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Monrovia’s hit-and-run incident: Premeditated murder or accident? 

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At least three people have been confirmed dead and 25 others injured in an incident, which the Unity Party has described as a “domestic act of terrorism”. It happened November 20,2023 shortly after Joseph Boakai, the Unity Party’s candidate, was declared the winner of Liberia’s election 2023 run-off.

Supporters of the association had gathered at the party’s headquarters to celebrate a mammoth election victory, but for some, it led to their deaths. 

While jubilating at the top of Broad Street in central Monrovia, the crowd was run over by a vehicle. Eyewitnesses said the driver immediately pulled out of the car, jumped onto a waiting motorcycle, and rode off. People who survived the incident chased the vehicle and set it ablaze.

When DUBAWA visited the incident scene, eyewitnesses narrated that the crowd stopped the suspect’s first attempt to drive by because vehicles were not allowed to pass. They explained that the car then reversed up Ducor (a residence in Liberia). It stayed there for a while, possibly for the tension to pass and for people to continue celebrating, then speedily crashed through the crowd. The scenes shortly after the incident are captured on Women’s TV. 

Accident or planned execution?

Days before the fatal incident, the Secretary General of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Jefferson Koijee, on Friday, Nov. 17, spoke to partisans in a press conference on Freedom Radio. In the coverage, Koijee said they are ready to defend themselves if provoked by members of the Unity Party. He added that the CDC would be prepared to send out an effective response team in communities if Unity Party partisans carry out provocation while celebrating their victory. His statement is from 29 mins to 31mins.  The video can be found here 

A few moments after the tragic accident or incident at the Unity Party office in Monrovia, some supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) took to Facebook to celebrate and mock victims of the accident, creating the impression the incident was orchestrated. 

Screenshots below

Monrovia’s hit-and-run incident: Premeditated murder or accident? 
Monrovia’s hit-and-run incident: Premeditated murder or accident? 
Monrovia’s hit-and-run incident: Premeditated murder or accident? 
CDCIANs took to Facebook to celebrate the tragedy at Unity Party headquarters 

An online platform, the Online Parrot, chronicled the sequence of events in a short online post, as can be seen below.

Monrovia’s hit-and-run incident: Premeditated murder or accident? 
Blog posting reactions from CDCIANs after the accident 

Police investigation 

The Liberia National Police (LNP) has launched an investigation into the matter. According to the LNP report, the incident was caused by a hit-and-run vehicle operator while the partisans were celebrating. Police officers have arrested suspect Lawrence K Williams, who is currently undergoing some questioning.

The report stated that out of 25 persons injured in the process, three had been pronounced dead by doctors at the John F Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Monrovia. According to the report in Women Voices Newspaper, the three victims were two males and one female. 

Meanwhile, the Party has suspended all activities resulting in public gatherings for an indefinite time. The US Embassy near Monrovia has also sent out a message of condolence to the bereaved. 

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