Liberia: George Weah reframes diplomats after UN vote against Gaza ceasefire

While the former footballer is expected to pass the torch to his successor Joseph Boakai in January, he has had to reframe his diplomats following an imbroglio at the UN. On Tuesday, in a UN Security Council vote on the Gaza conflict, some spoke out against a new resolution calling for an "urgent cessation of hostilities." This is contrary to Liberia's official position.

Liberian President George Weah. AP - Ludovic Marin

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In a statement issued late Tuesday, Liberia's Ministry of Information said its diplomats voted without the endorsement of George Weah, who "as president, has the final say on foreign policy."

The identities of the diplomats have not yet been revealed. According to observers, Liberia's permanent representative was absent when her country voted against a ceasefire in Gaza. The only African state to take such a position.

This decision was strongly criticized by the Liberian people, who remain very committed to the rights of the Palestinian people. Under fire, George Weah even had to intervene in the General Assembly to cancel the first vote and ask for a new one, this time in favour of the ceasefire.

After his vote at the UN against a ceasefire in Gaza. President George Weah's office says Liberia's ambassador made the decision without the president's advice. President Weah wrote to the UN to change Liberia's vote from NO to YES to a ceasefire.

— Hervé Doumbia (@almouslime) December 20, 2023

« Most diplomats act without following instructions."

How can we explain such an imbroglio?" There is now a rift between the president, diplomats and the Foreign Ministry Ibrahim Al-Bakri Nyei, a political scientist, said. He added about these internal dissensions: "Most diplomats act without respecting the instructions of the Ministry of the Interior. The president is widely criticized across the country for allowing this situation to happen and for not reacting until after the vote."

George Weah's intervention at the UN can therefore also be explained by his desire to preserve a good image in the eyes of Liberians and not to be perceived as a president who condones the suffering of the Palestinians, before his departure on 22 January.

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  • Liberia
  • Africa
  • UN