Liberia: UP Urges Partisans to Stay Calm

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30 December 2019

The chairman of former ruling Unity Party (UP), Mr. Wilmot Paye has called on all partisans of the UP to stay calm and peaceful, as clarity was lacking with regards to the planned December 30, 2019 mass protest planned by the Council of Patriots (COP).

"What we are doing now is we want to appeal to all members of the Unity Party, particularly our energetic and very enthusiastic young people that they should remain calm, stay in their respective places in the wake of what is happening in the country," he said Monday, 30 December.

Mr. Paye's call came ahead of the official decision of the COP, which also indicated that it had accepted international partners' intervention to defer the protest to a later date.

There were security concerns surrounding the protest, as pro - government group Independent Council of Patriots (ICOP) had also planned a counter - protest slated for 30 December.

International partners helped in ensuring that the two groups did not meet to avoid chaos here, as government proposed two separate dates for COP and ICOP.

But the COP expresses disagreement with the government's decision to assign Sunday, 5 January 2020 for the assembly, citing religious concerns for its Christian brothers and sisters.

Mr. Paye told a local broad caster in Monrovia Monday that the Unity Party did not want anybody to do things against the order of the day.

"... We don't want any of our people to get hurt unfortunately for any reason," he says.

He said while the leadership of the COP had not spoken to its people, the Unity Party thought to urge its partisans to remain calm in their respective places.

The UP chair notes that where there is no clarity, the Unity Party can only appeal to its partisans to remain calm and stay put.He concludes that leadership is about being decisive and speaking out especially when nothing is clear.

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