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Calm Restored to Yekepa, Protest Leaders Arrested
Date Uploaded: Jul 06, 2014

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Calm Restored to Yekepa, Protest Leaders Arrested

MONROVIA, July 5 (LINA) - The Liberia National Police has restored calm to the mining city of Yekepa, Nimba County and the concession area of Arcelor Mittal, after protesters took to the streets in the area.

The protesters identified as the Tokadeh Progressive Youths for Peace and Development led a rampage on the mining site and surrounding areas.

According to an Executive Mansion release, a number of the ringleaders, including those who shot at the police, have been arrested and are being brought to Monrovia for further investigation and prosecution.

The full extent of the damage, which is still being assessed, includes destruction to private properties, as well as injuries to at least six police officers and damage to public roads and bridges.

Speaking for the Liberian Government, Information Minister Lewis Brown said, “There is no tolerance in this society for those who act outside the law by expressing grievances through violence, destroying properties, assaulting law enforcement officers, and violating the rights of others. All such individuals will face the full weight of the law.”

Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia has assured the management of Arcelor Mittal and all private and foreign investors that no action will be spared to protect lives and properties as well as the general wellbeing of their staffs and employees.

The Government has also expressed appreciation to the peaceful and law-abiding citizens within the Yekepa Community who refused to be a part of such destructive activity, and has reassured all Liberians of the full protection of their rights to live in peace and safety in their communities.

Meanwhile, the Liberia News Agency correspondent6 in Nimba County reports that the protesters broke into AFCON and Arcelor Mittal facilities and
destroyed a number of properties.

They also set ablaze the River Bee Bridge that connects Yekepa and Karnplay to Sanniquellie, the provincial capital..

Commenting on the incident, the Police Emergency Response Unit Commander in Nimba County, Jeffery Coleman, told journalists that the demonstrators
used light weapons against the security forces.

But the protest leaders have also alleged that security officers fired guns to disperse them.

According to the LINA correspondent, no deaths have so far been reported, but some security officers and protestors are said to have
sustained injuries.
LINA WGP/TSS/PTK

 

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