The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) has expressed with grave concerns the recent electoral violence between partisans of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change and the opposition Unity Party in Foya, Lofa County, which resulted in the tragic loss of lives and the injury of several individuals.
In a press release issued over the weekend, ALJA emphasized that as Liberia continues its journey towards becoming a stable democracy through the regular conduct of elections, the responsibility lies with all stakeholders, including political parties and citizens alike, to ensure enduring peace before, during, and after the upcoming October 10 elections and that such goal can only be achieved through the exercise of tolerance and respect for the rights of every citizen and political party as enshrined in Article 77 of the Liberian constitution.
ALJA says the deaths and injuries in the recent Foya violence has the proclivity to diminish trust and confidence in Liberia’s electoral process, undermine the quality of its democracy and derail the hard-earned peace and democracy the country has enjoyed since the end of the civil war in 2003.
ALJA reminds the CDC, UP and all political parties of their obligation to respect the terms of the Farmington Hotel Declaration of April 4, 2023 which obliges signatories and their supporters to uphold the principles of peaceful elections and respect for the rule of law as well as manifests their strong commitment to prevent potential instances of violence during the elections.
The Association urged political party leaders and their supporters to refrain from making inflammatory comments that have the potential to stoke violence and rally their partisans around engaging in violent activities as well as called on all peace loving Liberians to continue to uphold the tenants of democracy, accountability and respect for the rule of law, which enhances the consolidation of peace and security that Liberia has enjoyed over the last 20 years.
At the same time, ALJA is calling on the government to launch an immediate and impartial investigation into the matter and bring perpetrators of such despicable act to justice.
The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas is a 501 (C) 3 organization founded by former Liberian journalists based in the United States in 1998 and was revived in 2014 after a period of dormancy. ALJA advocates for good governance, rule of law, democracy, freedom of speech and of the press and provides capacity building for practicing journalists and media institutions in Liberia.