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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid