MONROVIA, Montserrado – On the day before the June 7 protest, the inspector general of the Liberia National Police, Patrick Sudue, said the government was concerned about a looming terrorist threat in the subregion.
Speaking on Prime FM on Thursday, Sudue said the protest, which has been widely publicized on social media, concerns the government and “the government is putting in place measures to ensure that the terrorism attacks in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast does not happen here.”
In April 2019, more than 65 people died in ethnic clashes inflamed by Islamist extremists seeking to gain a stronghold in Burkina Faso, while 19 people were killed by terrorists in an attack in 2016 in the coastal town of Grand Bassam.
Sudue said Liberia could host the terrorists’ next planned attack and that “the government does not want to put it citizens in danger.”
“We have to be prepared and ready in case of any intrusion from outside forces,” Sudue said.
“Terrorism cannot be underestimated, mainly when [a] crowd is gathered in one place,” the police head said.
Sudue expressed concern about points of entry across the country and said, “Police Support and Emergency Response Units of the LNP are strategically posted in the various counties ahead of the planned protest to deal with any possible attack.”
Sudue said the police and protest organizers had agreed on several security measures, including searching private vehicles and taxis will be search including individuals’ bags.
He said the U.N. had promised to bring 50 international observers while ECOWAS also agreed to bring in 20 military observers from its standby force.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah