News / Africa

Liberian Panel Blames Protesters, Police for Pre-Election Violence

Commission Chair Sister Mary Laurene Browne says accepting the truth and mistakes are keys to genuine reconciliation and nation building

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to Butty interview with Sister Mary Laurene Browne

James Butty

The woman appointed by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to look into the November 7 pre-election violence says, to achieve reconciliation, Liberians must learn to accept the truth.

Roman Catholic Sister Mary Laurene Browne says, only then can they build a better nation.  Browne’s Commission of Inquiry submitted its report to President Sirleaf last week.

She says provocation by supporters of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) coupled with police response allowed the situation to get out of hand.

“The fact that the CDC called for a march, or a rally, and the rally spilled onto the nearby street is what was unlawful.  And I think this helped to provoke a situation between them and the police,” she said.

Browne said one person was killed, not three as claimed by the CDC when police fired into the protesters.

“We heard, but the thing is we have no proof that more than one person died,” Browne said.  She said her commission is still probing allegations that the police fired on protesters, although the police denied it did.

“Well, the police are saying that they did not fire live rounds into the crowd. So, that part is still being investigated.  But, we do know that the police did fire and that is the part of the investigation that is still ongoing,” Browne said.

Sirleaf fired Police Director Marc Amblard following the incident.  Browne said Amblard’s sacking was based on the recommendation of her commission.

“That was based on the recommendation of the commission because, from all indications, the lack of coordination and not being pro-active fell to the police, and being the head, obviously, the head bears the greatest responsibility,” she said.

CDC presidential candidate Winston Tubman told VOA last month he believes he and his vice presidential candidate, George Weah, were targeted for assassination during the violence near his party’s headquarters.

Brown said her commission found no evidence to substantiate the assassination allegations.  She said Liberians must always face and accept the truth in order for genuine reconciliation to happen in the country.

“For reconciliation to truly be genuine, each one of us, wherever we are, must face the truth and accept the truth to be able to move forward, in facing who we are as a people, where we’ve come from and what we’ve done with ourselves, for ourselves, and where we’ve made mistakes, accept those mistakes and then be able to put those behind us and then try to forge a better nation,” Browne said.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More