IT'S NOT OK TO SHOOT AT CHILDREN, EVEN IF THEY ‘MIGHT’ HAVE EBOLA: LIBERIAN AUTHORITIES AGREE
One of the shocking events in August that confirmed the wider horrors of the Ebola crisis was the sudden and chaotic quarantining of the impoverished West Point community in Monrovia. It was especially shocking for Street Child not just because West Point is our original and largest project site in Liberia – but because the policing of the quarantine resulted in the shooting of one of our beneficiaries, a teenage boy called Titus Nuah.
As reported in the Sunday Times, Titus arrived bloodied and distressed in our Monrovia team’s office from where they managed to find a hospital who would take him in and he received some treatment. The prompt actions of our team saved his life. He was lucky. A second boy who was shot, Shaki Kamara, subsequently died.
This week, the Liberian authorities, led by the President, formally reacted to results of two independent commission of enquiry into the shootings: one from the Liberian military and another by a human rights group. Most significantly, condemnation and various sanctions have been imposed on 5 members of the Liberian army who were involved in the incident. Whilst the punishments may seem slight in relation to the consequence for Titus and Shaki, Street Child warmly welcomes the fact of official condemnation of these incidents. An important principle has been upheld – the safety and life of all, even former street children, matter, even in these dark days.
Street Child would like to thank the Sunday Times, journalist Gabriella Jozwiak, and all other worldwide media outlets who helped bring attention to the plight of Titus and Shaki.