By Samuel Borlay in Foya and Amos Gondah in Sanniquellie
SANNIQUELLIE-President George Weah on Friday condemned the recent violence in Foya Lofa county which reportedly led to the death of two persons.
“What happened in Foya is very bad. This is not good. No one should attack anyone for exercising his or her democratic views. We condemn it. This is bad,” he made the statement in Sanniquellie, the capital city of Nimba County at a political rally.
He said, “We stayed in opposition for 12 years and we helped maintain the peace of the country as such, we encourage all Liberians to help protect and sustain the pace of Liberia.”
His statement was triggered by reports of violent activities between supporters of the ruling party -Coalition for Democratic Change-CDC and the opposition party-Unity Party (UP) headed by former vice president Joseph Boakai.
Sources in Foya, the hometown of Mr. Boakai, said they saw a group of people wearing Unity Party T-shirts removing street light poles erected by the president recently. It was not independently confirmed.
The crowds later attempted moving to a Town Hall built by Thomas Fallah, a member of CDC who is contesting for a representative seat in that city. Fallah is a native of Foya.
Our correspondent said, that some UP partisans had gone to welcome some members from the diaspora who were visiting Foya. The UP people were marching and at the same time, CDC people were holding programs in their compound. But later, we saw stones throwing from all sides.
Some UP people told them that today was their day because when President Weah came here, they were not disturbed at all; so why today, they are disturbing? But the CDC supporters told them that they were in their compound holding program,” our reporter said.
“The UP people were in red T-shirts and when they saw a boy with CDC sticker on his motorbike, they beat him until he died. Later, they took one old man and naked him. As of now, two persons are confirmed dead,” our correspondent said.
However, this has been refuted by UP officials. Meanwhile, the Liberian government has dispatched a team of security there to restore calm and at the same time to conduct an investigation.
President Weah just ended a campaign tour in Foya on Wednesday with a call for peaceful elections in the country.