Fifty George Weah CDC Partisans Arrested Following Rioting


By Josephus Moses Gray
Monrovia, Liberia


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
December 13, 2005


Police in Monrovia have arrested 50 persons in connection with a riot which took place Sunday at the headquarters of George Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). They are suspected to be partisans of the CDC.

But CDC’s Secretary General Eugene L. Nagbe said the number of partisans arrested far exceeds 50.

At least five police officers are said to be injured while 14 vehicles belonging to the United Nations Mission in Liberia were damaged during the riot on Sunday.

The rioters also threw stones, damaging both private and commercial vehicles as they physically engaged UN peacekeepers.

The riot took place minutes after Mr. Weah told his supporters at the party’s headquarters that he is Liberia’s 23rd president and will be inaugurated on January 16 next year.

The National Elections Commission (NEC), the UN-supported electoral body charged with the conduct of the election has been probing allegations of vote rigging during November’s run off election.

Already, the NEC has declared Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf winner of the election while inauguration is schedule to take place on January 16, 2005.

But Mr. Weah has been persistent in his claims that the election was marked by fraud and that he actually won the process. His supporters have staged series of street demonstrations to protest the election results.

Sunday’s riot signals a bad beginning in ending the country’s decade-long civil war through the democratic process and could suggest imminent post-electoral violence even during inauguration early this year.

Partisans of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of George Weah have reportedly threatened to make Monrovia ungovernable on inauguration day.

Mr. Weah has already said he is now Liberia’s 23rd President-elect and will ensure that he’s inaugurated on January 16, 2005.

He claimed that he was cheated and therefore vowed that Mrs. Sirleaf will not be inducted as President of Liberia.
“The whole world knows that I was cheated, so we will back until the international community can come in”, Mr. Weah told his supporters.

With these utterances coming from the CDC’s flag bearer, there are clear indications that Mrs. Sirleaf’s planned inauguration might likely be characterized by chaos, brutality and vandalism as was similarly experienced in Monrovia on Sunday when people suspected to be CDC went on the rampage and brought the entire City, especially the Congo Town vicinity to a standstill.

They threw stones at anybody they saw and vandalized people’s premises and broke windshields of vehicles, including a vehicle belonging to Justice Minister Kabineh Jan’neh.