5 June 2019

Liberia: June 7 Protest Will Converge On Capitol Hill

Photo: Liberia Observer
Some of the ex-rebel fighters at a recent press conference in Monrovia

GoL, CoP agree on security, protocol

The Government of Liberia (GoL) has affirmed its commitment to provide security to the peaceful assembly of citizens on June 7, 2019, under the aegis of the Council of Patriots (CoP).

The commitment was made in a meeting convened by the Ministry of Justice with the leadership of the Council of Patriots to discuss and agree on issues of security, and protocol to be observed on June 7, 2019.

The parties agreed that the assembly point will be on Capitol Hill, and that people traveling to the assembly point from different directions will be granted police protection, and "unhindered access."

Capitol Hill refers to anywhere between the Ministry of Mines and Energy on the west end and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the east end.

By the commitment, those traveling from Paynesville-Congo Town by way of Sinkor, will use the 12th Street diversion through Jallah Town, and those traveling from across the Gabriel Tucker Bridge and Central Monrovia, will access the assembly point through Camp Johnson Road and UN Drive connecting Lynch Street.

The UN Commission on Human Rights and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), have all committed to deploying observers during the peaceful assembly.

The meeting was observed by the UN Resident Coordinator, the African Union (AU) Ambassador and the Special Representative of ECOWAS to Liberia.

Meanwhile, the Council of Patriots have consistently said that they wish to present their list of demands to none other than the President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah.

In a related development, the Embassy of the United States in Monrovia has issued an alert, warning its citizens to stay away from any of the protest sites.

The alert warned that the protest, which is organized by CoP will start during the morning hours of June 7 and might continue till the following day.

"U.S. Government personnel have been advised to avoid the area, including rescheduling flights in or out of Roberts International Airport (RIA) on June 7 and 8, as traffic jams may affect travel to and from the airport," the Embassy warned.

The U.S. Government through its Embassy advised it citizens to exercise caution when unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protest.

The protest, according to the CoP, is intended to demand President George Weah and his Government to adhere to the rule of law, abide by the Constitution, fight corruption and provide basic social services for citizens.

The international community, including ECOWAS, UN and the AU have all held mediation talks with between the Liberian government and the members of the CoP.

Recently, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, expressed concerns over the capacity of the security apparatus to contain the June 7 protest, if it should last for more than a day.

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