Ex-president shows Solidarity with Protestors

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MONROVIA, August 27-Liberia’s former president, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid a surprise visit to the Anti-rape protestors assembling point near her residence in Sinkor to show solidarity.

Several  dozens of  anti-rape protestors  have been on a camping to pass into law death penalty for rapists. The protestors have been on various streets from Monday calling on their government to pass such law. Currently, there is  a ten year imprisonment   for anyone found  guilty of rape. The number of rape cases have increased in recent times, according to the ministry of Gender and women Affairs.

Entering the third day, the protestors said they wanted to deliver their petition to president George Weah rather than anyone.  President Weah has not been able to meet the protestors up to press time.

Ex-president Sirleaf in the middle

But ex-president Sirleaf whose residence is  few yards from the center of Thursday’s peaceful  protest, said, the issue of rape was on the increase and it was about time that something was done against perpetrators.

“Today, they happen to have gathered  outside my premises, outside where I live. So I could not sit in my house, stay in my yard, see all those women out there demonstrating for something that is good for the country and not go there to show solidarity with them. So, my idea was to just go across sit with them, talk with them, tell them  to make sure that they keep the peace that we fought  for when I was president in all those years. To tell them we do not want to see any violence,” she said. 

She said,  rape has been an issue that exited during her administration  and it was important to confront it.  “Rape has always been a problem, it was before my administration, it was in my administration and it is still with us today. The women, given the kinds of cases that have recently come up – where young babies, three months old, young children, 10 years old violated, sometimes, by old men, sometimes by young men, is something that the women felt they had to act and they had to act in a manner in which one does in peaceful protest,” she said.

She added,“our hearts are there with them.”

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About Post Author

New Republic Feature Writer

Alphonso has  been in the profession for over twenty years. He has worked for many international media outlets including: West Africa Magazine, Africa Week Magazine, African Observer and did occasional reporting for CNN, BBC World Service, Sunday Times, NPR, Radio Deutchewells, Radio Netherlands. He is the current correspondent for Reuters. Mr. Toweh holds first MA with honors in International Relations and a candidate for second master in International Peace studies and Conflict Resolution.
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