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Diplomatic Missions call for objectivity

-In Zwedru’s violence probe

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Foreign Missions in Liberia are calling on the Weah administration to swiftly investigate the July 30 political violence in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County in an objective and non-partisan manner to bring all those culpable to justice. They underscored that such action will send a clear signal that threats and violence have no place in the democratic dispensation the people of Liberia have established for their country.

In a joint statement issued in Monrovia, the United Nations, ECOWAS, United States Embassy and the European Union expressed support concern expressed by several Liberian groups, including the Inter-Religious Council, the Catholic Diocese of Cape Palmas, the Providence Baptist Church, the Grand Gedeh Legislative Caucus and other religious and political stakeholders, including President George Manneh Weah and his Government, over use of hate speech and mob violence, particularly recent violent attack against opposition politicians in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.

They welcome President Weah’s statement denouncing and repudiating the attack and urge Liberian authorities to swiftly investigate the incident – in an objective and non-partisan manner.

“We call on all parties to refrain from undue provocation and incendiary language, promotion of misinformation, falsehood and mistrust that has the propensity to fuel political tensions, divisiveness and violence”, the joint statement reads.

The Foreign Missions note that most Liberians from all walks of life have demonstrated their commitment to peace and are resolved to learn lessons from their past to embrace a culture of peaceful competition for political leadership and responsibility.

“As Liberia works towards the preparation of inclusive, free, fair, transparent, credible and peaceful senatorial elections as well as a referendum in December 2020, we pledge our support to increased opportunities for genuine dialogue and constructive engagement on issues that will advance Liberia’s democracy and development”, they promised.

Hundreds of stone-throwing youths believed to be from the youth league of the governing Congress for Democratic Change chapter in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County Thursday, 30 July besieged a local hotel in the city, preventing the Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Alexander B. Cummings and Montserrado County District#10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah from stepping out to address supporters.

Local correspondents on the ground described the situation as very tense, disrupting normal businesses, forcing banks to shut down.

Mr. Cummings, chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties and also leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) and entourage were returning from a tour of southeast Liberia, particularly Maryland County where they have rallied citizens’ support for the CPP in the December 8th midterm senatorial elections.

angry youths, armed with stones, sticks and cutlasses, among others barricaded a local entertainment center, Hotel B-2 in the heart of Zwedru City, where Chairman Cummings, Representative Kolubah and members of their delegation lodged, threatening to lynch Rep. Kolubah for constantly ranting invectives at President George Manneh Weah, but Joint Security forces, led by troops of the Armed Forces of Liberia intervened, providing corridor for the opposition politicians to leave the county, known for its strong support for President Weah and his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.

Liberia had suffered 14 years of civil war during which the country’s political institutions were broken down and governance system collapsed amid the death of over 400,000 persons, including women and children. Story by Jonathan Browne

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