Int’l Community Wants Speedy Justice -Calls for Swift Investigation of July 26 Violence Perpetrators

MONROVIA – As Liberia prepares for a crucial national election whose peaceful outcome in 2023 could signal to the world that the country’s democratic tentacles are solidly entrenched after a brutal civil war, images of the July 26, 2022 Independence Day violence have caught the attention of the international community, causing the United Nations, the United States of America, Great Britain and the European Union to  condemn without reservation such acts that marred Liberia’s 175th anniversary of Independence.

Making their position known in a stern press statement published Tuesday, August 2, 2022, the international community urged the police to swiftly conduct a thorough investigation that will bring to justice the instigators and perpetrators of these acts of violence.

“We welcome the swift condemnation by political, governmental, and civil society actors of the violent acts which occurred, and we encourage all political leaders to act firmly in preventing and eliminating political intolerance and violence.

“Liberia has a record of free, fair, and transparent elections over the last two decades, making this country an example of stability and democracy in the region.

“Violence is not the right way to resolve disputes. Political differences should be resolved by dialogue. We therefore encourage all actors to act responsibly and embrace the principles of tolerance, democracy, and constitutionalism for an inclusive, transparent, and peaceful election process in Liberia 2022-2023,” the international community stated unequivocally.

The call by the international community coincides with a widespread public condemnation of the violence meted out by supporters of the ruling party operating under the CDC-COP banner against students of the University of Liberia who were peacefully protesting on July 26, demanding President Weah to fix the country.

Video evidence of the CDC-COP militants flogging and dehumanizing the protesting University of Liberia students has since caused righteous indignation among civil society actors and the general population, causing President Weah to disown the renegade CDC auxiliary, order his minister of justice and the entire national security apparatus to immediately arrest all those involved in the violence incident of July 26, 2022, and ensure that they face the full weight of the law.

LNP Makes Arrests Without Complaints?

The Liberia National Police that earlier said it had not made any arrest of perpetrators because it had not received any complaint from victims of the July 26 violence, has now confirmed the arrest of seven persons in connection to the street violence of July 26, 2022.

“Those arrested are: Kendrick S. Pelenah, 30, Joshua S. Karr, 28, Pukar Roberts, 36, Ben B. Togba h, 25, Foday N. Massaquoi, 23, Aaron K. Chea, 26 and Abdurahman Barrie.

“The Police has also launched a manhunt for the remaining individuals and will shortly solicit the assistance of the public by releasing names and photographs of the wanted persons.

“Meanwhile, the LNP informs the public that it is still conducting a Professional Standards probe of its officers that were in charge of security for the July 26 celebration. The public will be duly informed subsequently,” the police statement of August 2, 2022 noted.

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