Jan. 16 - U.S. Secretary of State Clinton attends the inauguration of Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, for her second term in office. Rough Cut. (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn into office for a second term on Monday (January 16) before regional leaders and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Johnson-Sirleaf was inaugurated in a ceremony on the lawn of the national parliament, with celebratory cannon blasts ringing out to mark the event. Nobel laureate Johson-Sirleaf has said her main task nine years after a civil war will be shoring up peace in Liberia, increasing investment in its resources and curbing rampant youth unemployment especially among ex-child soldiers. "We inaugurate a new beginning: a rebirth of our democracy and a restoration of hope," Johnson-Sirleaf said, affirming that this would be her last term. Her efforts may be boosted by her main rival Winston Tubman's recognition of her victory in the controversial November run-off, which Tubman boycotted alleging irregularities and raising fears of a return to unrest. Tubman attended the ceremony, sitting on the front row. Tubman was forced to flee his party headquarters in the capital on Sunday when it was besieged by dozens of supporters angry at his decision to recognise Johnson-Sirleaf's government. Regional leaders including President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast and Alpha Conde of Guinea, also attended the inauguration ceremony. A senior U.S. official travelling with Clinton said Johnson-Sirleaf's second term came at a critical juncture in Liberia's history, as it was now experiencing nearly a decade of peace. However, Johnson-Sirleaf faces a tough challenge of getting Liberia back on the rails in her second term, with the country still to fully recover from a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003.