A new unknown era
George Weah, the former football star, was sworn in as the president of the Republic of Liberia in January 2018. Thousands of people attended the presidential inauguration celebrated for the first time in the biggest stadium in Monrovia, as a gesture to the huge optimism raised among the local population. The crowds attended the beginning of a new era that leaves far away two civil wars (1989-1996 / 1999-2003) that made nearly 250,000 people die and turned thousands of children into soldiers.
With a new Liberian president, the UN peacekeeping mission (UNMIL) ended also its mandate and withdrew all troops. During the first months of 2018, the last uniformed contingents from Nigeria, Pakistan, Ukraine and China pulled out, along with the UN civilian personnel. Their departure was surrounded by thankful Liberians.
Founded by freed American slaves, Liberia is the Africa’s oldest modern republic. However, it is also a country with high rates of poverty (more than 60%), illiteracy (more than 50%) and political corruption (it’s among the 60 most corrupted countries in the world). With an uncertain future, many doubt these challenges will be solved in a short term.