Liberia: Police, Protesters Clash on Capitol Hill

Police holding the belt stripes of one the arrested protesters

MONROVIA – Officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and protesters who are part of the Council of Patriots (COP) clashed today at the beginning of what was supposed to be a peaceful protest on the grounds of the Capitol Building.

The protest, called by the COP, follows the June 7 #SavetheState protest that was also organized by the same organization. 

The Wednesday, July 31st protest had been pushed forward from July 24, two days before Liberia’s 172nd Independence Day. 

The scene at the Capitol was very calmed until a group of COP protesters, who wanted to access the main street dividing the Capitol and the Executive Mansion, were prevented from using the place they had assembled on June 7.

In the early morning hours, officers mainly of the Executive Protection Services (EPS), setup a blockage, allowing only vehicles to pass.

The EPS personnel denied anyone who was without an identification card from using the main rift from the Capitol Hill leading toward the Executive Mansion.

Some of the protesters carrying posters tried to force their way through but were prevented by the elite Presidential guards.

The officers sent for  reinforcement and they managed to push the protesters back to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

The protesters resisted being cleared off the main road and this sparked the clashes between them and the riot police officers.

Many persons got injured as stones flew from all directions. Some of the protesters were arrested by the LNP.

More details to come...