Liberia fears Ebola crisis will spark war

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
By Paul Martin

Liberian minister says Ebola is fast turning into a political nightmare as region heaves under unprecedented crisis.
24 Sep 2014

A Liberian minister has warned the country may slip back to civil war along with neighbouring Sierra Leone if the Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa is allowed to continue to spread.

Lewis Brown, Liberia’s information minister, said on Monday the lack of urgency in the international response risked allowing a breakdown of societies in the region, where the outbreak had already claimed almost 3,000 lives.

“The effect of Ebola is being seen not just as a public health situation but it is also a political situation. Liberia is just ten years out of our conflict,” said Brown.

“We are just in the 11th year since we started rebuilding our capacity to live together. This Ebola is threatening that capacity.”

More than 3,000 people have been infected in Liberia and almost 1,600 people have died, with health workers turning away people from treatment units due to chronic shortages of beds and staff.

Sierra Leone, where more than 1,800 have been infected and nearly 600 have died, said on Monday it had “an overflow of bodies”, after a controversial nationwide lockdown helped uncover more than 200 new cases.

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