported. The UNMIL police force trained by the UN force received criticism for low work ethic and poor management. In September, when the UN Security Council extended UNMIL’s mandate for another year, it gradually decided to cut its military force from provisionally about 13,000 men to 10,000, but at the same time an increase in the number of UN police officers from 605 to 845 was approved. to strengthen support for the Liberian police.
In March, the government set up a special court for violence against women. Despite the sharpening of the penalty for rape in 2005, the number of reported cases has continued to increase. About half of the rapes are estimated to hit girls aged 10-15.
“Chuckie” Taylor, son of former President Charles Taylor, was charged with torture during the year accused of torture during his time as commander of a semi-military force in 1999–2003. His case was the first under a 1994 US law that allows prosecution of U.S. citizens for torture carried out abroad. He was found guilty in October and would receive his sentence in 2009.
Charles Taylor himself was on trial in Sierra Leone’s Special War Crimes Court. The trial took place for security reasons in The Hague in the Netherlands and progressed slowly.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of LR in general and in geography as Liberia in particular.
HD postpones referendum on constitutional amendment
Liberia’s Supreme Court is following the opposition’s line and postponing a referendum scheduled for December 8 on constitutional changes that would allow Liberians to have dual citizenship. However, it gives the go-ahead for a referendum to shorten the term of office of both the President and both Chambers of Parliament. The Court, which is in complete agreement, states that the vote on dual citizenship cannot be held until the authorities have carried out an information campaign on the consequences of this. It also states that it is against the law to ask two questions on the same paper.
You light a fire on yourself in protest against lost wages
A man who works in the building that houses the Supreme Court sets himself on fire outside his workplace in protest that he has not received his salary since October 2019. The man belongs to a group of perhaps 30 employees who demonstrated against this in September and who thereafter suspended from their jobs. He is taken to hospital with severe burns.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Liberia in 2008 was 3,891,245, ranking number 128 in the world. The population growth rate was 3.870% yearly, and the population density was 40.4003 people per km2.
The population of Liberia is made up of blacks of American origin (citizens), of blacks imported after the constitution of the republic (civilized) and of the numerous and various native tribes or from Sudan.
In the northern portion of the state, between the Mano and St Paul rivers, some Mandingo, Mohammedan tribes are established, made up of active farmers and ranchers: near the coast, the Bassa and Grobo tribes have been partly converted to Christianity. The mass of the indigenous population, however, is still pagan and maintains the typical culture of Lower Guinea: a rectangular house made of palm leaves, an almost exclusively vegetable diet, summary garments, iron jewelry, ornamental scars on the body.
The republic’s official language is English, but the English commonly spoken along the coast is very hybrid. Of the indigenous languages, which are numerous and varied, the most important are Mandingo, Nai and Kru. The Wai indeed possess a real alphabet and syllabic writing, which do not seem to have any relationship with those in use in ancient times and today in West Africa.
Liberia has an estimated population of 1,500,000 residents, but these are very approximate and unreliable figures. The Negroes of American origin, the “citizens”, are 20,000; the “civilized” are about 60,000; only 250 whites, officers and consular agents, missionaries and merchants mostly Anglo-Saxons. However, the demographic conditions of the country, due to the endemic diseases common to all of Guinea, to the low tone of life of the indigenous people, to the little care and foresight of the government, are anything but good, and mortality exceeds the birth rate.