By Garmah Never Lomo
VOINJAMA, LIBERIA – International observers comprising of European Union, ECOWAS, and the Electoral Institute for sustainable democracy of Africa (EISA) have expressed disappointment in the Liberia National Police (LNP) investigators for only transferring partisans of the main opposition Unity Party when both UP and the ruling CDC parties were engaged in the bloody clashes in Foya, Lofa County at the weekend.
This area is situated 505 kilometers northwest of the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
The election violence came little over a week to the scheduled presidential and legislative elections on October 10, 2023. AFL Soldiers Dispatched To Foya, As 2 Persons Confirmed Dead In UP-CDC Clashes – News Public Trust
Police are said to have rounded up and transferred only UP supporters, leaving the CDC partisans who were reportedly involved in the September 29,2023 Foya violence which left two persons dead, with several others injured and properties damaged.
The International observers during their visit at the Voinjama Police station said it disappointing to give preference to one party and treat the other party differently without regarding the laws of our country.
“Why CDC partisans were signed for by the Deputy Minister of Technical and Vocational education at the Ministry of youths and sport Peter Boimah and refused for UP partians who were also persons of interest to be signed for”?
They observed that since Saturday, September 30,2023, they had arrested Unity Party supporters and left the CDC supporters, something they said is unfair and a violation of the constitution and penal code of the Republic of Liberia.
“We are worried whether this might not cause another chaos with the biases carried out by the police in this investigation they added,” the international election observers pointed out.
While 21 UP supporters were being held behind bars, CDC supporters were treated as persons of interest and signed for by the Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, who is a ruling party stalwart. But he is nowhere to be seen to produce for investigation those CDC supporter he signed for.
But Article 11 of the 1986 constitution of Liberia says:
- All persons are born equally free and independent and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, among which are the right of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of pursuing and maintaining and security of the person and of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, subject to such qualifications as provided for in this Constitution.
- All persons, irrespective of ethnic background, race, sex, creed, place of origin or political opinion, are entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, subject to such qualifications as provided for in this Constitution.
- All persons are equal before the law and are therefore entitled to the equal protection of the law.”
However, police officials at the Voinjama police station said they got instructions from the Deputy Police Inspector General “102” Melvin Sackor and police “105” Prince Mulabh to transfer the UP supporters to Gbarnga, Bong County where the investigation is expected to take place.
The police authorities at Voinjama police station said they themselves are frustrated over the manner in which their bosses are proceeding but again is order and they must obey.
This statement by some local police officials here was confirmed by the County police Commander Clement Ballah that he also instructions from his bosses including the Justice Minister to send those involved in the Foya violence to Gbarnga Bong County.
Mr. Ballah assured the international election observers that the CDC supporters and the Deputy Minister for TVET will also be sent to Gbarnga on Wednesday October 4,2023.
The Unity Party supporters were transferred in Gbarnga without the presence other lawyers.
Meanwhile, the detained UP supporters have now been received by the Gbarnga police detachment to be investigated. Source: newspublictrust.com