'No One Group Better Than the Other' - President Johnson Sirleaf Assures Liberian Muslims

Tuesday, 1st September 2009
Sheik Kafumba Konneh welcomes President Johnson Sirleaf's gestures of solidarity and unity.
Sheik Kafumba Konneh welcomes President Johnson Sirleaf's gestures of solidarity and unity.
Photo Credit: Adama B.Thompson/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has paid a visit to the Benson Street mosque in Monrovia, the scene of a stand-off between residents of the area including Muslim worshipers and a Special Presidential Task Force set up to help clean the city. Several residents and worshipers are reported to have been inconvenienced during the Saturday clean-up exercise.

The President, accompanied by the Acting Mayor of Monrovia, Mary Broh, again expressed regret for the inconvenience worshippers may have experienced during the clean-up exercise by the Force.  An Executive Manson release says the President reminded the Muslim community that Liberia belongs to everyone.  “There is no one person, group, religion or party that is better than the other,” she said.  The President observed that there may be incidences sometimes that may lead to tension, “but as leaders, we must find a way to subdue it and go beyond the event in the interest of unity and peace in Liberia.” President Johnson Sirleaf said her visit to the mosque was intended to reinforce the message and reconfirm her Government’s commitment to the promotion of peace and unity in the country.

Monrovia Acting Mayor, Mary Broh, assured the Muslim leaders of more consultation between her office and heads of various groups before enforcing city ordinances in any community.

Sheik Kafumba Konneh, in response, welcomed the visit by the President, describing it as a manifestation of a true leader.  The visit, Sheik Konneh said, is a testament of the Liberian leader’s commitment to the promotion of peace, security, happiness and unity among Liberians.
He accepted the President’s apology on behalf of the Muslim community, promising that the community and Muslim leaders will cooperate with authorities of the Monrovia City Corporation to ensure that the city remains clean.

The visit by the President to the mosque followed a meeting between the leadership of the Muslim community and the Liberian leader, following concerns over the reported stand-off between residents of the Benson Street community and the Special President Task Force during a routine clean-up exercise.

The Force has since been dissolved by the President on grounds that it is no longer necessary now that the City Corporation has put in place a structure to carry out the functions for which the Task Force was set up.