The United Nations human rights office expresses worry about the violence before the election in Liberia.
According to Seif Magango, the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office in Liberia, we are troubled by reports of violence related to the election, potentially harmful language, and aggression towards journalists leading up to the general election on October 10th.
Last month, there were violent confrontations in Foya, Lofa County between followers of the Unity Party and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). These clashes resulted in the death of two individuals and injuries to 20 others.
The Spokesperson reported that instances of election-related violence have occurred in Nimba, Montserrado, and Grand Cape Mount counties as well.
The United Nations has recorded eight instances of political actors attacking journalists, resulting in two instances of physical harm.
Mr. Magango urged the Government to guarantee the freedom and safety of journalists. He also stressed the importance of all political figures avoiding inciting violence or promoting hatred.
Both major political parties’ supporters have been blamed for starting the violent acts. Videos shared on social media show chaotic scenes where opposing groups are fighting and throwing objects at each other, causing distress within the community.
In September, there was an occurrence that took place around two months after a previous instance of violence between opposing political supporters in Monrovia, the capital city. This resulted in numerous injuries and received criticism from both the international community in Liberia and concerned citizens.
A plea for harmony
News reports state that there are calls for both Former Vice President Joseph Boakai, who is representing the Unity Party, and President George Weah, the leader of the Coalition for Democratic Change, to denounce the violence and advise their supporters to show restraint.
Both sides have released statements denouncing the use of violence.
Mr. Magango stated that all cases of violence related to the election should be thoroughly and neutrally examined, and those responsible should be promptly held accountable.