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Attack on Church Crusaders Highlights Addressing Plight of Unemployed Youth, Drug Abuse – UNDP Says

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By: Trokon Wrepue – [email protected]

As of Thursday evening, the death toll in New Kru Town a slum suburb of Monrovia has raised to 29 with increased number of injuries reported as a result of a Christian crusade organized by Apostle Abraham Kromah of the World of Life Outreach Mission International Ministry.

The aftermath of the prayer meeting ended chaotic when less fortunate youth gangs known as zogos reportedly attacked attendees of the crusade who were making their way home during the mid-night hours of Wednesday January 19, 2022.

In a preliminary report released by the Liberia National Police on Thursday, the Spokesman of the LNP Moses Carter said the police have confirmed the death of at least 29 persons in the New Kru Town stampede that occurred during a crusade at the D.Tweh Field.

“As the crusade was over and those who attended were going home, it is reported that they came under attack by some criminals with the sole intent to take away some of their belongings so they choose to run back to the venue where the crusade was been held. Those people who were also getting out saw them running they also took to their heels and that led to the stampede that took place”. Police Spokesman Moses Carter said.

The Police Spokesman told The Stage Media on Thursday that those who died include a pregnant woman, eleven children and eighteen adults including men and women.

“29 persons are confirmed dead. Of the 29 persons, 11 are children (six females and five males), 18 adults (two males and sixteen
females). We had one pregnant woman inclusive of the sixteen females who also
died as a result of the stampede”.  Cater asserted.

He said the LNP has arrested one suspect
with a knife and is currently under investigation while the police is still on
the hunt for others.

“As we speak to you Apostle Abraham Kromah is currently at the national police headquarters for questioning on the circumstance that led to what happened yesterday. We have arrested one person and that person was arrested with a knife and there are other arrest been made as I speak to you by the Liberia national police”. He said.

We are going to make sure that all those responsible for what happened on Wednesday January 19, 2022 will be made to face the full weight of the law. Our sympathy is extended to the families of
those persons who lost their lives on Wednesday and the Inspector General of
the LNP is going to be on the Bushrod Island specifically around Redemption
Hospital in New Kru Town to speak to the victims’ families. 

UNDP

The United Nations
Development Program
says the attack which led to the death of
the 29 individuals sharply highlights the urgency required in addressing the
plight of unemployed youth in Liberia and the drug abuse menace in the country.

UNDP Resident Representative Stephen Rodriques noted that his institution remain ever ready to explore and support solutions with the Government and people of Liberia.

Rodriques on behalf of the UNDP family expressed sadness by the death of the 29 people as a result of the stampede at a church event and extend sincerest condolences to all the affected families.

“The UNDP family is extremely saddened by the death of so many people as a result of the #stampede at a church event. We extend our
sincerest condolences to all the affected families.”

“At the same time the attack sharply highlights the urgency required in addressing the plight of unemployed #youth in Liberia and the drug abuse menace in
the country. We remain ever ready to explore and support solutions with the
Government and people of Liberia, says UNDP Resident Representative Stephen Rodriques

President Weah

President George Weah has declared a 3-day state of National Mourning following the tragic loss of lives in a stampede in New Kru Town outside Monrovia. 

The incident is reported to have taken place during an open-air church service in the area.

Mr. Weah has ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast at all public buildings throughout the Liberia while the nation mourns.

Full details of the tragedy are still emerging but the Liberian leader says he is disheartened by such a national calamity.

The President has mandated the police to conduct a full-scale investigation to ascertain whether or not there is criminal culpability.

He urged the authorities of the LNP to ensure the investigation is speedy and thorough.

The President has mandated the police to conduct a full-scale investigation to ascertain whether or not there is criminal culpability. He urged the authorities of the LNP to ensure the investigation is speedy and thorough, saying that anyone found liable will be dealt with by the law, that’s according to the Executive Mansion website.

 

The Liberian Leader has also called on health authorities, including the Liberian National Red Cross and the Disaster Management Agency, to assist with treatment and recovery efforts.

President Weah has conveyed his deepest sympathies to the families of the bereaved while thanking all those who provided help to the victims. 

Meanwhile, the dedication ceremony of the new Duala Market which was to be performed by the President today has been postponed indefinitely in deference to the deceased.

Top Politicians

Joseph Boakai UP: Former Vice President Joseph Boakai is calling on the
government of Liberia to launch an investigation into the stampede in New Kru
Town that led to the death of at least 29 people.

“I therefore call on the Government to get to the bottom of the cause of the issues that led to the stampede, by launching a thorough investigation, so that the families affected will understand the circumstances that led to the chaos”.

“I recall that many of such incidents have been swept under the carpet in recent times, with no findings reported to the Liberian people”. VP Boakai said.

The Unity Party Standard
Bearer in a post on his official Facebook
page noted that the investigation will enable the families affected to
understand the circumstances that led to the chaos.

Alexander Cummings ANC: For his part, Alternative National Congress Political Leader Alexander Cummings says he is saddened by the by the news of the tragedy that occurred in New Kru Town.

“I and my family are deeply saddened by the news of the tragedy that happened in New Kru Town last night”. He mentioned in a Facebook post.  

 

He said as the country gather the facts about the total number of victims and the circumstances that led to the deaths of over dozens of citizens he pray that God give the families solace and strength during this period.

Mr. Cummings said there is a need for thorough investigation of the cause of the unfortunate incident in order to give closure to the family and the nation.

“As we gather the facts about the total number of victims and the circumstances that led to the deaths of over two dozen men, women, and children, we are praying for all the families of the victims”.

 

Youth Organizations

The Federation of Liberian Youth-FLY and Mano River Union Youth Parliament Liberia Chapter has meanwhile expressed fried and sorrows over the death of the 29 Liberians including youths and children.

 

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, FLY and MRUP-LC extended deepest condolences to condolences to all grieving families of the tragic situation which occurred last evening at a climax of a church crusade allegedly caused by Disadvantaged Youth commonly referred to by many Liberians as Zogos.

 

“The Federation of Liberian Youth-FLY and Mano River Union Youth Parliament Liberia Chapter say they share the grief and sorrows and extend deepest condolences to all grieving families of the tragic situation which occurred last evening at a climax of a church crusade allegedly caused by Disadvantaged Youth commonly referred to by many Liberians as Zogos”. The statement said.

 

According to the two top youth organizations, to address the national security emergency facing the nation from its youthful population all authorities of the three branches of the Liberian government (Legislature, Executive and Judiciary) must immediately begin honest national youth empowerment programs that will provide better livelihoods for young people through a national consolidated socio, economic and political efforts.

 

“To address this national security emergency facing the nation from its youthful population, FLY and MRUYP-LC are calling on all authorities of the three branches of government to immediately begin honest national youth empowerment programs that will provide better livelihoods for young people through a national consolidated socio, economic and political efforts”.

 

 

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