Liberia: Fear Grips Monrovia Residents

Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor

Residents of Montserrado and its environs express fear for the huge deployment of security personnel by the Government of Liberia, which describe as a sign of intimidation, not just to protestors, but the public as a whole."The President has the right to make any decision without people questioning him, but he should be aware that his decision to allow armed men to ply the streets in the name of protection creates more panic rather than protecting citizens".

Speaking to this Monday, June 10th, a resident of Gurley Street, Central Monrovia,Dickson Morris, says the government's decision to deploy huge security in the streets is something that will stop citizens from going about their normal businesses, taking into consideration men carrying arms.

He argue there is a need for the government to use different measure of trying to protect its citizens instead of deploying armed security in the streets, saying, imagine Liberia peace is still referred to as fragile peace then with this latest development, where armed men are parading the streets, sends negative image as if the country is still experiencing war.

Mr. Dickson continues that though the government is under obligation to protect its citizenry and foreign residents, but such should be done without instilling fear in people, who leave their various houses to look for their daily bread, adding,"We are aware

when security personnel parade the streets with arms; we know what that means."

A female resident of West Point Town, Electoral District#7,MsMathaline Smith,says she almost ran when she saw security personnel in Broad Street and other areas."I ask myself

but what's going again; I thought this protest finished or are we expecting something, if so, there is a need for government to make pronouncement that Liberia is expecting something different."

"I thought the Police and the Immigration were in the streets because of June 7 protest, but it looks like their presence is far more than June 7, and this is scaring some of us, who don't have anywhere to go."

Madam Smith calls on government to desist from sending huge police force in the streetsunder the pretext of protection, saying,"I believe they can [carry on] different strategies rather than this, because anyone coming into the country to do business will

not sit after seeing this; their thinking will be Liberia is not safe for business", she adds.

The deployment of Police and LIS officers in the streetsis in response to Friday's protest led by group, Council of Patriots, calling on the government to effect reforms. By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by

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