UK issues travel alerts ahead of protest
In the wake of the impending 07 June mass protest, the British Government alerts its citizens traveling to Liberia or already in Monrovia about protests and demonstrations in the capital, cautioning British nationals to avoid protests, demonstrations, large gatherings and crowds and follow the advice of local authorities.
The travel alert updated since 22 March 2019 and still current up to 04 May 2019 also warns of indiscriminate terrorists attacks in Liberia, as seen in Mali, Côte D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.
It notes that terrorist groups continue to mount attacks on beach resorts, hotels, cafés and restaurants in these countries, visited by foreigners. “You should be vigilant in these locations and avoid any crowded places and public gatherings or events.”
According to the alert, there are sometimes clashes between armed groups from both sides of the Liberian/Cote d’Ivoire border in some of the more remote border areas of Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties, southeast Liberia, and cautions that to avoid straying into these areas, British nationals should use the main roads when travelling in these counties.
A group of Liberians under the banner, Council of Patriots, announces a planned protest in Monrovia, beginning 07 June and could potentially last several days.
The Council of Patriots or COP had earlier written the government, detailing that the objective of its planned June 7 assembly is to draw the Weah-led government’s attention to alleged bad governance, corruption, mismanagement of state resources and flagrant violations of the Constitution, among others.
Its recent letter dated April 24, 2019, addressed to Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musa Dean reads, “We write to inform you of our intention to hold a peaceful assembly scheduled to begin on Friday, June 7, 2019, and potentially last for several days in Monrovia.”
But the government is refusing to grant permit to the protesters, questioning the legitimacy of the group and identities of its organizers in what many see here as deliberate bottlenecks being erected by the State to abort the plan, but the organizers vow they would peacefully assemble as scheduled, detailing that mobilization is ongoing in the counties.
The looming standoff is creating panic among the population, particularly in Monrovia and its environs with businesses speculating and raising prices amid hike in the exchange rate and soaring inflation.
However, the UK alert observes that Liberia has become increasingly stable since the internal conflict ended in 2003, noting the Liberian government is working closely with the UN and the international community to provide increased stability and development.