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GeneralLiberia news

Lawmaker condemns Jacob Town violence –Extolls LNP’s intervention 

Over the weekend, rioters damaged properties and overran police officers who were deployed for the execution of a court order evicting an occupant from a property that belongs to a victor in a land dispute case.

By Lincoln G. Peters 

Monrovia, May 21, 2024: Montserrado County Electoral District #2 Representative Mr. Sekou Kanneh has condemned the violent protests by residents of the area who were resisting the enforcement of a court order.

Some district residents, particularly in Jacob Town Community, staged violent resistance against the execution of a court order on Saturday, 18 May 2024, destroying properties and disrupting normal district activities.

In an exclusive interview with this paper, Representative Kanneh described the citizens’ actions as wrong.

At the same time, he condemned the protesters’ action as a means of preventing and discouraging another future occurrence. 

“I want to, in this public manner, condemn the protest action by some residents of my district that led to the disruption of normal business activities in the district,” he said. 

“This action by the protestors was completely wrong and should be discouraged. If the protesters knew that the police were not discharging their responsibility responsibly, they should have called the attention of the district leadership than to go on [a] rampage,” he added.

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Rioters overran officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) on Saturday, obstructing a law enforcement operation after a court ruling placed a disputed property in the possession of a party in a case.

The rioters damaged several properties, including vehicles, in the Black Jinnah Community of Jacob Town in Paynesville.

Police fired teargas canisters, but the rioters remained defiant, chasing away the armed police officers.

The police had accompanied court officials to evict the Africa Islamic Center School in the Jacob Town community because it is said to be situated on a property belonging to the party that won the court case.

Imam Ishmael Sesay, the Chief Imam of the Black Jinnah Central Mosque on the Japan Freeway, owns the Islamic school.

The rioting young folks, predominantly kinsmen of Imam Sesay and other members of the Islamic community there, obstructed the execution of the court’s order and destroyed properties.

The violence started when law enforcement officers at the Zone 9 Base Police Depot broke through the school premises to carry out the eviction order.

However, the rioters contended that the police broke into the facility in the absence of Imam Sesay, prompting them to resist the police’s operation. The rioters were mixed with students, guardians, and community dwellers who refused to allow the eviction order to be carried out.

Reports said the tension increased when students of the Africa Islamic Center School and dwellers of the Jacob Town Community, predominately Muslims, challenged the law-enforcement order.

Police responded by firing teargas canisters to drive the protesters away, but that did not work. The rioters threw stones at the police.

At least two unidentified police officers, a male and female, were reported to have sustained injury, while journalists’ mobile phones and gadgets were smashed in the process.

The rioters threatened to burn down the Zone 9 Base Police Station, but the police called for a re-enforcement before the riot eased.

Representative Kanneh described the protest as illegal and stressed that it should never be repeated.

At the same time, Rep. Kanneh has appreciated the Liberia National Police for handling the situation professionally.

He added that the LNP used the community policing method to put the situation under control.

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