The COVID-19 Election Monitoring and Violence Prevention Situation Room (CEMVIP-SR) is calling on all political parties to adhere to the guidelines and rules as developed by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and be proactive through dialogue to avoid escalation in tensioned violence throughout the country.
CEMVIP-SR is supported by ZOA Liberia and funded by the Swedish International and Development Agency. Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, 13 October at ECOWAS headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia’s Peace Ambassador Rev. William R. Tolbert, III, said there are reports of intermittent violence coming from Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Margibi Counties.
“We appeal to persons from these counties to remain peaceful and law abiding without violence,” he says. According to him, with the increase in reports of new confirmed COVID-19 cases, they call on the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) and the local and international public health officials to resume regular reporting of all cases in the fifteen counties.
Rev. Tolbert also calls on the public to adhere to policies and procedures to curb the spread of the pandemic.
The country’s Peace Ambassador noted that with the recent reports of dead bodies being discovered throughout the counties, they are calling on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to conduct speedy and objective investigations with subsequent circulation of reports to the families and the public to impact peace and security throughout the counties.
“We express condolences to the families of the deceased and appeal to the public to remain calm and wait for the LNP to present information related to the incidents,” Rev. Tolbert continues. He adds that elections are opportunities to vote into office your choice, saying everyone should remain family and friends.
The Peace Ambassador cautions further that no one should resort to violence during the elections, rather they should all use these opportunities to remain peaceful and strengthen democracy.
On 21 August 2020, the Situation Room was formally launched at the National Center for Coordination Response Mechanism in the ECOWAS compound by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Varney A. Sirleaf.
It is a collaborative initiative of the Liberia Peace Ambassador, the West Africa Network for Peace Building and the Civil Society Organizations.
However, this initiative is to be maintained before, during and after the scheduled elections in December 2020 with support from the Government of Liberia and the International Partners.
The Situation Room will collect nationwide data on the election and COVID-19 using information generated by 215 persons stationed throughout the fifteen counties in Liberia Early Warning and Response Network (LERN) platform.
The platform conducts analysis and provides real time information to the public and policy makers for actions. Therefore, information collected on the LERN platform is collared with what is being generated by the personnel of the County Peace Committees, the County Security Structures and the three Regional Hubs.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Edited by Winston W. Parley