News / Africa

    Liberian Opposition Blames Police for Deadly Clashes, Vows to Boycott Election

    Congress for Democratic Change spokesman George Solo says police used live ammunition against unarmed CDC supporters

    A Liberian child stands in front of an election poster for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the Liberian capital Monrovia, September 8, 2011.
    A Liberian child stands in front of an election poster for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the Liberian capital Monrovia, September 8, 2011.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Listen to Butty interview with CDC spokesman George Solo

    James Butty

    An official of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) has accused members of the Liberian National Police of killing and wounding CDC supporters.

    George Solo, CDC spokesman and deputy campaign manager, said there were at least two confirmed fatalities Monday.

    All attempts to reach Liberian police for their comment failed.

    Solo said the police ARU unit used live ammunition against CDC supporters who had gathered in front of their party’s headquarters to attend what the party called a vigil for the preservation of democracy in Liberia.

    “As we turned the car around, moving into the party headquarters, the ARU guys were behind us firing, and I’m talking about live rounds, and they followed us into the party headquarters and continued to shoot at the crowd with live ammunition,” he said.

    Solo said there were at least two confirmed fatalities.

    “We have two bodies, but we also have four, five, six claims of death. We’ve got stories of people being shot on the beach and bodies taken and transported to who knows where,” Solo said.

    The spokesperson for the U.N. mission, Yasmina Bouziane, also confirmed two fatalities from Monday’s confrontation.

    “Most unfortunately, there are reports from people on the ground, and now confirmation of two casualties, with a few injured, including some U.N. personnel who were on the ground, slightly injured,” she said.

    Bouziane said UNMIL was investigating Monday’s deadly clashes.

    “The mission truly deplores the loss of life and, of course, has called upon all parties, supporters and all Liberians to really exercise maximum restraint and to ensure that peace is maintained in Liberia,” she said.

    Some accounts said police took action when CDC supporters began throwing stones at the police.

    But, Solo said the CDC supporters threw stones at the police only in retaliation for what he called unnecessary police violence.

    “When innocent people are being shot at and they are running toward the fence, they came back, and there are a few pockets of people that threw stones, but why do [you] even have live bullets in your guns?  Why are you shooting unarmed people?  And, if a few come come back to throw rocks at you, to create space, how do you compare rocks with bullets?” Solo said.

    The Press Union of Liberia reported in an email late Monday that Liberian police had shut down two pro-opposition radio stations in the capital, Monrovia.

    The email from Press Union president Peter Quaqua, quoting employees of LOVE-FM, said police walked into the radio station, cut short a newscast and asked all employees in the building to get out before locking the main entrance.

    The Press Union said a live program was similarly disrupted at KINGS-FM, and the station forced to end its broadcasts and the doors sealed after the private security was made to surrender their keys.

    KINGS is owned by CDC founder and vice presidential candidate George Weah.  Power-TV had earlier videotaped the bloody clashes between CDC supporters and the police.

    Solo said the police went to the stations to get hold of the videotape of the violence.

    “As I speak to you now, radio stations that are balanced in their reporting like KINGS-FM, like LOVE-FM, and Power-TV are being closed.  The security apparatus are there right now.  We are receiving calls [from] journalists being threatened to give up tapes of the incidents, obviously because they do not want evidence because the entire incident was recorded,” Solo said.

    He said Monday’s developments further deepened the CDC decision not to participate in Tuesday’s run-off election.

    “When innocent lives can be taken away like they are animals, when life, which is innocent, [is] disregarded in terms of human value, why should we re-engage in this process?  Do we want to send a message to our people that the process is more relevant than their lives?  No, we will not engage in this runoff,” Solo said.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora