World

Liberia warns Ebola may force region back into conflict

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2014, file photo, a health worker, right, sprays a man with disinfectant chemicals after he is suspected of dying due to the Ebola virus as people, rear, look on in Monrovia, Liberia. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh, File)

MONROVIA: Liberia has warned it may slip back to civil war along with neighbouring Sierra Leone if the Ebola epidemic ravaging west Africa is allowed to continue to spread.

Information Minister Lewis Brown said the lack of urgency in the international response risked allowing a breakdown of societies in the region, where the outbreak has claimed almost 3,000 lives.

"Hospitals are struggling, but so too are hotels. Businesses are struggling. If this continues the cost of living will go to the roof. You have an agitated population," Information Minister Lewis Brown told AFP late Monday.

"The world cannot wait for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, to slip back into conflict, which could be the result of this slowness in response."

Liberia has spent a decade recovering from two ruinous back-to-back civil wars which ran from 1989 to 2003, leaving a quarter of a million people dead and the economy in tatters.

Sierra Leone, along with Liberia one of the world's poorest countries where half the population lives on less than $1.25 (0.97 euros) a day, is still struggling to recover from its own 11-year civil war which ended in 2002.

 

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