MONROVIA/BERLIN | | liberia

MONROVIA/BERLIN (Own report) - The front-runner in today's run-off elections for the Liberian presidency, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is a staunch western ally. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she "made an excellent contribution toward the reconstruction of her country." In reality, Johnson-Sirleaf has, without hesitation, surrendered accessibility to Liberia's abundant mineral resources to international companies. Among these resources are the largest untapped iron ore deposits. The population is not benefiting from the exploitation of these resources. Liberia remains one of the world's poorest countries, with a largely destroyed infrastructure and more than 80 percent of the population being unable to find regular employment. However, Germany is also seeking to have its companies more strongly represented in Liberia's mineral sector. This is a reflection of the intensifying rivalry between industrial nations over access to important raw materials. Berlin is supporting Johnson-Sirleaf, known for her pro-western policies. more…