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New Liberian - August 26, 2011

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has predicted that Liberia risks slipping into another round of civil war, if nothing is done urgently to deter the violence in the country.

President Johnson-Sirleaf’s comments come in the wake of the growing wave of violence in the country, particular in Monrovia and its environs. The violence, which has sent shock waves across the country, also comes on the heels of campaign for the Presidential and Legislative Elections in the country.

Liberia’s presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for October of this year depending on the outcome of the National Referendum, which is slated for 23 August. The referendum is proposing among other things that election be held in November instead of October as it currently stands.

It can be recalled that in recent time, it appears like Liberia is gradually sliding into what has been described as a terror zone, owning to the growing wave of scaring attacks against several individuals, including high profile individuals in the country.

The latest victim of the growing wave of attack is the ruling Unity Party’s (UP) Deputy Campaign Manager, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, who reported Wednesday of last week of an alleged arson attack on his Whein Town Community residence by unknown assailants, who left his vehicle valued US$ 28,000 charred when they allegedly set it ablaze.

He blamed the attack on his home on what he called the handy work of “politically motivated individuals.”

Prior to the reported attack against the UP campaign man, Maryland County Junior Senator, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, had a forth night ago, reported an alleged murder attempt on her life.

The Maryland County lawmaker reported that while en-route from Maryland County to Monrovia, some unknown masked gun men allegedly attacked a vehicle belonging to her on the Maryland-Rive Gee Highway, and demanded that she stepped out of the vehicle.

Senator Scott, who narrated that unknown to her assailants, she had just changed from that vehicle to another prior to departing Pleebo City, Maryland County because of “mechanical reason”, quoted the driver of the vehicle of saying that the attackers were desperate in their search for her.

Montserrado County Junior Senator on the ticket of the CDC and the chairman of the party is another person who claimed that her life was threatened by a gang of rioters at the headquarters of the CDC in Congo Town, outside Monrovia when she was violently assaulted by some supporters of the party recently.

The CDC chairman blamed party’s rivals for the attack against her.
“Disenchanted CDC aspirants, who lost the primaries, were part of the plot to get rid of me in the party, ahead of the elections”. She told newsmen at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex on Monday, August 15, 2011 while she was in the process of beating the National Elections Commission (NEC) deadline for candidates’ nomination.

Hear Doe-Sherif: “There were attempts to take my life. But, again, the bold and gallant men of the CDC and the rest of the other partisans that believe in the rule of law ensured that I was not hurt”.

True to the word of the CDC chairman, she was not hurt, but one thing that really happened was that she was attacked, terrorized and held hostage for hours. Attempts by her to leave the grounds of party’s headquarters were resisted by some angry CDC supporters who threw stones and sticks at their chairman Doe-Sherif, who for fear for her life, had to seek refuge in the building housing the party’s headquarters.

Also, reports have it that the CDC mobilization Chairperson, Mulbah Morlu was attacked and mercilessly flogged on Sunday, August 14, 2011, in a standoff at his party’s headquarters by some men believed to be partisans of CDC.

The reports said Morlu was beaten and dragged from the ground of the party’s headquarters onto the streets directly opposite the Cuttington Graduate School situated in Oldest Congo Town, outside Monrovia.

This paper also gathered that, in separate incidents, the Assistant Minister for Culture and Tourism at the Ministry of Information, Jackie Cappart and former Liberian international football star, Christopher Wreh, were allegedly attacked by violent crowd. For Minister Cappart, she was reportedly attacked during a campaign trill, while Wreh was attacked by people believed to be supporters of the CDC over disagreement on political ideology.

Journalists too have not been spared in the swelling wave of attacks, as several of them including Front Page Africa’s David Kolleh and Nat Bajay, a crew of reporters of the RCI TV and radio services and New Democrat’s reporter Peter Toby, amongst others have had their unfair share of violence that has engulfed the Liberian society in recent times.

Now, in the face of all of these, the Liberian Chief Executive has said that violence against and intimidation of political actors and individuals could undermine and destroy the democratic system of the country.

In a nation-wide address Saturday, August 20, 2011, the Liberian leader intoned that such conduct is the beginning of anarchy, and if it is not deterred, it could reverse the political gains the country has made, and “probably cause our country to retrogress into another civil conflict.”

President Johnson-Sirleaf: ” We cannot afford this; and only those who have no stick in the future of Liberia, the future of aimless possibilities and opportunities for all will result to intimidation and violence to settle their differences with others or to react to the conduct and utterances of others.”

She pointed out that the freedoms Liberians enjoy today as a nation, including the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the freedom of choice will all be destroyed by the intimidation and violence being engaged into by people she called “our compatriots” during this early stage of the country’s electoral process.

The Liberian president then called on every Liberian of good will, irrespective of political affiliation or disposition to condemn the violence and intimidation the nation has experienced in recent weeks.

“There is no justification for such conduct; and those who seek to justify such conduct, merely incite an already volatile situation”- the president indicated with a very stern voice.

She strongly condemned the perpetrators and their collaborators of the “diabolical acts”, and used the occasion to announce to the nation that she has instructed the relevant state security apparatus to “vigorously investigate these incidents and any other incidents of violence and intimidation and swiftly bring the perpetrators and their collaborators to justice.”

Meanwhile, President Johnson-Sirleaf has on behalf of the Liberian Government extended her “deepest sympathy” to Senator Doe-Sherif, Nagbe and “other victims of politically motivated violence and intimidation for their distress, loss or injuries; physical or emotional.”

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[ Africa ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ] [ Liberia ]

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[ Africa ] [ Diritti Umani, Civili  & Politici ] [ Liberia ]

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