Re-echoing Our Position on the Lofa Violence
Since the February 26 Lofa Violence, which occasioned the death of four innocent Liberians and destruction of churches, mosques, schools and other forms of vandalism, the air waves and papers continue to be flooded with various opinions on handling the situation.
In consonance with the foregoing, a number of fact-finding delegations, including those of the Executive Mansion and Lofa citizens, were dispatched to Voinjama.
While we whole-heartedly applaud the initial intervention of the government of Liberia by immediately dispatching troops of the Emergency Response Unit of the national Police to restore calm to Voinjama for the interim, as well as the subsequent visits by the various assessment missions, we at the New Dawn still insist on the constitution of an independent commission of inquiry, devoid of all sentiments that would later render its investigation meaningless.
The commission must be charged with the responsibility of not only thoroughly investigating the Kornia-Voinjama crises, but placing in such investigation our national agenda, and that has to do with sincere peace and the national security of Liberia, including Lofa County.
At the end of such investigation, Liberians must be knowledgeable about the genesis and context of the conflict between the Lormas and Mandingoes, and how this situation could be addressed in its entirety to avoid future recurrence, not only in Lofa but any other county.
Like the thousands of Liberians following the situation, our primary concern is for the government of Liberia to deal drastically with the individuals who actually perpetrated the violence -we mean those who participated in the death of student korpo Kamara of the Zorzor Lutheran school, illegal arrest of the Paramount Chief of the district, the vandalization and burning of the mosques in Kornia and Voinjama in Lofa County, as well as the elderly man who reportedly solicited LD$6,000.00 to locate the late Korpo, but returned LD$2,500.00 received as initial payment because he could not produce her living body.
Equally so, the individuals who made the telephone calls to Voinjama must also be arrested, prosecuted and death drastically if found guilty. We do sincerely believe that when this is done, those who always harbor the belief that they can instigate, spear-head and perpetrate violence and go with impunity will be reminded that they are not above the law.
Liberians are tired of violence and those who always think and dream that violence is the only path on which they thrive must be made to face the full force of the law as a way of serving as a deterrent to would-be trouble makers.
At the time when the preoccupation of Liberians in the majority is to bear and manage their poverty-stricken conditions, while at the same time putting behind them the years the locusts have eaten, this sad event, occurring as a result of rumor mongering, became disturbing and worrisome.
We are also not only saddened by the deaths and other devastation incurred just in less than a day, but the negative impressions received by the international community and others, who have worked tirelessly with huge capital over the years to ensure peace and its sustenance in Liberia.
Therefore, we are of the fervent belief that recommendations emanating from the investigation must be implemented to the latter, other than the trends other reports normally take when submitted to the President for implementation.
Though, we applaud the government of Liberia for identifying and arresting some of the alleged perpetrators, we again insist that it must go beyond this to ensure the constitution of an independent commission of inquiry for the purpose of giving justice to the people of Lofa and those victimized.
Let it not be the usual thing.