By E. Geedahgar Garsuah
MONROVIA: President George Weah has vehemently condemned the latest violence incident in Foya, Lofa County, during which three persons were found dead and several others injured.
President Weah who is the Standard-bearer of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), vowed that the Government of Liberia (GOL), will “take steps to hold those responsible for the violence accountable.”
On September 28, 2023, an incident of electoral violence occurred in Foya reportedly involving supporters of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
During the melee, several properties were also vandalized.
Speaking to CDC supporters in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, President Weah pointed that the violence incident in Foya has the potential to undermine the country’s peace and democracy.
President Weah characterized as “unfortunate” the electoral violence that occurred in Foya, Lofa County, terming it as needless.
He reminded Liberians that there is no justification for acts of violence, no matter the situation.
“What happened in Lofa County is sad and wrong. Liberians need to desist from any acts of violence,” President Weah said on September 29. “We were in opposition to this country, and we kept the peace of this country,” he stated.
Weah: “Young people keep the peace.” I say you should fight to keep the peace and sustain it. The youth should not allow anyone to fool them. We are heading toward prosperity. When our country is peaceful, everybody will have the opportunity and get something to do.”
The September 28 violence, which occurred between the ruling CDC and former ruling UP is just one of many violent incidents reportedly involving supporters of both parties since campaigns were declared for Presidential, Senatorial and Representative elections.
The series of violent incidents which occurred since campaigns began on August 5th, 2023, have generated widespread public concerns, especially when the outcomes of probes relating to such violent acts are yet to be released to the public while alleged perpetrators roam with impunity.
In Nimba County, a man was reportedly killed in election-related violence, with both CDC and UP supporters trading blames.
Eyewitnesses say President Weah had left Lofa County after about 48 hours before the bloody violent outbreak in Foya occurred. The Collaborating Political Party (CPP) has “strongly condemned” the Lofa violence.
Aloysius Toe, the Secretary-General of the CPP, noted that the “vandalization of crucial public infrastructure and the attempted destruction of property by alleged party supporters” were “utterly reprehensible.”
“Such actions”, he said, “contradict the very essence of a democratic society and threaten the stability and progress of our nation.”
“Our hearts ache for the lives reportedly lost and the many persons who are injured, including a law enforcement officer. Violence has no place in our democracy, and we vehemently call for an immediate cessation of these acts that undermine the fabric of our nation,” Toe pointed out.