No to “Citizens Action Unit” -UPP Warns Against Vigilantes Overshadowing State Security

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Against the background of recent statement from Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee calling for the establishment of the “Citizens Action Unit” or vigilante force to combat crime in Monrovia, the United People’s Party (UPP) says it is concerned about the implications and possible un-intended consequences of such call.

In a press release issued over the weekend, the United People’s Party says that the call by Mayor Koijee, could trigger the formation of a variety of vigilante groups that could make the work of the Liberia National Police and other state security forces complicated and difficult.

“The United People’s Party believes that Mayor Koijee and the Monrovia City Council are genuinely concerned about the rising level of lawlessness in Monrovia, and are seeking to find a solution.  But, UPP is urging the city authorities to work closely with the state public safety and judicial entities. UPP is cautioning that, encouragement and reliance on the use of non-state actors and organizations in maintenance of public safety, is not best addressed by activism; and Mayor Koijee and the Monrovia City Council should be careful not to over-shadow the Liberia National Police. Memory is still fresh in Liberia with respect to the operation of non-state security forces and organizations instigated by state officials, in maintenance of public safety and national security, like that of the NDPL Task Force of 1985,” the press release signed by UPP Chairman TQ Harris stated.

The United People’s Party release concluded that the party has always maintained that peace in Liberia will be sustained, when there is a common understanding that the government and the people must work together to stabilize the country, and that no amount of force is needed, on any side, to bring about that common understanding.

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