MONROVIA – A civil society group, Rural Human Rights Activists Program (RHRAP) has said based on the series of violent instances currently occurring in and around the country especially with the case of Monrovia District #10- Montserrado County, it is urgently calling on the international community (The US Embassy, The EU and its Embassies near Monrovia, the African Union, ECOWAS, etc.) to prevail on national government especially the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary to timely and fairly enforce the rule of law without favor that will lead Liberia to a free, fair, participatory and democratic elections in October 2023.
In a press statement issued yesterday and signed by Mr. Lorma Baysah, Executive Director of the institution said as the country has started the electioneering activities with the first phase of the Voter Registration going on, there are couple of earlier warning instances (violent clashes) that seek to undermine the country’s fragile peace and democracy, stressing that the atmosphere is very gloomy and tensed given the instances of disinformation, violent clashes, & violence inciting messages that are being committed by the ruling party and their auxiliaries, oppositions political parties and supporters and politicians.
“These are earlier warnings and key drivers to violent conflict placing fear in the minds of voters which may largely promote voter apathy, pre-and post-elections violence.
“Many people are getting discouraged to participate in the coming 2023 electoral processes which is not good for Liberia’s democratic process. Learning from the past Liberia’s bloody civil conflict, each Liberian regardless of status, tribe, political affiliation, sex, etc. is required to avoid violent conflict and promote peaceful engagements during and after the 2023 elections to maintain Liberia’s democratic system. The Rural Human Rights Activists Program (RHRAP) is currently engaged with several outreach activities that seeks to promote peaceful elections and responsive governance intended to avert Liberia’s democracy from retrogressing. RHRAP is using this medium to appeal to every Liberian to engage in the promotion of peaceful, democratic processes that will lead Liberia to a successful peaceful elections come October 2023.
“At the same time, RHRAP is openly calling on the National Elections Commission (NEC), the Liberia National Police (LNP), and the ruling CDC led government to uphold the rule of law practicing tolerance at the highest peak that will lead Liberia to a peaceful elections. The Ministry of Justice must now initiate the prosecution of agents that are involved in election violence activities regardless of their political backgrounds as a deterrent that will promote peaceful atmosphere during and after Liberia’s elections.
“Since the end of the bloody civil war, this is the first general and presidential elections that is being conducted by Liberians themselves, and so, all Liberians must protect the process to restore our fragile peace and democracy”, the statement said.
The statement further said at the same time RHRAP is admonishing the international community to highly consider funding grassroots Civil Society Organizations to engage in various activities that will promote peaceful, democratic, and participatory elections in October 2023. It maintained that no doubt, as compared to previous presidential and general elections in Liberia, most CSOs are struggling for funding to enable them to engage the citizenry across the country at various levels that will support free, fair, peaceful, democratic, and participatory elections that will arrest Liberia’s democracy from retrogressing.
“RHRAP is admonishing all Liberians regardless of status, tribal, religious, and political affiliation, sex, etc. to urgently engage in promoting peaceful elections messages in our areas of engagements. Let’s do away with violent and promote peace.”