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Analysts Warn of More Protests Ahead of Liberia’s 2023 Elections

Hundreds of protesters gathered on Saturday at the outer section of the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia to protest against soaring costs of living, a day before President George Weah’s return from a 48-day trip abroad. Since early December, the price of rice – Liberia’s staple food – increased from $15 to $17.50 for each 25kg bag. This increase came off the heels of a commodity shortage that has led to long queues and inflated prices of rice and other items, partly due to disruption of global supply as Russia’s war continues in Ukraine. The protests were held a day before Weah’s return on Sunday from his trip, which included a visit to Qatar to watch his son play for the USA football team in the FIFA World Cup. While the presidency has said the trip was an official one and government officials have claimed that the trip has produced dividends for the country, opposition figures say it was a waste of scarce resources..