Margibi County Representative Tarponweh Cautions Students Against Mob Violence

Boys Town – Margibi County District #1 Representative Tibelrosa Tarponweh has cautioned students and young people to “do away with taking justice into their own hands”.

Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh,

Rep. Tarponweh indicated that lack of public trust in the security and legal sectors in handling suspected criminals and persistent delays of redress on “burning and fundamental issues” which border on impunity are contributing factors triggering mob violence.

Speaking when he served as Keynote Speaker and Installing Officer of the Rafiki Boarding School in Boys Town, Lower Margibi County recently, Rep. Tarponweh noted that “vigilante or Mob Justice is a symptom of a society where ignorance, incompetent justice system and human rights violations impede access to justice”.

He averred that individuals who are accused of committing minor crimes and other misdemeanors are arrested and kept in prolonged detention as pre-trial detainees for either a year or more just to realize at the end of the litigation process, the suspects are innocent.

“Lack of patience on the part of those feeling aggrieved, especially our youthful population to wait for justice to be served which sometimes take prolonged periods may regrettably result to Vigilante or Mob Justice,” he noted.

“When people are impatient regarding perceived delays for redress on issues they regard as fundamental to them, the path of vigilante or mob justice is usually the only easy route. This is regrettably the case in our society today.”

Rep. Tarponweh’s statements come in the wake of renewed mob violence in Monrovia and other parts of Liberia.

In April 2019, rival gang groups were engulfed in violent clashes that led to the death of one of a gang leader identified as King Pharaoh, whose mutilated body was dumped in Sinkor in broad daylight.

Earlier in March, Police arrested several people in Ganta, Nimba County after they were suspected of taking part in deadly mob violence that claimed the lives of two people.

Liberia National Police records show that between January and September 2013, there were 46 reported mob violence incidents and 32 in 2012, which left 12 victims dead and several others seriously injured by angry mobs.

Based on these incidents, Rep. Tarponweh admonished students to be “agents of positive change” and urged the public to join efforts in confronting mob violence as it requires a concerted effort by the government, civil society organizations, religious groups, families and individual citizens.

Speaking further, he asserted that the significance of eradicating vigilantism or mob justice lies in more informed citizenry; the subsequent creation of a justice system that properly and transparently handles issues of crimes and the enforcement of laws equally; irrespective of class and worth in society.

Meanwhile, the prefect of Rafiki School Prefect Winston Giah thanked Rep. Tarponweh and urged his fellow students to trust God and have endurance in becoming future leaders.

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