3 November 2017

Liberia: LNP, LIS Deploy Armed Officers

Photo: Boakai Fofana/AllAfrica
(file photo)

Citizens and residents of Montserrado County and its environs express fear here the deployment of heavily armed personnel of the Liberia National Police, and the Liberia Immigration Service in the streets of Monrovia and its suburb.

The deployment followed a stay order from the Supreme Court to the National Elections Commission to halt a electoral activities, pending disposition of a petition filed by the opposition Liberty Party of Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, against the results of the October 10, 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections in which the party claims it was cheated.

The Supreme Court has accordingly placed a temporary stay order on the November 7, runoff election between the ruling Unity Party and the Coalition for Democratic Change. Expressing apprehension about the heavy security presence in the street, a resident of Capitol Bye-pass, Central Monrovia, Jonah Toe, says the situation is causing panic among the public.

"They want to remind us of the past, where we had no peace in this country, how can you be a citizen in your own country then you can't have peace", he laments. He continues that citizens' minds are being reflected to the war years when armed men paraded the streets, creating panic, saying "Why didn't authorities of the LNP inform the public if there will be or there is a situation that requires citizens to stay indoors?"

The police did inform the public about the heavy deployment on Wednesday. "Heavy armed men will be deployed in Monrovia today, their presence will be especially heavy on Capitol Hill at the Temple of Justice, and other surrounding areas", Police Spokesman, Sam Collins, told State radio, ELBC.

Collins calls on citizens and the general public to abide by instructions from state security officers, noting that the unusual presence of armed police is a proactive measure in the best interest of the State. However, he allayed the fears of residents that the armed men are not deployed in the streets to scare them away or to create panic for others, saying the heavy armed men are there to make sure things are placed in the rightful order.

Editing by Jonathan Browne

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