Liberia's CSO Frowns on Neighboring Countries' Excessive Force Against Protesters

press release

The National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has frowned on the use of excessive force and the unnecessary killings of peaceful protesters exercising their democratic rights in the ECOWAS Sub-region.

In a press release dated 28 October, the group says attention has been drawn to the ugly situations brewing in the Republics of Guinea, Cote D'Ivoire and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where peaceful protests and demonstrations are being unwarrantedly quelled by the use of brute force leading to the deaths of scores of ECOWAS citizens.

"It is therefore completely unfathomable that peaceful gatherings of ECOWAS citizens will be greeted with iron fists, heavy boots and live bullets under the watchful eyes of governments and administrations they constitutionally instituted for their safety and happiness," the release says.

In the release authorized by NCSCL National Secretary General Jeremiah S. Swen and the National Chairperson Loretta A. Poke-Kai, the group wonders what moral standing would Guinea, Cote D'Ivoire and Nigeria have to chastise younger leaders who indulge into similar bad governance practices when as elders, they treat other ECOWAS brothers and sisters in that manner and form.

Meanwhile, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia is calling on the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to stand up and act now before situations blow out of proportion.

"The rights to peaceful assembly, protest and free elections are guaranteed under the AU Agenda 2063, AU Transitional Justice Policy, The Rome Status and other international protocols and treaties," the group says.

In Liberia, the council appreciates the collective engagement demonstrated by ECOWAS, UN and partners during the management of the emerging crisis ignited from the Voter Roll Update.

Going forward, the group notes that Liberia's peace is only guaranteed when the citizens' consciousness is enhanced via their sustained integration, ownership and capacity development to make informed constitutional decisions drifted away from ignorance, fear, limited knowledge about the Referendum and ongoing electoral matters.

The group says it expects ECOWAS to be proactive, action - oriented and disciplinary in as much as the will and happiness of the people requires.

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