President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ends State of Emergency in Liberia

Amidst conflicting public concerns about the status of the State of Emergency coupled with some government officials including lawmakers’ desire for an extension, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has declared the State of Emergency lifted on Thursday, November 13, 2014. “I am not going to seek legislative approval for an extension of the State of Emergency,” President Sirleaf said. “The decision to lift the state of emergency is based on consultation with relevant stakeholders, the National Health Team, and partners,” she added. In a nationwide address, the Liberian leader emphasized that her decision to lift the State of Emergency does not mean the fight against Ebola is over. Reflecting on the ongoing fight against the Ebola virus, Madam Sirleaf indicated that

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

since our nation was stricken by the unprecedented outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease which overwhelmed and disrupted the rebuilding of the health system and undermined normal economic activities, many Liberians were infected and died. “Many more died of treatable illnesses as hospitals were shut down and beds were insufficient to treat the infected,” she lamented. “Though our decision to act decisively by closing borders, imposing curfew, ordering quarantines, closing schools, and restricting public gatherings was criticized, we can all be proud of the progress we have made, which would have been impossible without the resilient response to our call by all of our citizens, especially our health care workers,” the Liberian President said. President Sirleaf also announced that the curfew is extended to midnight, while weekly and border markets are now declared open. “School authorities upon immediate passage of the budget will organize young people in communities to start the renovation and clean-up of school facilities in preparation for the opening at a time that will be decided by the progress that we make in this fight,” she asserted. She further warned that the nation cannot afford to reverse the gains made in the fight of this deadly Ebola virus. “Until we can start the progressive count down of 21 days, until the national goal of zero-new-cases by Christmas is achieved all across the country, we will keep many of the previous measures in place with appropriate adjustments, consistent with the progress in our fight,” Madam Sirleaf concluded. State of Emergency Speech E. Julu Swen reporting West African Writers