Home / News / 🇱🇷 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf responds to allegations of nepotism | UpFront (Headliner)

🇱🇷 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf responds to allegations of nepotism | UpFront (Headliner)

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to power in Liberia in January 2006 following decades of war, violence and coups, and became the first elected woman head of the state in Africa.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 alongside fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni rights activist Tawakkol Karman for her contribution to peace in Liberia and her work on women’s rights.

She has been hailed for her work both at home and abroad, but her legacy in Liberia is overshadowed by accusations of nepotism and corruption.

When asked to explain why, after pledging in 2005 to tackle corruption, her government failed to take any action against some 20 ministers accused of corruption by an independent watchdog, Sirleaf said it was “because our system is like that”.

“If you want to really understand Liberia, you need to dig a little bit deeper. You need to understand our culture, our values, our systems and the way to tackle it. It’s not always to just make a whole lot of noise about it,” she added.

When asked why she appointed family members, including one of her sons, to top government positions, she said it was because she needed a “specialised skill”.

She denied accusations her son Robert Sirleaf was in any way implicated in the collapse of Liberia’s National Oil Company, and said her other son, Charles Sirleaf who was arrested in March, was “illegally charged” over allegations he unlawfully printed local currency worth tens of millions of dollars.

The former president also defended her record on war-crime prosecutions in Liberia. She has been criticised for ignoring recommendations put forward by Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Truth and reconciliation has gone to the courts, it’s left the courts. It has transformed into the Palava Hut. That process has started … and so I don’t care what you say,” she told UpFront.

This week’s Headliner, former President of Liberia and Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

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  1. Great interview 👍👏. These African politicians are thieves. They've been the primary reason why Africa and African has remained stagnant! Civil my foot!!

  2. Trump appoints family members.

  3. I hate male politicians but, I hate more female politicians…..look at her eyes & her voice changing….acting like she’s innocent & acting like she’s a victim……..women politicians always play victim cards when they get caught red handed …….this old evil bed winch is just a prime example of female politicians…….she need to be whipping in public center…after that lock her up & throw the 🔑.

  4. Calling somebody as a cancer you was a cancer to not just Liberia to Hall Africa fake Africans

  5. Ellen is a very wicked woman..

  6. Africa is not the only corrupt countries look at your European countries them Devils this don't get caught

  7. Shameless criminals expose all. Thanks man 🤝

  8. She was not prepared for this interview
    She couldn't even answer the questions thrown at her

  9. The UNMASKING…she could have done so much for Liberia. She had the International support to rebuild Liberia that she HELPED to destroy.
    How sad…

  10. Very brilliant interview…. Exposing some of AFrica corrupt pass leader is very essential for the public bravo

  11. She is typical bye-product of the past Tolbert administration. She learned well. What a shame

  12. Typical slimy African politician drentched in nepotism and corruption but when confronted quickly blames the culture. This is the cancer holding back Africa.

  13. Truth is don't know enough about Sirleaf to say this or that? But gosh an interview with an expresident should be more gracious.

  14. hahah he's giving her the business.

  15. I would like him to question a western president the same way

  16. Mehdi Hasan is one of the best journalists out there. He exposed this corrupt witch for what she is. You'll find her in forums in NYC and Washington where she goes on about 'female and gender rights' with the torrid likes of George Clooney and HRC.

  17. Wow. That was rough for the president. Strong work, Mehdi.

  18. Thanks, Aljazeera. The useless president did nothing to improve the country, her institutions were her sons looting and stealing.


  20. Madam President, please answer the question?????

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