The recent political violence in Foya City, Lofa County has received more condemnations from Liberia’s international partners especially with the recent statement issued by the United States State Department announcing visa restriction for those who will undermine democracy in these elections.
The latest international partners to condemn the violet incident in Lofa County in which at least four persons reportedly lost their lives include the United States, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations.
The international bodies including the United States Government strongly condemned Friday’s rival clashes that led to the loss of lives and injuries in Foya City, Lofa County.
In separate statements issued over the weekend, the United States expressed condolences to the bereaved families and victims of the rival clashes that occurred in Foya, Lofa County on September 29, 2023.
“We express our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and urge everyone to maintain the peace,” a statement from the US Embassy noted. The US Embassy called on authorities to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice adding that political differences must be solved at the ballot box, peacefully and never through violence. “Violence is never the answer,” the U.S. Government statement reads.
ECOWAS Representative in Liberia noted in a statement, “Days into the run-up to the October 10 Presidential and Legislative Elections, ECOWAS and the United Nations (UN) have noted with grave concern Friday’s violence that broke out in Lofa County between the Unity Party (UP) and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CD C), leading to the loss of three lives, which we condemn in the strongest terms.
In a four-count joint statement, ECOWAS and the UN extended deep condolences to the families of the deceased, encouraging parties to respect the spirit of the Farmington River Declaration 2023 which calls for the protection of human rights and under the due process of the rule of law.
ECOWAS and the UN also called on leaders of the UP and CDC to strongly urge their partisans to refrain from provocation and any other acts of violence. They further invite the UP and CDC to fully cooperate with the LNP in the ongoing investigations.
The joint statement further stated that ECOWAS and the UN commend the Liberia National Police (LNP) for promptly restoring calm.
They urged the LNP to conduct speedy and impartial investigations, make public their findings and ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted.
Furthermore, ECOWAS and the UN called on the media to be responsible in their reporting so as to avoid inflaming the volatile situation. “ECOWAS and the UN call on all stakeholders and the public at large to continue upholding the values of peace, accountability, respect for the rule of law in order to consolidate peace and security in Liberia during this critical electoral period,” the joint statement concluded.