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“GOL’s rape response weak”

--YALDA Representative

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As rape continues to be on the increase in Montserrado and other parts of Liberia, a group known as Youth Alliance Leadership for Development in Africa (YALDA) has criticized the Government of Liberia for its weakness and poor response in instituting harsh measures to curtail rape.

Speaking to this paper in an exclusive interview Tuesday, 18 August, YALDA Financial Director Ms. Lisa T. Cooper blasted the government for its alleged failure to institute tough measures in curtailing rape.

“For me, anyone [who] is accused and found guilty should be given a death penalty. I think with this punishment we will [have] zero cases on rape matter in this country,” Ms. Cooper claims.

Her criticism against the government comes at a time a photo of a suspect who allegedly raped a 3 – year – old has been circulating on social media.
The suspect believed to be 18 years old is accused of using a razor blade to the victim’s private part to enable him to penetrate the child in Gbarpolu County.

“If our government [is] truly concerned about the future of this country, particularly the young people, they must rise up from their comfortable offices and institute tangible measures because whenever a child gets raped, that stigma lives with them till they are old. And we don’t want this…,” Ms. Cooper says.

She alleges that the incarceration of rapists is something that encourages them to get more involved in carrying on the act.

Ms. Cooper notes that Liberians should not send rapists to prison, but recommends a death penalty to deter others who might want to get involved in raping children and destroy their future.

Commenting on her organization, Ms. Lisa T. Cooper says YALDA is an international organization that began at Stanford University in the United States, and has branches in various African countries with headquarters in Uganda.

She explains that the group of young people came together and decided to look at issues affecting the African continent, revealing that YALDA’s focus is to improve the wellbeing of various university students who are passionate about making a change in society.

She indicates that her organization is also involved in speaking against sexual and gender – based violence, something she says is undermining the growth of Africa.

By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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