Monrovia – The European Union Mission in Liberia has cautioned organizers of the impending June 7 protest to “ensure that the protest unfolds peacefully” while emphasizing the significance of maintaining peace and stability in the country.
In a Tuesday’s evening statement released in concert with the EU Heads of Mission in Monrovia, which includes France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, and the UK, the Mission highlights how the West African nation has made progress since the end of its civil conflict in 2003.
“This progress was possible thanks to the sustained efforts of the Liberian people, who cherish and uphold their hard-won peace,” the statement reads.
It continues: “Liberia has made great progress since the end of the civil conflict in 2003, in terms of peace, stability, democracy, and security. This progress was possible thanks to the sustained efforts of the Liberian people, who cherish and uphold their hard-won peace”.
The EU statement comes two days ahead of the planned June 7 Save The State protest, which organizers say intends to pressure the government into adhering to the Constitution, provision of basic social services for all citizens and remedying the prevailing economic woes.
Tension has heightened as fear looms about possible violence that might erupt during the protest. There is also fear of counter-protests as anti-June 7 critics propagate rhetorics about thwarting the protesters’ campaign.
But the EU, which is one of Liberia’s strongest international partners, is optimistic about the country going through a peaceful protest despite the flaring tension.
“The 7th of June can be yet another moment for Liberians to show to the world that they can express themselves and engage with one another in a free, respectful and peaceful way, and that peace and democracy are on an irreversible course in Liberia,” the statement adds.
The Mission, however, called on Liberians to maintain the peace as it is “everyone’s responsibility” while lauding the government for acknowledging “the Constitutional right of Liberians to peaceful protest and committed to ensuring their protection”.
“The EU Missions in Monrovia express their confidence that the Liberian people will protect their country’s peace and stability on and after the 7th of June and always.”
Meanwhile, like the protest planners and many Liberians, the EU is “aware and concerned about the difficult economic situation Liberia is going through and the hardship faced by the Liberian people”.
It, at the same time, stressed that to address the existing challenges, it would require “inclusive, regular and constructive dialogue” to develop the country.
“We recognize the valuable role played by the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States in support of dialogue in Liberia, and fully back these efforts,” the statement added.
“We are deeply committed to continuing to support Liberia’s peacebuilding and development efforts. We will continue assisting Liberia in the implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity and in other critical areas”.