Editorial: The wounds and pains of Student Christopher Walter Sisulu Sivili of the University of Liberia along with his colleagues who were brutally attacked by pro-government supporters on Independence Day (July 26, 2022) before the Embassy of the United States near Monrovia cry for justice. The only crime those students committed was to peacefully protest in Monrovia against the 175th Independence celebration of Liberia.
In their mind, there is nothing to celebrate because Liberia is engulfed by hardship and poverty, as a result of massive corruption in government that has deprived citizens of basic services such as health and education, among others.
In fact, the students under the banner, Vanguard Students Unification Party (SUP) of the University of Liberia staged their protest far away from the main venue of the official Independence Day celebration held at the Centennial Pavilion on Ashmun Street, but yet, they were chased and attacked by the pro-government group, CDC-Council of Patriot, inflicting wounds that left several of them taken to hospital, including Student Christopher Walter Sisulu.
Sadly, and regrettably, the government has turned a blind eye on the violence with the Police saying that they have no knowledge about those who perpetrated it, in what obviously amounts to complacency.
In a deliberate lack of political will to go after suspected perpetrators, the Police are instead, asking the public to identify individuals who might have staged the attack against peaceful students exercising their constitutional and democratic franchise.
The Government of Liberia thru the Ministry of Justice had earlier condemned the violence and ordered a full investigation, but in a 60-degree turnaround, the Police say they lack information to make any arrest thus, breeding impunity.
This is why we welcome call by the Liberia Council of Churches for government to provide full account of the violence that occurred under its watch. In fact, Police presence was reinforced near the Embassy of the United States during the violence, so it is very incomprehensible when Police Spokesperson Moses Carter, asked the public to help the Police with clues on who might have ignited the bloody attack.
We also laud rights campaigner and Presidential hopeful, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe, for taking on the government and personally promising to take the matter to court upon his return from the United States.
As Cllr. Gongloe observed via a statement from America, that the lack of respect for the rule of law and human rights under the Weah administration, is fast turning Liberia, a constitutional democracy, into a fascist state, evidenced by current violence and lawlessness in the country.
Make no mistake, Tuesday, July 26 violence against peaceful students expressing their minds is just a tip of the iceberg of what to expect under this administration, as the nation prepares for Presidential and General Elections in 2023 when state-sponsored violence would take centerstage to suppress dissenting views. It is about time Liberians stand up against rule by terror and brutal force.