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UN urges end to election violence in Liberia

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The United Nations voiced concern Wednesday over the deadly violence in Liberia ahead of elections next week, urging all sides to pull back from inciting bloodshed or hatred.

Deadly clashes have taken place in Liberia between supporters of the country’s two main political parties in the build-up to the October 10 general elections in the west African nation.

“We are concerned by reported instances of election-related violence, use of language that could amount to hate speech, and attacks on journalists in Liberia,” UN human rights office spokesman Seif Magango said in a statement.

According to the UN rights office, at least two people were killed and 20 others injured in Lofa county on September 29 during clashes between supporters of the Unity Party of former vice president Joseph Boakai, and of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change of George Weah.

“Our office has also documented eight attacks on journalists by various political actors, two of which resulted in injuries,” Magango added.

Liberia was ravaged by back-to-back civil conflict between 1989 and 2003 that left more than 250,000 people dead.

The country’s main political parties pledged in April to avoid violence and turn to the courts to resolve electoral conflicts that may arise before and after the October polls.

More than 2.4 million people are registered to vote in next week’s elections.

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