Liberia’s October 2011 general and presidential elections, the second since civil war ended in 2003, are an opportunity to consolidate its fragile peace and nascent democracy, says this report from the International Crisis Group. 'Peaceful, free and fair elections depend on how well the National Elections Commission (NEC) handles the challenges of the 23 August referendum on constitutional amendments and opposition perceptions of bias toward the president’s Unity Party (UP)... The most more

Liberia’s leading opposition party has called for a comprehensive boycott of the national constitution referendum set for 23 August 2011. The Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) made the declaration after the official announcement of the date of the referendum, which falls just ahead of the presidential polls in October this year. Among the things the referendum seeks to ratify is an amendment to Liberia’s constitution to the effect that changing an aspect of the constitution relating to more

Lucy Dollokieh, a mother of four from Liberia’s Nimba County, developed severe pains when urinating and thought she had been cursed by a witch, but when a volunteer came to her village describing diabetes symptoms she recognized them, went to a nearby hospital and was diagnosed with diabetes. She now injects herself daily with insulin. With low awareness of the disease’s symptoms and only one hospital in the country that can diagnose it - Ganta Methodist Hospital in Nimba County - the vast more

Liberia has kicked off campaigning for 11 October presidential and legislative elections, with incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf facing criticism over her plan to seek re-election. Sirleaf, who was elected Africa’s first female president in 2005, said she wanted a second term to continue her work in rebuilding the west African nation which was devastated by the 1989-2003 civil war.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female president, has been proactive about fighting sexual and gender-based violence. The Liberian government and the United Nations jointly committed to reducing gender-based violence by 30 per cent by the end of 2011. The Ministry of Gender and Development also has a special unit dedicated to tackling sexual and gender-based violence, the Gender-Based Violence Task Force, which aims to coordinate violence prevention and response. Despite the more