Africa

Liberia leader bars official travel abroad for 60 days

Liberia's president has ordered a 60-day moratorium on official overseas travel to curb the depletion of foreign currency reserves.

A weekend statement from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's office said exceptions to the restriction can only be granted by the president herself following a one-on-one meeting.

The West African nation's economy has been hit hard by the Ebola epidemic and price slumps for export commodities iron ore and rubber.

Business owners organized a three-day shutdown last week to protest the situation. Their grievances included the persistent fluctuation of the value of the Liberian dollar.

The statement from Sirleaf's office deplored an "alarming situation of capital flight," though the president's critics say her own officials are responsible because they routinely send huge sums overseas.