The specter of violence, including mob actions, in the country has been on the increase in recent years. Mob violence, violence against women and girls, electoral violence and violent street demonstrations have all consumed Liberia’s peace and threaten the country’s stability. The situation has claimed the attention of many, including the Liberian clergy. In an apparent bid to ease the tension, the President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Rev. Kortu Brown, a fortnight ago hosted an interactive forum with a throng of young people to drum up the virtue of peaceful coexistence and nonviolent culture. The Analyst reports.
The President of the Liberia Council of Churches has bemoaned growing incidents of violence in the country and has warned citizens to put the country first and eschew acts that threathen the peace and order of the country.
The concern of the LCC leader comes amid increasing concerns over the wave of political, electoral and communal violence recently experienced in the country.
In an interactive discussion with young people at the Apostolic Pentecostal School in Brewerville, Monsterrado County, the President of the Liberia Council of Churches warned that for Liberia to combat violence, the Police must be “non-Partisan” in the execution of its duties.
“The Liberia National Police has a crucial role in mitigating violence in the country,” he said. “For this to happen, the law enforcement agency must be non-partisan and professional in the handling of cases and causes of violence in our communities.”
Violence in all its shapes and forms – particularly political and electoral violence – continues to threaten the peace and stability of Liberia.
Recent acts of violence have included the flogging of the Deputy Director of the Liberia National Police at the Headquarters of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) in Congo Town, Monrovia.
On the same day, the Headquarters of the Opposition “Liberty Party” and some of its members were attacked by people believed to be members of the ruling CDC.
This followed the defeat of the Candidate of the CDC party in a bi-election of July 29th 2019 by the Liberty Party Candidate for Senator for Montserrado County. On August 17th 2019, a rally of the Opposition Collaborating Political Parties in Electoral District 15 was attacked by a rally of elements of the ruling CDC Candidate.
The LCC President frowned on the delay by the Police in many instances to timely investigate and bring perpetrators of violence, no matter their status to book, adding, “these acts of violence and/or misconduct must be thoroughly investigated and appropriate actions taken to deter violence in the country.”
He added: “We must combat political, electoral or communal violence head on. We cannot be partisan about this. You cannot beat a deputy Police Director and it goes free. It is an act of lawlessness. It must be deterred”.
The electoral violence in District 15 almost brought the Capital City, Monrovia to its knees but for the swift interventions of peace-loving Liberians and partners of Liberia.
National Elections Commission insistence on holding the rerun election also helped calm the situation. LCC through its fact-finding team, is looking into causes of electoral violence in District 15 to learn lessons and deter re-occurrence. LNP has indicted some persons.
“However, we are concerned about the serious of such litigation”, he quipped, challenging the Police to prove to the world that “no Liberian is above the law”.
For their part, the students attributed the causes of violence to the prevailing economic hardships in the country. The students argued that it will be difficult to combat violence in the midst of severe economic hardships.
The LCC President lamented: “The exchange rate is high. Prices of goods on the market are high. This is increasing hardship in the country even for, we students. Our parents find it difficult to support us at the moment.”
The other concern shared by the students for the level of violence in the country is the use of illicit drugs by young people which they hope something can be done about, to deter it.