The head of the European Union in Liberia has apologised for saying that Liberia’s capital Monrovia is a “disgusting” and “dirty” city, following a backlash.
Laurent Delahousse said that his comments were meant to be “a wake-up call” to residents “to change their practices of littering” and to improve the city’s waste management system that receives funding from the EU.
Speaking at an event organised by the Monrovia City Corporation last week, he said that “Monrovia is a disgusting city, it is a dirty city”.
“Of all the capitals I have seen in my previous posts in Africa, I have not seen one that is as dirty as yours,” he added.
Mr Delahousse clarified that his remarks were not intended “to disparage anyone or to affect the reputation of the beautiful capital city of Liberia.”
He apologised to the government and anyone “feeling misrepresented by these remarks and I willingly retract the exaggerated wording that I used”.
Even though the EU envoy’s apology seems to have resonated well with people in high places, many people are still insisting his remarks were a fair assessment of the situation in the Liberian capital.