In a country like Liberia, it matters who fires live rounds. It matters who uses less lethal means to control crowds. It matters who is present when things go awry. The reputation of an entire institution is at stake. Because, in Liberia, where mistrust of the government runs deep, incidents can be used to fuel the flame for future violence.
There is a tragic irony in leaders from across Africa discussing the progress of their countries with President Obama in Washington, D.C., last week even as the Ebola virus is brutally exposing the lack of capacity, antiquated health systems, and absence of governance in one corner of the continent.