Liberia: Rep. Tarponweh Cautions Students Against Mob Violence

Margibi County District #1 Representative Tibelrosa Tarponweh has cautioned students and the general public not to promote or get involved with mob violence as a means of seeking redress to their problems.

Tarponweh's admonition was contained in a speech he recently delivered at programs marking the installation into offices of the student council of the the Rafiki Foundation School, situated along the Marshall highway.

Rep. Tarponweh said the lack of public trust in the legal and security systems, mainly with regards to properly handling suspected criminals, as well as the persistent delays for redress on burning and fundamental issues, are key contributors that trigger or stimulate mob violence.

"Vigilante or mob violence is a symptom of society where ignorance, incompetent justice system, and human rights violations impede access to justice," he said.

Tarponweh said there are instances wherein individuals, who are accused of committing minor crimes and other misdemeanors, are arrested and kept in prolonged detention without trials, but frustratingly, it is realized at the end of the litigation process, that the suspects are innocent.

He noted that lack of patience on the part of those feeling aggrieved, especially the youthful population is also responsible for crisis.

"My dear students, we are a country that is at present challenged with a lot of issues, among them being the maintenance of our peace. It is good to be patient and wait on your school administration or the local authorities to deal with cases. Do not take the law into your own hands," Tarponweh cautioned the students.

"When people are impatient regarding perceived delays for redress on issues, they regard as fundamental to them, the path of mob violence is usually the only easy route. This is regrettably the case in our society," Rep. Tarponweh added.

He recalled that from January to September 2013, there were 46 reported mob violence cases, and 32 in 2012, all of which 12 victims were confirmed dead and several others seriously injured by angry mobs.

Rep. Tarponweh further admonished the students to be "agents of positive change," and therefore urged the public to join efforts in ensuring that mob violence is totally condemned.

He said it requires concerted effort by the government, civil society organizations, religious groups, families and all other individual residents to support peace efforts.

Tarponweh said the subsequent creation of a fair justice system that properly and transparently handles issues of crimes, and the enforcement of laws equally, irrespective of class and worth in society, will guarantee a more peaceful society," he said.

Meanwhile, the president of Rafiki Foundation School student council, Winston Giah, thanked Rep. Tarponweh and called on his colleagues to trust God as they endeavor to become future leaders.

Giah admonished his colleagues to adhere to good morals and be promoters of peace and justice, not only on their campus, but at home and anywhere else.

The school's 2019/2020 student council government induction ceremony was characterized by songs, dramas and other regular extra-curricular activities, including cultural performance.

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