Liberia: Mass Demonstration Planners Claim Insecurity after Police Call for Interrogation
Monrovia – Police in Monrovia has invited two persons linked to the planning of a mass demonstration scheduled for Monday, September 25 for questioning.
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The mass protest, according to the planners, is intended to demand the government to exert all efforts to account for over 15 billion Liberian dollars believed to have been missing from the Central Bank of Liberia.
At least three persons in connection to the protest have told FrontPageAfrica that they have been invited by the Liberia National Police for questioning. They, however, said they’ll not honor the invitation for sake of their own safety.
Emmanuel Gonquoi, Commander-in-Chief of the Freedom Economic Fighters said he was called by the police Friday morning at about 8 am.
In a statement issued September 20, Gonquoi declared called for the closure of all schools, private and public entities to remain closed while at the same time urging parents to keep their children home considering the security implications the protest might have.
“The EFFL Protest Day is in search of our missing money,” the statement noted while at the same time declaring a national security emergency.
Members of the EFFL were encouraged to assemble on Benson Street in front of the U.S. Embassy for onward march to join other civil society organizations.
For his part, Martin Kollie of the Concerned Citizens United to Bring Our Money Back (COCUBOMB) also held a press conference on the main campus of the University of Liberia on Thursday to call on other CSOs to join the protest.
“Considering what has been happening and what has just happened—the siphoning of public resources has even intensified the debate for a war and economic crimes court. This [container crisis] has evoked public discontent, so everyone now has joined the cause for such a court,” Kollie said.
“No wonder why the call for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court in Liberia is intensifying,” said Kollie. “COCUBOMB joins Liberians in and out of Liberia to support this justified cause.”
Kollie said all of the organizations in the group were in support of Liberians who delivered a petition to the United Nations in New York on Tuesday and protested ahead of President George Weah’s arrival for the UN’s General Assembly.
Meanwhile, the police have confirmed to FrontPageAfrica calling up the pair for questioning.
Police Commissioner for Operations, Walter Way, told FrontPageAfrica, “We heard rumors that Emmanuel Gonquoi and Martin Kollie were organizing a protest on Monday, as you know it is our mandate to protect lives and properties, so I invited them so that they can tell us the purpose of the protest, where they will be gathering and which route they’ll use – that’s all.”
In a related development, the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia has cautioned its staff of the planned protest, urging them to stay away from crowds and keep a low profile.