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Liberian Capital Remains Tense Following Recent Violence

  • James Butty

Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, remained tense last night following violent disturbances Sunday night that left several police officers wounded and 40 supporters of defeated presidential candidate George Weah arrested and detained. The UN peace Mission in Liberia has blamed the violence on Mr. Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change Party, or CDC.

But CDC secretary general Eugene Nagbe told English to Africa reporter James Butty that the Liberian police provoked the violence, which he said occurred at the CDC headquarters, where supporters had gathered to welcome Mr. Weah and his delegation from their consultative tour of South Africa, Ghana and other countries.

“Following the program, even during the program, the Liberian police assembled and right after the program they began to assault our partisans, tear gas them, stormed the Party headquarters, vandalized the place, loot our offices, steal and caused so much pandemonium that there was a stampede and so much of lost of property and injury to Liberians.”

Mr. Nagbe said even if CDC supporters disrupted traffic, as the UN Mission said they did, the police did not have to teargas them or loot the Party headquarters. He said the CDC has demanded a thorough and independent inquiry.

Mr. Nagbe acknowledges that during the program at the party headquarters, Mr. Weah declared himself the winner of the November 8th run-off election and the legitimate president of Liberia. “By deductive reasoning, by logic, if you are cheated out of a process, then naturally you are the winner. So Ambassador Weah is the legitimately elected leader of Liberia because we have evidence he won the first round; he was cheated even in the first round; we won the second round, he was cheated. This is why we are protesting.”

Mr. Nagbe says Mr. Weah went to South Africa and other countries to consult with other world leaders because he is a man of peace. Mr. Nagbe said Mr. Weah is waiting for the National Elections Commission to make its ruling on the two CDC complaints. At the same time, he said the party wants to exercise its political right by having normal rallies.

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