Last week’s (September 29, 2023) violence in Lofa County that reportedly left two persons dead is not only unfortunate but poses serious threat to next Tuesday’s October 10th polls. According to reports, violence erupted between rival supporters of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the opposition Unity Party (UP) on Friday, leaving at least two dead, and several others injured.
International partners including ECOWAS and the United States are calling on the Government of Liberia to investigate the violence to bring perpetrators to book, particularly as Liberians go to elections just days away.
The government has failed to investigate previous political violence that left several persons wounded when rival supporters of the CDC and the UP clashed in Monrovia, and similarly in Nimba County.
It is important that the authorities exercise political will by taking immediate action in bringing to book, those who instigated the violence in Lofa that caused the death of two persons which will serve as a deterrence.
We call on leaders of both parties to demonstrate leadership by prevailing on their supporters to refrain from violence, and instead, engage in peaceful campaign for the remaining days before the elections.
Violence has never benefited the people of Liberia in the past and will not do in these electioneering periods. The elections will come and pass, but Liberia will remain and we must do everything as citizens to keep the Motherland safe, not only for the current generation but posterity.
The United States Government recently sounded a caveat that it will impose visa restrictions on those who will undermine Liberia’s democracy, including their family members.
It is very important that all Liberians pay heed to statement coming from the U.S. Government, Liberia’s traditional partner in keeping our dear country on the path of peace, democracy, justice, and economic stability.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for West Africa in the Bureau of African Affairs, Michael Heath, who visited Liberia last and sounded the caveat, lauded President George Manneh Weah for his promise before world leaders at the recent UN General Assembly that his government will ensure free, fair, transparent, peaceful, inclusive and credible elections.
Candidates and political parties in the race, with support of our international partners should do everything to hold him to his word and avoid acts that could jeopardize the polls and revert this country to chaos that no patriotic Liberians want following 14 years of bloody civil war.