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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid