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Saturday, July 20, 2024

STUDENTS DEMAND JUSTICE: SUP’S PETITION EXPOSES CDC ATROCITIES AND CALLS FOR MINING TRANSPARENCY

Date:

MONROVIA – The Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) of the University of Liberia has on Thursday, June 13, 2024, made a resolute call to the Honorable Jonathan F. Koffa, Speaker of the House of Representatives at the 55th National Legislature of Liberia. This petition, delivered on June 13, 2024, addresses two critical issues plaguing the nation: the need for swift justice regarding human rights violations during the July 26, 2022 protests and the urgent revision of all mineral concessions agreements in Liberia.

Standing Against Injustice

The SUP’s petition stems from the violent suppression faced by student leaders and citizens during the July 26, 2022 protests against the administration of President George Weah. Assembled peacefully near the American Embassy, students exercised their constitutional right to protest against governance failures, high living costs, and economic hardships. However, the response from the CDC government’s paramilitary units, namely the CDC-COP, was brutal and excessive. The resulting bloodshed left many injured and witnessed the dehumanization of Christopher W. Sivili, a prominent student leader of the SUP.

Delayed Justice and Ongoing Inequities

Despite nearly two years passing since this violent crackdown, justice remains elusive for the victims. The SUP highlights the administration’s failure to uphold promises of justice and accountability made during President Boakai’s campaign, further exacerbating public distrust and frustration. Moreover, the SUP condemns ongoing state-sponsored abuses in mining and concession areas, where communities suffer while corporations neglect their social responsibilities.

Systematic Injustices and State Brutality

The SUP’s petition also draws attention to a series of egregious attacks and abuses under the CDC regime, including assaults at the US Embassy, violent incursions at the University of Liberia, and other incidents that have targeted critics and students. They emphasize the need for legislative action to address these past injustices and prevent future occurrences through robust oversight and accountability measures.

Calls for Legislative Action

 

In their petition, the SUP demands the Liberian National Legislature to prioritize two critical actions:

  1. Expedited Justice: They urge the Ministry of Justice to promptly prosecute those responsible for human rights violations, particularly the brutal events of July 26, 2022.
  2. Mining Concessions Review: They call for a comprehensive review of all mining agreements to ensure compliance with Liberian laws and international standards, emphasizing fair treatment of local communities and environmental sustainability.

Upholding Democratic Values

The SUP underscores their commitment to democratic principles of social justice, human dignity, and national sovereignty. They warn against repeating past governance failures and emphasize the importance of learning from historical lessons to ensure a just and equitable future for all Liberians.

Continuing the Struggle

In conclusion, the SUP reaffirms their unwavering dedication to holding the government accountable and advocating for the rights and welfare of all Liberians. They pledge to persist in their efforts until justice is achieved for all victims of state-sponsored violence and until mining operations in Liberia prioritize the well-being of local communities.

Endorsement and Signatures

Signed by Cde. Mohammed S. Jalloh (Shabazz), Secretary General, and Cde. Kwien W. Kwien, II (Mao), Chairman of the SUP, the petition represents the collective voice of students and activists striving for a Liberia where justice, peace, and prosperity prevail.

Copy to Ministry of Justice

The petition is also forwarded to the Ministry of Justice for their immediate attention and action in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of all Liberians.

This petition marks a pivotal moment in Liberia’s ongoing quest for justice and equitable governance, urging legislative leaders to heed the calls for reform and accountability laid out by the Vanguard Student Unification Party.

Upholding Democratic Values

The SUP underscores their commitment to democratic principles of social justice, human dignity, and national sovereignty. They warn against repeating past governance failures and emphasize the importance of learning from historical lessons to ensure a just and equitable future for all Liberians. The student-led petition serves not only as a demand for accountability but also as a testament to the resilience and determination of Liberia’s youth in safeguarding their constitutional rights and freedoms. By petitioning the legislature, SUP seeks to ensure that the voices of the marginalized and oppressed are heard and acted upon, fostering a society where justice and equality are not merely ideals but tangible realities.

Continuing the Struggle

In their persistent pursuit of justice, SUP vows to maintain pressure on the government until all victims of state-sponsored violence receive the justice they deserve. The petition signifies a broader movement for systemic change, advocating for transparent governance, equitable resource distribution, and respect for human rights. With unwavering resolve, SUP pledges solidarity with affected communities and promises to remain vigilant in holding authorities accountable for their actions.

National and International Impact

The SUP’s petition resonates beyond Liberia’s borders, drawing attention to issues of human rights violations and corporate accountability in the global arena. International organizations and human rights advocates are closely monitoring developments, amplifying the voices of SUP and adding pressure on Liberian authorities to uphold international standards of justice and human rights. This global solidarity underscores the interconnectedness of human rights struggles worldwide and reinforces the importance of collective action in addressing systemic injustices.

Future Prospects

Looking ahead, SUP remains committed to fostering constructive dialogue and collaboration with government institutions, civil society organizations, and international partners to achieve meaningful reforms. They envision a Liberia where every citizen enjoys equal rights and opportunities, free from fear of reprisal or injustice. As they continue their advocacy, SUP calls upon all stakeholders to join hands in building a more inclusive and equitable society, rooted in democratic values and respect for human dignity.

Endorsement and Signatures

Signed by Cde. Mohammed S. Jalloh (Shabazz), Secretary General, and Cde. Kwien W. Kwien, II (Mao), Chairman of the SUP, the petition represents the collective voice of students and activists striving for a Liberia where justice, peace, and prosperity prevail. The SUP’s unwavering commitment to social justice and human rights sets a precedent for grassroots movements across the globe, inspiring hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

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