Liberia: Lawmaker, Pro Women Activist Group Rally for Peaceful Assembly ahead of Mass Protest
Monrovia – As Liberians brace themselves for the June 7 protest, the House Standing Committee on Peace, Religion and Reconciliation, Rep. Dorwohn T. Gleekia (Nimba District #6) has called for a peaceful assembly.
Rep. Gleekia, in an interview with FrontPage Africa on the eve of the protest, noted that as Liberians exercise their fundamental rights on Friday, June 7, all parties including the protesters should show restraint and go about assembling peacefully.
“The message remains the same that our people should be law abiding. As they go about their peaceful assembly tomorrow, we hope that we will not see some of the things that we have seen in the past two days where the situation became a little bit chaotic and where people had to run halter skelter,” he intoned.
Rep. Gleekia indicated that one of the positive outcomes of the series of consultations with key parties was the protest organizers and government’s pledge to ensuring that the exercise will go on peacefully and void of violence.
According to him, changing the nomenclature of the gathering from ‘protest’ to ‘peaceful assembly’ signifies the parties are committed to peace.
He called on the Council of Patriots (COP) to conduct their activities within one day and avoid prolong assembly as no definite time was given for the protest to end.
Meanwhile, a pro women group under the banner ‘the Network of Peace and Security Women in ECOWAS Space (NOPSWECO)’ is commending the government and the Council of Patriots (COP) for committing themselves to abiding by all protocols leading to peace.
NOPSWECO, in a statement said it recognizes that conflict has devastating effects on the lives and dignity of women and girls, as well as on the health and educational services that are essential to family and community’s survival.
“Along with productive health complications, the adverse effects of conflict hit women and girls more than it does to their male counterparts since deliberate gender-based violence and discrimination are rampant in these settings,” NOPSWECO stated in the statement signed by Naomi Tulay Solanke and Mmonbeydo Harrell, Secretary and President respectively.
“Hence, the women of Liberia call on the leaders of Council of Patriots to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during the planned protest in accordance with Article 17 of the constitution.”
On the other hand, NOPSWECO also called on the government to respect the rights of the protesters as the government has a greater responsibility to safe guarding the lives of its citizens.
Meanwhile, the group noted that in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 which calls for coordinating and optimizing the role of women in peace building and conflict resolution, it will monitor the situation during the protest to ensure that agreed- upon guidelines are followed and afterwards, it will also report on the adherence to these guidelines.