Liberia 175th Independence Day celebration on Tuesday turned bloody as several students of the famous Vanguard Students Unification Party (SUP) at the State-run University of Liberia fought for their survival at the hands of the governing Coalition for Democracy Change Council of Patriot (CDC-COP).
The two radical groups clashed in front of the United States Embassy near Monrovia , when several Students of SUP gathered to move to the Centennial Pavilion to carry out what they termed as ‘Fix the Country’ protest.
The students group said their peaceful gathering was intended to call the attention of national and international community to the alleged increased in corruption, bad governance, mysterious death and disappearances, sexual and Gender Base Violence and economic hardship which have left the massive in extreme poverty and suffering.
According to report the SUP militants had earlier planned to gather at the Capitol Hill Campus of the University of Liberia but changed venue because of the presumed alleged threats of the CDC-COP.
CDC Council of Patriot besieged the UL main campus as early as 6:50 am. The SUP then gathered at the U.S Embassy in order to avert any contact with the governing group.
However, two militants of SUP was attacked by CDC-COP on UL campus. The students were allegedly held under custody, beaten and later released with severe bodily wounds.
Following the UL incident, CDC-COP moved to the US Embassy where the students were gathered, overpowered law enforcement officers and engaged into stone throwing with the UL students.
The fight continued throughout central Monrovia where CDC COP further chased SUP militants across the streets of Monrovia, leaving several wounded.
After the clash members of the community accused the CDC Council of patriots of damaging their properties. They further alleged that their phones and other personal belongings got missing.
Meanwhile, in interview with the head of the CDC COP Chairman Ben Togba said their action was triggered to protect and provide security for the government and its officials from every political plan protest that do not have any basic and foundation.
He at the same time denied claims of residents of the Robert Street community that CDC COP entered in their homes and made away with some value items, saying that the allegation made against them is completely false and misleading because they are not people of such character.
“We are here to provide security and protection for the government. We are not here to entertain any violence and unrealistic protest in this country. Those that having the protest are not serious because this government had done good things and continue to do for its people. Those guys were pay by politicians to damage the country’s anniversary and that we will never allow therefore, we decided to fight them with our last birth” he stressed.
Mr. Togba, on the other hand accused the militants of SUP of moving into the homes of peaceful citizens and making away with their belongings, something he said that they were the ones in search of a safe hiding.
Also while in conversation with the Chairman of propaganda Bureau of SUP Mohammed Shabazz Jalloh, he accused Monrovia City Major Jefferson Tamba Koijee of masterminding the disruption of their protest.
” Major Koijee sent thugs with guns to kill peaceful students exercising their constitutional rights at the US Embassy near Monrovia. A dark cloud has covered Liberia under President George M. Weah, going back to the days of terror. We have being peaceful in our gathering, we left them with UL campus but still they decided to chase after us despite we were peaceful just to hurt us” he lamented.
Chairman Jalloh further indicated that the only wrong they have done as students is to advocate against bad governance and misrule of power and speaking against ills confronting the students and their poor parents.
Continuing he explained that they are students and all they seek is a decent society where the society will be protected, have access to quality education and better healthcare with stronger economy.
By : Our Staff Writer