Via the Daily Observer: Calm Returns to Water Side Market But... Excerpt:
The Liberian government has urged store owners and traders to reopen their businesses on Water Street amidst fear by business owners.
The Water Side Market was shut down on Wednesday in a bid to quarantine West Point, which the government said had been badly hit by the lethal Ebola virus. The densely populated slum community, which has a population of about 70,000, is located in very close proximity to the market.
State security forces say they had to quarantine the entire Water Side market on August 20 in order to successfully quarantine West Point, the main target of the quarantine exercise.
Armed security officers clashed with hundreds of stone throwing residents from the slum community on Wednesday, which reportedly led to about four people being injured. A teenage boy, hit by a stray bullet, has since died.
Calm has meanwhile returned to the area after the government moved in with assorted relief items such as rice, oil, beans and water.
Liberia National Police (LNP) officers deployed at central Monrovia’s biggest business market district Thursday tried to encourage store owners to reopen. There was restriction, however, put in place by the police. Only stores on Mechlin Street down Water Side and those on Water Street going towards the Gabriel Tucker Bridge were told to open. But the hundreds of store owners and traders that turned out on Water Street expressed security concerns if they opened their stores.
“How can we open our stores when the entire streets are deserted amidst armed security personnel,” said a Lebanese trader.
Yana boys, girls and frozen food sellers flocked Water Street Thursday seeking to convince state security officials to allow them access to a cold storage near the main Water Side Market Building.
“Our fish and pig feet will get rotten,” they said.
A market woman told our reporter that she has not been allowed to the cold storage for two days. “How am I going to manage after investing all of my money to buy fish and can’t have access to it,” she wondered.
Banks and other businesses resumed normal operations in central Monrovia as tension eased. All of the stores that temporarily shut down on Wednesday resumed full operations.
“We are on high alert,” some store owners said.