U.S. Embassy in Monrovia Warns Citizens of Possible Electoral Violence
Monrovia – The United States Embassy in Monrovia has warned its citizens of possible violence before or after Tuesday’s elections.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The Embassy in a statement, warned citizens residing in or traveling to Liberia alerted that large event could provide an opportunity for criminal elements or terrorists to target participants or others in the vicinity.
“Even events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.”
“You should avoid areas of demonstrations and protests and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings,” the statement noted.
The U.S. Embassy: “Monitor media and local information sources regarding election-related developments, and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. Avoid crowds and remain alert when using public transportation.
Report specific safety concerns to local law enforcement authorities.
“Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency. During elections, restrictions on traffic circulation, either imposed by the authorities or caused by political rallies, can be expected.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, Chairman of the Africa Subcommittee of the House of Representatives has called on the government of Liberia to ensure that the election is free, fair and transparent.
“Given America’s historic ties to Liberia and the role played by Americo-Liberians in that nation’s development, as well as the important contributions made by Liberian-Americans in many communities in the United States, we take special interest in the process and are hopeful for a just and fair outcome,” he said he a statement.
Representative Smith added, “In the US Congress, we have closely watched the developments in Liberia.
Earlier this year, I chaired a hearing ‘The Future of Democracy and Governance in Liberia’ in advance of the first round of elections where we examined the need for reform and the hope for a new leadership to bring the country into a peaceful and prosperous future.”
“In light of the election’s proximity to Christmas, we especially pray that peace, tranquility and justice prevail.”