Active commercial activities and the mobility of residents of Monrovia were yesterday impeded when news broke out that the densely populated slum community of West Point has been quarantined by Government. West Point is the home of over 20,000 of Liberia’s population.
Liberian soldiers used live bullets and tear gas to disperse angry crowd who were protesting the evacuation of the Township Commissioner and her family from the quarantined community. The crowd threw stones at security forces as a means of protesting the evacuation of the Commissioner. They complained that it was wrong to evacuate the Township Commissioner and her family when thousands of residents were being quarantined.
But state security succeeded in taking away the Commissioner and her family amidst heavy tension. In the process according to our reporter, a twelve-year old boy sustained serious injury. Residents said the injury was a bullet wound but the AFL dismissed the information saying that the little boy was hooked by a barb wire while running. The actual cause of the boy’s injury is yet to be established.
The situation led to serious tension between state securities and residents of the quarantined township of West Point as police fired tear gear at protesters vehemently protesting the quarantining of their community without prior notice.
Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia and police early Tuesday morning were deployed at strategic points leading to West Point. Mechlin Street, Randall Street, Coleman Hill, Water Street, the newly constructed Zulu Domah Bridge in Vai Town were all blocked by security forces to prevent the movement of vehicles and pedestrians from entering West Point.
As a result, the densely populated city of Monrovia remained tense on Wednesday as stores and business houses could not open their doors for normal business transactions. State security deployed in West Point stopped residents of the community from moving about within the township. Earlier, residents threatened to burst into stores and other business entities to get food.
The threat by the angry residents resulted to the heavy deployment of security including AFL soldiers and police at all entry points to West Point while the entire Waterside General Market has also been quarantined thus, preventing normal business activities in that part of the city.
Following several hours of closure, Police Deputy Director for Operations, Abraham Kromah, got on the street to encourage businesses to reopen their doors to the public. He told the public that there was nothing to fear as the situation has been put under control.