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Editorial: Elections and Weapons

Liberia’s discovery of huge cache of arms, including sophisticated automatic rifles at its main seaport in Monrovia early this January, just nine months to Presidential and General elections in October is creating panic and uncertainty among its population.

Though state security, particularly the Police are investigating, update is scanty, leaving rumors to fill the air.

Elections and arms are mutually exclusive and incongruent issues, especially when the latter is discovered in the hands of non-state actors and their motive remains unclear up to this moment.

Of even greater concern is official revelation that the arms shipment to Liberia by an American-based Liberia citizen Ben Baker has been ongoing for an entire year, unnoticed until recently when the authority got a tipoff.

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But except the Liberia National Police, high-level officials at the Ministry of Justice that heads the Joint Security or the Presidency are tightlipped on the issue.

The prolonged and conspicuous silence on such a grave matter like weapons is leaving the general citizenry confused, drowning in panic and uncertainty. 

A whole year’s importation of deadly weapons into this country by a private individual, who resides and works in the United States of America is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly, as official posture seems to indicate.

Besides, it is highly likely that arms discovered by the Police at a private residence in Brewerville outside Monrovia are just a tip of the iceberg of cache of weapons brought and stored across the country at different locations.

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The authority’s lukewarm posture on the arms issue at the highest-level leaves room for more questions than answers. The truth of the matter is, the discovery is being treated as normal, surprisingly so, when the government has said it has no hand in it.

The discovery has a very high potential to obstruct the pending elections and revert this country to violence, bloodshed, and killings like we experienced for 14 years unless the government put its feet down strongly to address the matter with the kind of urgency it deserves in order to ally all fears, as we go to the poll in October to exercise our constitutional duty of electing our leaders, void of threats and intimidation.   

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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