Following the Ministry of Justice’s December 29 press release, the Ambassadors of the United States, the European Union, ECOWAS, and the UN Resident Coordinator in Liberia have said they agree with the Government of Liberia to call on the Council of Patriots to consider moving their protest date to January 5, 2020, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, instead of Capitol Hill.
“As representatives of the United Nations, ECOWAS, the European Union, and the United States,” the joint statement from the diplomatic missions said, “we are among the many international partners who have invested heavily in Liberia’s peace and development. We have watched with pride as the Liberian people have passed important democratic milestones of hosting peaceful elections, debates, dialogues, and demonstrations. These are all important elements that strengthen the country’s core institutions.
“We note the Government of Liberia’s statements on December 28 and 29 regarding the exercise and protection of key constitutional rights of freedom of expression, assembly and petition for the redress of grievances. We also note the Council of Patriots’ press conference December 29 that assured all Liberians of their commitment to peaceful assembly and conformity with Liberian law and the sharing of details for their assembly. In light of these recent communications, we strongly encourage the Council of Patriots to shift their demonstration to this Sunday January 5, and various counter-protestors to shift their demonstrations to Sunday, January 12, at the large venues offered by the government, in order to ensure that the rights of all Liberia’s citizens are equally respected. We, your partners, strongly endorse this plan and look forward to those successful and peaceful gatherings, supported and protected by your government.
“We and many other international partners of Liberia will continue to stand by Liberia, her citizens, and her government as they work together to strengthen core institutions, protect essential human rights, and endeavour to create opportunities for all Liberians to provide a better life for their families and communities.”
The Council of Patriots has not yet responded to this latest development. In its press conference, on December 29, 2019, the CoP, organizers of the December 30 protest, insisted that the protest is “well on course”.