Liberia: Bring the Zwedru's Violence Perpetrators to Book Speedily

Foreign Missions in Liberia recently called on the Weah administration to swiftly investigate the July 30 political violence in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County in an objective and non-partisan manner to bring all those culpable to justice.

They underscored that such action will send a clear signal that threats and violence have no place in the democratic dispensation the people of Liberia have established for their country.

The United Nations, ECOWAS, United States Embassy and the European Union in a joint statement issued in Monrovia expressed support for concern expressed by several Liberian groups specifically, the Inter-Religious Council, the Catholic Diocese of Cape Palmas, the Providence Baptist Church, the Grand Gedeh Legislative Caucus and other religious and political stakeholders, including President George Manneh Weah and his Government, over use of hate speech and mob violence, particularly recent violent attack against opposition politicians in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County.

It is almost two weeks since hundreds of stone-throwing youths believed to be from the youth league of the governing Congress for Democratic Change chapter in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County besieged a local entertainment center, B-2 Guesthouse in the city on Thursday, 30 July and prevented the Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Alexander B. Cummings and Montserrado County District#10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah from stepping outside.

For more than five hours, angry youths joined by thugs armed with stones, sticks and cutlasses, attacked the guesthouse entertainment center, Hotel B-2 in the heart of Zwedru City, where Chairman Cummings, Representative Kolubah and members of their delegation lodged, threatening to lynch Rep. Kolubah for constantly ranting invectives at President George Manneh Weah, but Joint Security forces, led by troops of the Armed Forces of Liberia intervened, providing corridor for the opposition politicians to leave the county, known for its strong support for President Weah and his ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.

Neither the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change nor the Government of Liberia condemned the violence immediately. It took President George Weah four days before he commented while attending worship at his own church, calling on his supporters not to engage in violence.

But we join the Foreign Missions in their call for speedy and impartial investigation to bring all those responsible before the law and allow justice to prevail. This would serve as deterrence to future attempt by any group to disrupt the current peace thru political violence.

With barely three months to midterm senatorial elections across Liberia on December 8, 2020, if the Zwedru's violence is swept under the rug like two previous bloody electoral violence in Montserrado County Electoral District#13 and District#15 respectively, it could send a very strong signal of what to expect in the pending polls.

We don't want a continuous repeat of such attitude in our political dispensation that has a propensity to reverse the gains achieved in restoring this country to democratic governance and stability with help of the international community.

We believe it is in this light that the Foreign Missions called on the Weah administration to investigate speedily with objectivity and bring the matter to close so that the government would not be suspected of complacency, and by extension, condoning violent acts.

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