President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia has sacked 10 government officials for failing to return to the west African nation and lead the fight against the deadly Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 1,100 Liberians.
The president dismissed the senior officials, who include six assistant ministers, two deputy ministers and two commissioners, late on Saturday, for being “out of the country without an excuse,” a statement from the president’s office said.
“These government officials showed insensitivity to our national tragedy and disregard for authority,” it added.
They were initially told in August to return to the country.
Liberia has been hit hard by the Ebola epidemic, with more than 1,137 recorded deaths out of 2,081 cases, more than half of them in the previous three weeks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the epidemic is spreading exponentially in Liberia, where more than half of the deaths have been recorded. It has said that thousands are at risk of contagion in the coming weeks.
The contagious, haemorrhagic fever was first discovered in eastern Guinea in March and has since killed more than 2,400 people, making it the worst Ebola outbreak in history.