Liberian Govt Defends Moroccan Police ‘Brutality’ on Liberian Students, Says Police Did Not Enter Embassy

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MONROVIA – Amidst the controversy regarding the stranded Liberian students allegedly beaten by the Moroccan police at the Liberian Embassy in Morocco, Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh, says the police did not move into the Liberian Embassy, rather, they followed students who left the Embassy and disturbing people on the streets.

Kelgbeh was reacting to Rev. Emmanuel Bowier, former Information Minister who said he finds it unthinkable that the Moroccan Police would move into the Liberian Embassy uninvited.

“I have worked with the Foreign Service Institution for seven years and is still teaching there, and according to worldwide diplomatic protocol, the Moroccan police could not have entered the Embassy and forcibly removed the students without being invited by the Embassy. Because there should be no intrusion from the resident country into any foreign Embassy without an invitation, so someone must have called the police,” Rev. Bowier said.

Rev. Bowier spoke on the issue as a guest on talk show on a local radio station in Monrovia.

In his reaction, Kelgbeh said, at no time, did the Liberian Ambassador to Morocco, Richelieu Williams, invite Moroccan police to beat Liberian students.

“Every country has its own rules in addressing tensions.  We were told the students left the Embassy’s compound and were infringing on the movement of peaceful Moroccan citizens, so this was why the police moved in and drove them away,” Kelgbeh said.

 Regarding the students’ allowances, he said before the end of next week, money would be wired to them through the Ministries of Finance and Education.

He added that there has been a challenging situation with some scholarship students in Morocco who have over stayed their scholarship period. 

“There are students who have stayed in Morocco for nine years, seven and six years beyond their scholarship period. Therefore, the President has said those that have over stayed their time should return home,” he disclosed.

Meanwhile, Rev. Bowier described the situation with the hip students as is very troubling. 

He said, he does not believe that President Weah would ignore the students when he, Weah, was in similar situation in 1988 and was rescued by slain President Samuel Doe in 1988.

“I do not believe that this is happening under President Weah’s administration because when Weah played for a foreign team in Cameroon, the football club handed his money to the Ambassador to keep as they believed Weah was too young to handle such huge money. When it was time for President Weah get his money, the Ambassador refused to give it to him. But through his friend Alhaji Sidibe, who was my cadet at the Ministry of Information, I requested Weah return to Monrovia because the allegation against Ambassador Carpet was grave.  And when Weah came, I took him to President Doe who intervened after launching an investigation and found out that indeed Weah was telling truth. President Doe ordered Ambassador Carpet to give Weah’s money to him effective immediately. This is why I say I do not believe President Weah who knows what it means to be oppressed will ignore these students,” Said Rev. Bowier    

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