On Final Day Of Campaign Activities, Deadly Clashes Between CDC, ALCOP Result To Death Of Two Persons
Two persons were reportedly killed including the driver of the CDC Campaign Manager, Maritime Commissioner, Len Eugene Nagbe during clashes between the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change CDC) and the opposition All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP) last evening, Sunday, October 8, 2023 on the Japan Freeway in the vicinity of the headquarters of ALCOP.
According to report, the incident took place when stone throwing erupted between members of the two political parties, this situation made residents of the area to take to their heels flee from being caught up in the clashes which resulted to the death of two persons including the driver Eugee Nagbe, Campaign Manager of the CDC.
According to eyewitnesses who spoke to local journalists said the clashes erupted at St. Michael Junction along the Freeway, when supporters of the ALCOP were wrapping up their campaign on one side of the four-lane freeway, while the supporters of the CDC were on the other side of the freeway marching through the freeway to their party headquarters in Congo Town.
The one of the eyewitnesses speaking to the FPA, said initially, both groups were carrying out their respective rallies amicably without any interference. However, things changed when supporters of ALCOP opted to make a U-turn at New Georgia Junction, thereby necessitating the need for them to enter the side of the road that the CDC supporters were marching on. However, supporters of the CDC stopped them, stating that both parties should respect their boundaries. “They retreated somewhere around JJY; that’s where they started throwing stones,” she said.
The Liberia National Police arrived at the scene and dispersed the crowd through the use of tear gas, as most of the supporters retreated to their campaign headquarter Aluminum Factory while others made their way to Bardnersville Junction.
However, according to reports, tension escalated at Bardnersville Junction where the two groups clashed again, after a reported attack on the convoy that was escorting President George Weah on his final campaign.
Sunday’s clash is one of several that have preceded this high-stakes election. Last week, there was a deadly clash between supporters of the Unity Party and the CDC that led to the death of three people and several wounded.
The incident prompted condemnations from local and international organizations including ECOWAS, EU with the U.S. Embassy calling for justice for those who lost their lives.
In another statement delivered on Friday, October 6, 2023, Chargé d’Affaires Catherine Rodriguez emphasized the significance of the upcoming elections and underscored the United States’ commitment to ensuring that they are conducted in a free, fair, and peaceful manner.
Rodriguez discussed the critical role of the United States as a long-standing partner of Liberia in taking these elections seriously. She highlighted the recent announcement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding visa restrictions for individuals undermining Liberia’s democratic process, emphasizing that such restrictions are one tool used to hold accountable those who may seek to disrupt the electoral process.
However, Rodriguez stressed that the most powerful tools in the electoral process lie with the Liberian people—their voices and their votes. She encouraged citizens to engage in meaningful dialogue about Liberia’s future with friends and family, to think about the nation’s long-term vision, and to carefully consider the candidates’ plans for the country.