With exact two weeks to the conduct of Presidential and legislative Elections in Liberia, the United States Embassy near the Liberian capital Monrovia has issued an alert to its staff to prepare for emergency.
The emergency alert to US Embassy staff raises the possibility of an evacuation as the RSO advises all staff to take proactive steps to prepare for Emergencies. Liberia is not only considered as a “traditional friend” of the United States but also in some other quarters as “Uncle Sam’s step child.”
So was the alarm and panic triggered among many Liberians when this “Emergency Supplies and Household Preparedness” alert the US Embassy issued in Monrovia few days ago to American citizens residing in Liberia from its Regional Security Officer (RSO), even pointing to a possible eventual evacuation.
Four of the five US-sanctioned former and current Liberian officials including former Liberian warlord, now Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County are going ahead to contest Senatorial elections around Liberia, despite American government warning against such move.
A closed relative of one of the staffers of this News Public Trust outlet shared the alert widely among friends and relative saying that her pressure has gone up, with others giving a range of interpretations to the alert which comes two weeks to what is widely expected to be a tight race between incumbent George Manneh Weah of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) against 19 other presidential candidates in the October 10, 2023 polls.
Some even believed that the alert has been prompted by a possible US intelligence of violent upheavals during and after the elections.
“RSO advises all staff to take proactive steps to prepare for emergencies including having adequate supplies at home. RSO recommends having a 72-hour emergency kit at home and a go-bag in case the need arises to leave your residence,” the Americans security alert warned.
But a message, which appeared on the Embassy’s Facebook page at the weekend sought to allay fears among many Liberians about the implications of such security alert coming hard on the heels of a crucial presidential and legislative elections in post-war Liberia.
“The U.S. Embassy is aware that there is a photo circulating of a memo with the subject line “Emergency Supplies & Household Preparedness.” These are routine management notices that embassies around the world issue to help U.S. mission personnel prepare in advance for emergencies. September is U.S. National Preparedness Month. It is an excellent list for anyone to use in order to prepare themselves and their families for any sort of emergency.”