Govt Restores Calm in Mano River Kongo -As Victor Watson’s Sponsor Goes into Hiding; Citizens Fear Civil Conflict
MANO RIVER CONGO, JULY 3, 2021: Immediately following the National Elections Commission (NEC) final ruling on Friday, July 2, 2021, announcing opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) candidate Simeon Taylor as winner of the December 8, 2020, supporters and sympathizers of Senator-elect Taylor commenced jubilating in all parts of Grand Cape Mount County. But their jubilation in Porkpa District’s Mano River Kongo turn violently sour late Friday afternoon when intense violence erupted, reportedly orchestrated by supporters of defeated Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate Victor Watson, who turned Mano River Kongo upside down, butchering and maiming the Simeon Taylor revelers, reportedly on the order of Sierra Leonean businessman Idrissa “Bomber” Mansaray. As The Analyst provides an update of the appalling security situation in Grand Cape Mount County, the Government of Liberia is said to have already deployed security forces from the ERU Unit of the Liberia National Police (LNP) who have subsequently launched a vigorous manhunt for perpetrators of the Friday violence. As some arrests are said to have being made, while Mr. Idrissa “Bomber” Mansaray is said to be on the run, reportedly fleeing into neighboring Sierra Leone with a good number of his henchmen who orchestrated the violence, citizens of the area are afraid that the culprits could return under the cover of darkness to wreak havoc in Mano River Kongo.
According to our Grand Cape Mount County correspondent who spoke to eyewitnesses that experienced the traumatic Friday violence in Mano River Kongo, businessman Idrissa Mansaray deployed his men, armed with hand-made single-barrel pistols, machetes, and pickaxes to attack the revelers who were celebrating the victory of Senator-elect Simeon Taylor.
“The attacks started by 5pm on Friday. Idrissa Mansaray’s brother Ansu Mansaray was the gang leader who led the assault on our citizens. The attackers numbering more than two dozen were armed with single-barrel pistols, cutlasses, and axes; and they were just butchering anyone that they suspected of jubilating over the news that Simeon Taylor had won,” says Siah Kamanda, a resident of Mano River Kongo who escaped being wounded when she sought refuge in a neighbor’s compound.
Another eyewitness who spoke to our correspondent said the violence started immediately after Idrissa Mansaray entered Mano River Kongo and issued orders to his followers to butcher anyone jubilating over Simeon Taylor’s victory.
“It was Mr. Mansaray’s own brother Ansu who led the attacks on citizens of Kongo. Idrissa has a devious plan. The government needs to arrest him and investigate his interference into our electoral process. Why should one man keep thousands of Sierra Leoneans in Liberia on his cocoa farms, pretending that he is a businessman but interfering in our politics? Idrissa must be made to pay for the violence in Cape Mount?” says Sensee Massaquoi, a resident of Kongo.
Mr. Massaquoi hailed the deployment of ERU troops in Kongo to calm the violence, noting, however, that the government needs to beef up security in the area because, not only does Mano River Kong share border with neighboring Sierra Leone, but it is also an entry/exit point for Idrissa Mansaray to manipulate the electoral process.
In the wake of the deployment of security forces from the ERU, Mano River is now experiencing an eerie calm, while the citizens remain still jittery over fears that Idrissa and his men could launch another attack.
“Idrissa fled with his brother and most of his supporters after the ERU entered Kongo. We learned that he and his followers fled into Sierra Leone. We are calling on the Government of Liberia to launch a serious investigation into this matter, because if the issue is not addressed properly, it could lead to civil war in this part of Cape Mount,” another eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous informed this paper.
This eyewitness also blamed the violence on hate messages spewed on a particular local radio station, inciting citizens to revolt against the NEC verdict. “This station is just another Radio Kigali,” he said, without disclosing the station’s frequency.
While a manhunt for perpetrators of the Friday, July 2, 2021 violence intensifies, in the wake of Idrissa “Bomber” Mansaray fleeing the area after launching a blistering violent attack on alleged supporters of Senator-elect Simeon Taylor, the man at the epicenter of Grand Cape Mount County’s senatorial representation renewal has again called for calm.
“I feel completely embarrassed about what happened to our people. We feel marginalized one way or the other by Idrissa and former Senator Watson; but that situation should be put to stop. It is bad for our people. They need to live in peace. I am not happy about it. There should be security; there should be calm in the Mano River Kongo area. We strongly believe that no one is above the law, and that those who created the violence will be brought to justice. We will ensure that the law takes its course,” Senator-elect Taylor stressed.
He said he was happy that the Ministry of Justice has taken seize of the fluid situation in Mano River Kongo. “They are checking for those who committed the act, to ensure they are arrested and face justice,” Taylor said, while calling on his supporters and all citizens of Grand Cape Mount County to remain calm.
“We are not going to support any violent act anywhere, because the law is stronger than any other force, so we urge everyone to remain calm until the law takes its course,” Mr. Taylor reiterated.
Adding to the call for prosecution of the recent Grand Cape Mount County Mano River Kongo violence, an ardent follower of The Analyst newspaper and its online platform, Dr. Togba Nah-Tipoteh, minced little words in condemning the act.
Praising the government of Liberia for intervening, but berating them for dragging their feet, this is what an angry Dr. Tipoteh had to say:
“Thanks. Prevention is better than cure. The Sierra Leonean diamond dealer should have been arrested and sent to court at least four years ago! Watson is controlled by him!!”