Nobel laureate Gbowee slams Sirleaf

2012-10-08 17:39
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (AFP, File

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (AFP, File

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Paris - Leymah Gbowee, the social worker who won last year's Nobel Peace Prize with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on Monday publicly disowned her co-laureate for failing to fight graft and nepotism in the war-scarred African nation.

"People are very disappointed. We have a deficit when it comes to having a moral voice in the country," Gbowee told AFP on a visit to Paris for the launch of the French edition of her book "Mighty Be Our Powers".

Gbowee, who said she felt guilty for not speaking out earlier, also revealed that she was stepping down as the head of Liberia's reconciliation commission in frustration at its lack of progress.

"We worked hard for peace," she said, adding that Sirleaf herself was critical of the regime of William Richard Tolbert, who was Liberia's president from 1971 to 1980.

Tolbert like Sirleaf belonged to Liberia's elite Congo Liberian social class whose members descended from freed American slaves dominated the country's political landscape. They are accused of ignoring the masses.

Tolbert had placed cronies and family members in top jobs before being toppled in a violent coup.

"What has changed?" said Gbowee. "Her sons are on the board of oil companies and one is the deputy governor of the central bank. The gap between the rich and poor is growing. You are either rich or dirt poor, there's no middle class."

The feisty Gbowee, who says her mission in life is to fight injustice and bring peace, said she was resigning as head of the National Peace and Reconciliation Initiative as "not enough is being done for national healing".

Extreme brutality


She added: "I feel I have been a disappointment to myself and Liberia. Not speaking is as bad as being part of the system. Some may say I am a coward but the opportunity to speak out has come here.

"I will also speak about it when I get home."

Gbowee, Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman, a Yemeni journalist and a leading figure in anti-government protests, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work".

Liberia reeled under two back-to-back civil conflicts that lasted 14 years. Marked by extreme brutality they claimed the lives of 250 000 people.

When first elected, Sirleaf declared war on corruption, but failed to make serious inroads despite dismissing several ministers.

She won a second term in 2011 elections and tackling graft is still one of the most pressing issues in the country a decade after the end of war.

At Sirleaf's second swearing-in ceremony, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "Corruption is one of the roadblocks to greater prosperity here in Liberia."

Democracy


Gbowee added on Monday: "In her first term she developed infrastructure. But what good is infrastructure if people don't have enough to eat?"

"Development in a land of hungry, angry people is nothing. When they get angry, they will burn it down because it is not connected to a large section of the population."

In June the International Crisis Group released a report warning that corruption, along with nepotism, impunity and unemployment, could "jeopardise Liberia's democracy".

Gbowee, who staged peace protests to bring a halt to Liberia's war with a quirky mix of prayer and a sex strike - urging women to shun sex with their partners - said she was "under a lot of pressure to say more and do more" to correct the state of affairs in Liberia.

"Every day I get telephone calls. They say 'do something, do something.'"

Read more on:    leymah gbowee  |  hillary clinton  |  ellen johnson sirleaf  |  liberia  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Cape Town - 12:40 PM
    Road name: M5 Southbound
    ACCIDENT at Kromboom Road
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.