Liberia: Red Flagging ‘Growing Security Threat’, UNOWAS Delegation Wants Dec. 30 Protest Called Off
Monrovia – A visiting delegation from ECOWAS Commission and the United Nations Office in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) in Liberia for deliberations with both the George Weah-led government and organizers of the December 30 protest, has highlighted the growing security threats in the West African and the Sahel region and in particular, the fragility of the situation in Liberia ahead of the upcoming protest.
In a communiqué following intensive and inclusive consultations and discussions with the various stakeholders, the delegation reiterated Friday that the provisions of the constitution of Liberia should prevail at all times and encourages all parties to abide by the constitution of the country. In this regard.
The delegation also acknowledges that the incumbent President is democratically elected and has a legitimate mandate of six years.
The objective of the mission to Liberia, just three days before the protest is aimed at reiterating the commitment of the two organizations to supporting the efforts of the country of the sub-region, particularly the Republic of Liberia, towards sustaining peace and development.
The Mission delegation composed of the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS Commission; the United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS); the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia; the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Liberia and the Director of Political Affairs, ECOWAS Commission.
During the mission, the delegation was received in audience by the President of the Republic, H.E. George Manneh Weah. The delegation also met with government officials, including the Ministers for Justice, Labour, Commerce, Internal Affairs, Deputy Inspector General of Police for Administration and Operations; with the Council of Patriots (COP); political parties; traditional leaders; Inter-Religious Council; the Federation of Liberian Youth and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
The delegation has meanwhile encouraged the government to establish, with the support of ECOWAS, United Nations and its partners a platform/mechanism for a sustainable and an all-inclusive dialogue for the peace, security and stability of the country and thereby eliminating undue recourse to demonstration and protest. The delegation is hoping that both parties work toward calling off this imminent protest in the general interest of Liberia and the sub-region.
While insisting that the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of the press are guaranteed by the constitution of the Republic of Liberia, the delegation reminded all stakeholders of their responsibility to maintain peace, security and stability of Liberia, noting that the right of assembly should be in conformity with the provisions of the laws and cautioned against any form of violence for which they would be accountable.
The delegation says it welcomes the general desire to call off the protest of 30th December if specific actions were taken in addressing some of the governance and economic issues which form the basis of the current tension in the country.
The delegation also notes with pleasure the interest of the government in addressing the relevant issues aimed at calming the tension and calling off the protest and further noted with satisfaction the ongoing efforts of the government and its partners towards this end and calls on the government to do more.
The delegation, according to the communiqué says it takes seriously the assurances of the government of providing the details of these commitments during the state of the nation address.
The team’s visit to Liberia comes as officers of the Liberia National Police paraded through the streets of Monrovia Friday in a drill suggesting its readiness to handle the upcoming protest.
The delegation has meanwhile encouraged the government to establish, with the support of ECOWAS, United Nations and its partners a platform/mechanism for a sustainable and an all-inclusive dialogue for the peace, security and stability of the country and thereby eliminating undue recourse to demonstration and protest.
The delegation is hoping that both parties work toward calling off this imminent protest in the general interest of Liberia and the sub-region.