Liberia: President Weah suspends govt officials named in new US sanctions

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Three Liberian officials named in imposed US sanctions on Monday have been suspended by President George Weah.

A statement issued Tuesday by the Liberia presidency said President George Weah views the allegations against the officials contained in the report as grave. He also designated the principal deputies of the suspended officials to act in their stead.

The United States announced Monday that it has imposed corruption sanctions on senior Liberian officials, including one close to President George Weah the minister in charge of presidential affairs and President Weah's secretary general.

Nathaniel McGill, who is the minister in charge of presidential affairs and President Weah's secretary general is accused of "abusing his position to undermine the integrity and independence of Liberia's democratic institutions ... for personal gain," according to a statement from State Department spokesman Ned Price. A separate Treasury Department statement said he "received bribes" in government contracts.

Two other senior officials are also sanctioned: Sayma Syrenius Cephus, who is Liberia's attorney general, and Bill Twehway, who heads the National Port Authority.

Liberia is the oldest republic in sub-Saharan Africa, founded in the 19th century at the behest of the United States for freed black slaves.

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