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Liberia Culture and Mass Media

Culture

Like its neighboring countries along the West African coast, Liberia has a rich musical life. Many songs derive from the music that Christian American missionaries brought, but they have been adapted to domestic traditional music.

Various Liberian music genres are usually associated with special phenomena in society or private life. Celebrations such as weddings, naming ceremonies or royal processions are all accompanied by their distinctive musical styles.

  • Countryaah: Latest population statistics of Liberia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.

Liberia was one of the countries where so-called highlife music developed from the 1950s. In it, Western instruments are mixed with African, and Latin American rhythms are combined with traditional West African melodies and lyrics.

The literary tradition is limited. The most well-known author is probably Bai T Moore, 1916-1988. His short novel Murder in the Cassava Patch is considered a modern classic in Liberian literature.

American-Liberian journalist Helene Cooper, in the autobiographical The House at Sugar Beach, talks about growing up in a privileged family in Liberia, the flight to the United States and the return to home after the civil war in 2003.

Culture of Liberia2020

June

Tougher grip to prevent the spread of infection

June 22

The nightly curfew is extended to apply between 18:00 and 06:00. The reason for the tougher rules is that the country has seen an increase in the number of infected covid-19. President George Weah also announces that the emergency permit introduced in April to curb the spread of infection will be extended until July 21. The country's borders remain closed and travel between regions is still prohibited. So far, 626 cases of covid-19 have been registered in Liberia, 34 people have died in the disease.

May

Prosecution is dropped

15th of May

Justice Minister Musa Dean files the indictment against ex-President Ellen Johanson-Sirleaf's son Charles Sirleaf and three other men accused of illegally printing Liberian dollars into multi-million dollars. The trial against the five began last year (see August 26, 2019). The prosecution is closed because the four are considered to have acted on the former central bank governor's request. He is still charged with the crime.

The shutdown is extended

May 9

The restrictions imposed in early April to prevent the spread of the covid-19 viral disease are being extended in the capital Monrovia by two weeks. At the same time, President George Weah announces some relief for religious communities. Prayers in churches and mosques will be allowed again next week. But unnecessary business operations must remain closed, residents of the million town of Monrovia are urged to stay at home and it is still prohibited to travel between the country's 15 different districts. By the end of May, Liberia has registered 250 infected and 24 dead in covid-19.

March

Fuel shortage threatens in Liberia

24th of March

Minister of Commerce Wilson Tarpeh says Liberia now only has fuel left in the country that lasts for seven to nine days, and that it will take a while before new deliveries reach the country. His statement causes long queues to arise at the gas stations in the capital Monrovia. Later, the state oil company LPRC announces that there are reserves for twelve days and that deliveries will come on April 2.

Liberia stops air traffic

March 16

President George Weah stops all flights to Liberia from countries that have reported more than 200 cases of covid-19. This has happened since Liberia received its first case of the viral disease, a person who returned to his home country from Switzerland. Later, Weah records a song about the importance of washing his hands. The UN agency Unesco draws attention to the song and uses it later in its information campaign. "

Journalists in protest against harassment

the 12th of March

Journalists march on the streets of the capital Monrovia in protest against harassment and violence. The journalists carry placards with texts such as "Stop abusing me for doing my job". The protest is a reaction to the death of radio journalist Zenu Koboi Miller in February. Miller was beaten at the beginning of the year by President Weah's bodyguards as he watched a football match and passed away a week later. According to official statements, he died of high blood pressure, but his journalist colleagues believe Miller's death was caused by the abuse. The Liberia Journalists' Association says in a statement that attacks, arrests, violence and harassment against journalists have reached completely new proportions. The association believes that it is an attempt to push the media into self-censorship. In recent months, ten journalists have been attacked

Suspected war criminal arrested

11th of March

A man is arrested in Finland accused of murder, rape and for acquiring and exploiting child soldiers during the civil war in Liberia (1999-2003). The man originally hails from neighboring Sierra Leone and held a high position in the rebel movement RUF.

February

Female candidates are rejected by the military

February 11

About 80 percent of the women who applied to work in the defense are rejected. In some cases it is not that they do not have the physics required (especially women from the cities), in other cases lack of theoretical knowledge (there were usually women from the countryside who did not pass the test). Corresponding upper secondary education is required in order to gain employment in the army. To change this, the military promises to organize special courses for women so that more people can qualify.

Gasoline shortages raise suspicions of corruption

February 1st

Liberia has been hit by a shortage of gasoline, leading to protests by motorcycle bidders in the country. According to Wilson Tarpeh, Minister for Trade and Industry, the shortage has arisen because the state oil company LPRC has had incorrect figures on how much gasoline they have in stock. The data raise suspicions of corruption, something that is expected to hit the Liberian government.

January

Liberia opens for oil offer

January 27

President George Weah announces that Liberia is now ready to accept bids from companies seeking oil and gas in Liberian waters. There are nine blocks that have been opened for tenders.

Thousands in protest of Weah's rule

January 6

The opposition movement Patriotic Council (Council of Patriots, COP) is conducting its protest against President George Weah's rule. They require Weah to account for his private assets, which he should have already done by law, and that he should talk about what has happened to the US $ 25 million that was withdrawn from the central bank in 2018, and which would have been used to stabilize the Liberian economy. Requirements are also made for him to dismiss his entire financial staff. At least 3,000 people are participating in the protest. In the evening, the police put in tear gas to resolve the protest, after the participants began to prepare their evening meals outside the government buildings, despite the police orders. Several people are then taken to hospital. The economic crisis is hitting hard on many government employees who have been without pay for months. Promises were made earlier that they would receive all their wages in November and December, but he did not do so. No pensions have been paid either.

 

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