Liberia: July Protest Is Misplaced

Some officials of the Council of Patriots during a previous press conference

- U.S. Ambassador

The United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Christine Elder says, while the U.S. Embassy here supports the rights of citizens to lawfully apply to assemble or convey their views to elected officials, the intent to do so during the week of July 22 is misplaced.But the COP reportedly terms the statement as a caution not only to it, but the Government of Liberia.

In a two-paragraph official response to the Council of Patriots' press release, specifically calling on the international community to join the 'long march', Ambassador Elder notes that particularly from a group carrying the banner 'Council of Patriots' and from a group which avows that patriotism remains central to their efforts, staging such actions as they have outlined, during independence celebrations, would instead, convey a lack of commitment to national development.

"Ideally, events surrounding national celebrations should be devoid of partisan promotion or posturing, focusing instead on working together for the common good of the Liberian people", Ambassador Elder notes in her statement here Thursday, July 18.

However, the U.S. Envoy commends the peaceful conduct of thousands of protestors who by their actions on June 7 conveyed they are interested in progress and national dialogue over aggression or demands.

On June 7, the COP staged a successful protest in Monrovia monitored by national and internationals observers, including ECOWAS, the AU and the United Nations to draw government's attention to the current state affairs, but stopped short of presenting its petition to the government.

The petition was subsequently read at a press conference by lead campaigner and talk show host Henry Costa, demanding, among others, reinstatement of impeached Associate Justice Kabinah Ja'neh.

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