from MULBAH WESSEH in Monrovia, Liberia
MONROVIA, (CAJ News) – LIBERIA, Africa’s first and oldest modern republic, has spiraled into violence ahead of general elections scheduled for next Tuesday.
This is a cause for concern in the West African region that is at the moment the most tempestuous in the continent.
Recently, two people were killed and 20 others injured in the Foya District during clashes between supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) party and the opposition Unity Party.
There have also been outbreaks of electoral violence in Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado and Nimba counties, in the suddenly restive country of over 5 million people.
The United Nations office has also documented eight attacks on journalists by various political actors, two of which resulted in injuries.
“We call on the authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure that elections can take place in a fully inclusive manner allowing for the safe participation of all,” Seif Magango, UN Human Rights Office spokesperson, said.
The envoy said the government must ensure that journalists can do their jobs freely and safely.
“All political actors must refrain from inciting violence or hatred,” Magango said.
“All incidents of election-related violence must be fully and independently investigated and those found responsible held to account without undue delay.”
George Weah (57) more famous as Africa’s best footballer of the year in 1995, has been at the helm since 2018, when he succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa. He is hailed as the best ever footballer from Africa.
Humble during his football heyday, critics accuse him of dictatorial tendencies in his leadership of the CDC.
Among Weah’s challengers are Sara Nyanti, an experienced United Nations envoy, and Joseph Boakai, formerly Sirleaf’s deputy.
– CAJ News