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ECOWAS NewsGeneralLiberia news

ECOWAS condemns inciting statements

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has flagged a creeping tendency for some political leaders and activists to stir violent emotions here in the run-up to Liberia’s October elections.

In a statement released Thursday, 21 September 2023, ECOWAS expressed concern against the creeping tendency for some political leaders and activists to use incendiary rhetoric that could stir violent emotions, incite disturbances and jeopardize the peace and stability of Liberia.

“ECOWAS condemns in no uncertain terms such inflammatory statements that have the propensity to trigger violent confrontations,” the statement said.

The regional bloc did not name a particular political leader or an activist, but its statement comes at a time Nimba Senator Prince Y. Johnson faces condemnation for recently issuing a threat against election rigging.

Senator Johnson told a press conference on Monday that the impressive turnout exhibited during the opposition Unity Party’s (UP’s) campaign launch on 17 September 2023 is an indication of the people’s resolve to remove President George Manneh Weah from power.

“Before the October elections, Liberians are coming out under the banner ‘Don’t Try It’ – any attempt, the people’s power would be exercised like the Arab Spring,” said Sen. Johnson.

“You’ll shoot your gun; you’ll kill us or you’ll die. No more fear, Liberians don’t have fear anymore,” Sen. Johnson said.

The former Liberian warlord is a key political ally of opposition presidential candidate Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai and the former ruling Unity Party in this year’s elections.

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He raised a concern about alleged potential election interference by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and has threatened to fight back with arms in the cause of the people.

Liberia’s Joint Security has condemned Senator Johnson’s threat of an “Arab Spring” rebellion should the government rig the October 2023 presidential and legislative elections.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS has urged political actors to use dialogue and mediation to address grievances and legal channels to seek redress to such concerns.  

“We continue to reiterate the importance of fostering an issues-based campaign devoid of vituperative language,” said ECOWAS.

The regional bloc called on all state institutions with roles to play in the electoral process to continue to execute their mandates in neutrality.

It further urged them to provide a level playing field for all stakeholders to exercise their constitutional rights with respect to the rule of law.

“ECOWAS reminds all actors that the provisions of the Farmington River Declaration are in force and cardinal to the conduct of all political actors to safeguard the electoral process.”

The statement said the ECOWAS Commission and its long-term observers currently in Liberia remain vigilant in assessing the political ecosystem in the run up to elections and affirms its continued support to a peaceful and successful presidential and general election.

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One Comment

  1. Ecowas must be commended ! It’s sacrificial roles had got Liberia where it is today! Countless Ghanaians and Nigerians soldiers sacrificed their precious lives for Liberia’s peace yet Liberians have shown over the years their unpreparedness for peace!
    Hundreds of Liberian refugees still occupied the Buduburam refugees camp in Gomoa, central Ghana , who have deprived the owners of the land for more than 30 years.

    Disgustingly, Liberian politicans do not care about the future of their country! They want power at all cost even if that means more people should die and the destruction of their country!
    Up was part of our problems when did they become rescuers?

    The new new Charles Taylor in old sick Joseph Nyumah Boakai and mass murderer Prince Johnson have emerged ! They want power death or not!
    What a shameless contradiction of a man who has lived on government for than 50 years with nothing to show and as old as he is in retirement could still be agitating violence for power
    Joseph Nyumah Boakai and his generation failed their time! It’s time for this generation to mount up to the leadership of the nation!

    Like it or not Boakai knows he has lost the elections! No patriotic Liberian will vote such dead man to power.
    It is shameful that Yesterday’s looters of 12 years would want to attain to state power to steal more! .

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