Liberia Names First Female Defence Minister

Liberia Ministry of Defence/Flickr
February 26, 2024

Brigadier-General Geraldine Janet George was appointed as Liberia's first-ever female Defence Minister on February 13, 2024. She was named acting Defence Minister by President Joseph Boakai after Prince Charles Johnson III resigned from the position after facing pressure from protests organised by soldiers' wives on February 11 and 12.

The protestors set up roadblocks using kitchen utensils and makeshift supplies near the capital Monrovia and around the country, ultimately forcing President Boakai to cancel the country's National Army Day celebrations. The protests were predominantly against low pay and pensions, a lack of social security, electricity shortages, corruption in the army, and poor living conditions in military barracks. They also demanded the resignation of then-newly-appointed defence minister Johnson, blamed for a reduction in the salaries of Liberian soldiers returning from peace missions in Mali.

The newly appointed minister, Brigadier-General George, is a retired career soldier who previously served in the Armed Forces of Liberia as an acting commander, military police company commander, deputy chief of staff, and legal officer. She also participated in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali, as well as holds Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.

The brigadier-general has also received specialised training in intelligence, counter-terrorism, public sector management, and administration of justice.

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