Liberian President George Weah on Tuesday suspended his deputy information minister for allegedly fueling ethnic divisions by referring to descendants of freed slaves as “Congo Liberians”.
In a statement announcing the suspension of Eugene Fahngon, the presidency said Weah’s government was committed to a “one country, one people” policy, with zero tolerance for “divisive politicking or tribalism.”
Fahngon had made the “Congo-Liberians” remark on social media while speaking about planned anti-government protests that had been planned for 7 June.
“I will not go for the June 7 demonstration. It is the Congo people who are behind the June 7 demonstration,” Fahngon was quoted as saying.
In a statement, the US embassy in Liberia condemned his comments as “irresponsible”
It urged all Liberians to “reflect on their role in constructively contributing to development and sustaining peace” as the country prepares to celebrate National Unification Day next week.
Around 250,000 people were killed in Liberia’s civil war, which lasted from 1989 to 2003.
Although founded by freed American and Caribbean slaves, Liberia is mostly inhabited by indigenous Africans, with the slaves’ descendants comprising 5% of the population.