A spokesman for Liberia’s President George Weah has confirmed that the government withdrew the funds of donors without their approval, but insisted that the money – partly used to pay salaries – would be returned and accounted for.
Isaac Solo Kelgbeh made the admission after a leaked letter – written to Mr Weah and signed by nine ambassadors – put the spotlight this week on how the government had withdrawn donor aid kept in accounts at Liberia’s central bank.
The letter urged the government to immediately return whatever funds had been taken. It was signed by the ambassadors of the European Union, US, UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Norway and Sweden.
Mr Kelgbeh told BBC that Mr Weah had received the communication “in good faith and will act accordingly.”
Mr Kelgbeh quoted the minister of information as saying that “part of the money was used for salary payment because people had to be paid for Christmas [last year] and New Year and the government had some shortcomings.”
“Government was in the process or returning the money before this communication came,” he added.
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