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Five Liberians Killed, 25 Injured in Pre-Election Violence In Monrovia

Five Liberians Killed, 25 Injured in Pre-Election Violence In Monrovia

(Nov 7, 2011) By: T. Ralph Tolbert
Five Liberians were reportedly killed and more than 25 injured after violent broke out at the headquarters of the main opposition party--Congress for Democratic Change--on the eve of the Nov. 8 run-off presidential election.

The identities of the victims were not immediately revealed.

Our correspondent said things come to a head when members of the Liberian police poorly handled a mass gathering of leaders and supporters of CDC at their main office, where they had called a peaceful vigil to urge their partisans to boycott the polls (See Story).

The Liberian police, without any provocation, began to fire in the air, even after they barricaded the main entries to the opposition facility, provoking further tension and the chaos that followed.

An official of Unity Party, speaking on conditions of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the group, said the details of what happened is still scantly, although he blamed CDC for creating the conditions that sparked the latest tension.

He did not specifically explain how CDC created the "chao."

                             CDC partisans in a peaceful gathering in Monrovia

But Samuel D. Tweah, a CDC official, said his group was attacked in violation of its constitution right to peacefully assemble.

“Because they believe CDC partisans have no rights to peacefully assemble, so they decided to attack us,” Tweah told The Liberian Journal, in an exclusive interview from CDC’s headquarters in Monrovia. “There is no need to deploy security forces when people are gathering peacefully.”

Some observers believe that this could be a scenario where the police grossly overreacted, because no one has cited a case where a CDC partisan or a CDC official actually provoked or attacked a member or members of the security forces.

“This is the same police force that attacked unarmed and peaceful students in Liberia,” a Liberian church leader told the Liberian Journal. “I think members of the Liberia police force are provoking a problem, to justify their premeditated actions against a party that has chosen to exercise its full political and constitutional rights.”



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