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Thursday, March 15, 2007

News from Liberia: CNN; 2/27-28/2007

MONROVIA, Liberia (Reuters) -- Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf accepted the resignation of her chief of staff, Willie Knuckles, after he was photographed having sex with two women, tarnishing a government campaign for moral probity.

Johnson-Sirleaf, a longtime campaigner for women's rights, said Knuckles had not broken the law but the scandal threatened to derail efforts to combat sexual abuse and raise standards in Liberia's public life after a brutal 1989-2003 civil war.

Knuckles, who is also minister of state for presidential affairs and is married with children, has accused opposition lawmakers of trying to use the photographs to blackmail him. [Continue reading at CNN. If this link no longer works, use this one.]

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -- The former president has been charged with stealing more than $1 million from Liberia's coffers while in office, government officials said Wednesday.

Gyude Bryant, who led the interim government from October 2003 until current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took office in January 2006, had previously been accused of embezzlement in a report issued by the Economic Community of West African States.

Police had questioned Bryant in recent months as part of a wide anticorruption campaign, and government officials said they finally had enough information to issue charges. [Continue reading CNN. If that link no longer is available, try this one.]

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