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Police Give Ultimatum To Hawkers

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The Government of Liberia through the Liberia National Police (LNP) is contemplating on removing street sellers from side-walks by December 15, 2011, following several failed attempts to relocate the street hawkers.

The LNP has accordingly, asked the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) to relocate its members selling on side-walks in Monrovia and its environs by December 15, 2011. Acting Police Director Christopher Massaquoi, said the police will not further compromise the matter.

Speaking shortly after he formally took over from former Police Director Marc Amblard Thursday, Massaquoi said the police will begin immediately clearing all side-walks currently occupied by street hawkers.

Massaquoi, formerly Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, replaced Marc Amblard, who was dismissed this week following recommendations by a Special Independent Commission of Inquiry appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to probe the November 7, 2011 bloody riot in Monrovia, which left at least one person killed.

The acting Police Boss noted that in the past six years, the government has made frantic efforts aimed at encouraging street hawkers to leave the various side-walks, but to no avail.

He said despite several meetings and agreements reached with the President of the Liberia Marketing Association and Acting City Mayor Mary Broh, the side-walk sellers have remained adamant in their unlawful occupation of the city side-walks.

“You need to know that by occupying the side-walks to hawk your wares is denying other citizens the right to use those side-walks for free movement,” Massaquoi warned.

He said as a result, pedestrians are forced to use portion of the streets to walk, thereby impeding the free flow of traffic, causing constant and unnecessary traffic jams in the city.

On the other hand, Massaquoi has regretted the November 7, 2011 fracas between the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and state security.

But he said while the LNP is under obligation to abide by the laws of Liberia, respect rights and civil liberties of citizens and foreign nationals residing here, the police also have the responsibility to ensure the peace and security of the state at all times in keeping with the Constitution of Liberia.

He therefore, called on Liberians irrespective of political, religious or social affiliations to observe, respect and obey the laws.

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