Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • US aid drops begin in besieged Iraqi town of Amerli

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Algerian diplomats held by Islamists are freed in Mali

    Read more

  • Poland's Tusk, Italy's Mogherini set for top EU jobs

    Read more

  • Pakistani protesters clash with police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • South Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

Africa

Clinton praises Liberia's progress at Sirleaf's inauguration

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-16

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended the swearing-in ceremony of Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Monrovia Monday. Clinton praised the turbulent nation's progress, saying democracy had "taken root."

AFP - Liberia's Nobel peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was sworn in Monday in a lavish $1.2 million ceremony and called for reconciliation after her reelection in disputed polls divided the nation.

With US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in attendance, the 73-year-old grandmother took the oath administered by the country's Chief Justice Johnnie Lewis as thousands looked on from the grounds of the capitol building.

"We have earned our rightful place as a beacon of democracy, a country of hope and of opportunity," Sirleaf said marking her ascent to a second term in office since the end of a brutal 14-year war.

"The cleavages that led to decades of war still run deep but so too does the longing for reconciliation."

Sirleaf said the nation needed a process of national healing not defined "by tribe, region, religions or ethnicity but by equality of opportunity and a better future for every Liberian."

This meant "creating jobs, opportunities and giving our young people the skills they need to prosper and create the life they choose."

After a troubled election and riots mostly attended by youths who face high levels of unemployment, Sirleaf said government should offer a worthy education so young people "can get a job and know the dignity of receiving an honest day's wage."

Before the ceremony Sirleaf held private talks with Clinton, who visited the nation on a whirlwind four-country trip of Africa, and discussed the impact of corruption.

"Corruption is one of the roadblocks to greater prosperity here in Liberia," Clinton said after opening the new US embassy in Monrovia following Sirleaf's swearing-in ceremony.

Clinton praised the west African nation's progress eight years after the end of a 14-year conflict which left some 250,000 dead.

"Democracy hasn't just sprouted in Liberia, it has taken root," she said.

"The real test of a democracy's strength isn't the first election -- it's the second and the third and all the ones that follow."

While the government said some 30 heads of state would attend the ceremony, few were visible -- among them Guinea's Alpha Conde, Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade and Sierra Leone's Ernest Koroma.

Sirleaf's bitter rival, main opposition presidential candidate Winston Tubman also attended, after accepting her election win on the eve of the inauguration following weeks of negotiations as he protested her victory.

"We recognise that Madam Sirleaf is the president of Liberia," Tubman said Sunday.

"Since the elections, we have been holding negotiations with the government on how to resolve the disagreement... and having had fruitful discussions, we feel confident that the CDC will be incorporated in the government," he added.

Africa's "Iron Lady" won a joint Nobel Peace Prize in October, just days before a first round of voting in the presidential election, which the opposition said was riddled with fraud.

This led Tubman to boycott the run-off and call a protest on the eve of the November 8 poll which turned violent and saw police open fire on his supporters, leaving up to four dead.

Sirleaf eventually won 90.7 percent of votes in the run-off, but turnout was low and the opposition then refused to accept her victory, a blow to the nation hoping to cement its fragile democracy eight years after war ended.

The inauguration ceremony closed with a parade by security forces through the streets of Monrovia and floats representing Liberia's 15 counties.

Several inaugural balls and receptions will be held in different districts on Monday night.

Foreign Minister Toga McIntosh has said that a budget of 1.2 million dollars (950,000 euros) was approved for the ceremony in what is one of Africa's poorest countries.

 

Date created : 2012-01-16

  • LIBERIA

    Liberian Nobel laureate Sirleaf wins presidential run-off

    Read more

  • LIBERIA

    Liberian opposition leader ‘will not accept’ election results

    Read more

  • LIBERIA

    Ex-warlord backs Sirleaf in Liberian presidential race

    Read more

COMMENT(S)