The United Nations, ECOWAS, EU and Western Embassies in Monrovia condemn political violence in Grand Cape Mount County characterized by arson attacks on private home and properties.
The campaign convoy of opposition candidate Simeon Taylor, was reportedly attacked and set ablaze, allegedly by supporters of ruling Coalition candidate incumbent Senator Victor Watson, on Saturday, 5 December in Dambala Town, Porkpar District, Grand Cape Mount County.
Mr. Taylor is the senatorial candidate for the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP). The Collaboration involves the former governing Unity Party; the Alternative National Congress; the All Liberian Party; and the Liberty Party.
Candidate Taylor reportedly survived the attacks, but his whereabouts have not been officially established.
In a joint statement issued Sunday, 6 December in Monrovia, a day to the December 8th Special Senatorial Election and national referendum, the UN, ECOWAS, the EU Delegation and the Embassies of EU Member States here, representing France, Germany, Ireland as well as Sweden, and the Embassies of the United States of America and Great Britain and Northern Ireland, respectively deplore the incidence of violence in Grand Cape Mount, including burning of cars and looting and burning of a house, noting that vast majority of Liberians would wish to dissociate themselves from such acts.
“There must be a full investigation of incidences of violence, including yesterday’s, and all those found responsible must be held accountable. Law enforcement agencies must be granted sufficient resources to carry out their work, including the provision of security to political candidates and polling sites. We recall commitments stakeholders made in the Code of Conduct to ensure a peaceful and transparent electoral process”, the statement reads.
The Foreign Missions call on all parties to renounce the use of provocative language and dissemination of misinformation and falsehoods that only promote political tensions, divisiveness, and violence and risk the progress Liberia has continuously demonstrated since 2005, and further call on political leaders and electoral candidates to pursue any disputes through peaceful means and dialogue, in accordance with the law.
“International partners are following closely Liberia’s adherence to the rule of law and its advancement of peace and democracy. We look forward to witnessing the voting process on December 8, and support Liberian civil society observation and monitoring initiatives as well. We remain confident in the strong commitment of the Liberian people to peace, stability, and development and continue dedicating our support to advance these essential goals.”
We have invested heavily and worked strenuously alongside Liberians from all political parties and all walks of life to promote peace, security, and democratic institutions in this country, the statement noted.
Meanwhile, the Missions thru their statement, welcome President George Manneh Weah’s statement issued early Sunday, December 06, 2020, condemning the violence and calling for political partisans and their leaders to conduct themselves peacefully.
An earlier alert published Friday, 04 December on the U.S. Embassy’s official website in Monrovia warned Americans to stay off the streets, sounding heightened risk of violence.
“National elections are scheduled for Tuesday, December 8, 2020. During the election season frequent demonstrations and rallies, both planned and spontaneous, are likely, and there is a heightened risk of violence. Rallies are planned for Saturday and Sunday, December 5 and 6 and may disrupt traffic in the greater Monrovia area”, the Embassy said. Story by Jonathan Browne