By Martin K. N. Kollie
I listened to AFL Chief of Staff, Major General Prince C. Johnson, III. He spoke with boldness and doggedness. I listened to his frustration and discontent which he expressly made known. Maj/Gen Johnson vehemently frowned on “low budgetary support” to Liberia’s security sector since 2018.
The Chief of Staff could not give out full details relative to AFL’s new appropriation this Fiscal Year (2020-2021) probably due to his role. But I am going to EXPOSE these facts. Let’s beat them with facts. The over 1,800 enlisted army personnel deserve to know these truths too. Nothing will change any time soon for them. Just so they know.
Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL):
1) FY2018/2019 – US$13,480,633 – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
2) FY2020/2021 – US$1,900,083 – George M. Weah
Reference: Page 191, Code 203, Budget Line 100 – 2020/2021 National Budget.
From US$13.4 million down to US$1.9 million? Wow. A disaster is looming. AFL personnel may not even receive their monthly wages. Currently, army personnel lack access to pipe born water, rice ration, medical insurance, military equipment, etc. as a result of budgetary constraints. This will even deepen this fiscal year and beyond.
The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) is a victim of financial inadequacy. The Weah-led government has downplayed and downgraded security apparatuses since 2018. Neither does Pres. George Weah care about military personnel nor their welfare.
Let me provide more facts and/or details on other security apparatuses/agencies:
1) Liberia National Police (LNP) – From US$17,232,850 in 2019/2020 down to US$1,116,676 in 2020/2021;
2) Liberia Immigration Services (LIS) – From US$5,802,263 down to US$1,001,015 in 2020/2021;
3) National Fire Service (NFS) – From US$2,167,850 in 2019/2020 down to US$159,937 in 2020/2021;
4) Drug Enforcement Agency – From US$1,745,426 in 2019/2020 down to US$426,369 in 2020/2021.
Reference: Page 178, Code 202, Budget Line 100 – 500 – 2020/2021 National Budget.
Liberians remain unsafe, insecure, and very vulnerable to abuse and fear as a result of ritualistic killing, mysterious deaths, armed robbery, pre-election violence, and regime-sponsored insurgencies (e.g. gang groups such Sabu Unit, Zebra Unit, Moscow Empire, etc.).
The continuous cuts in the budget of AFL, LNP, LIS, LNFS, and DEA are on purpose. It is intentional. CDC has become so unpopular in a relatively short period (less than 3 years).
Ahead of 2020 and 2023 elections, here is their machiavellian authoritarian strategy to rig and perpetuate themselves in power:
1) Cut down the budget of AFL, LNP, LIS, LNFS, DEA, etc. to weaken these security agencies in order to instill fear in Liberians;
2) Divert more resources to sponsoring paramilitary establishments and gang groups (e.g Sabu Unit, Zebra Unit, Moscow Empire) to viciously harass, intimidate, and breed internal insurgencies;
3) Hire assassins to kill more and target perceived political rivals.
Amidst these emerging contradictions, Major General Prince C. Johnson must rethink. Pres. Weah is not in their interest. The government is against public interest, public safety, public security, and public welfare. The AFL under Chief of Staff Johnson’s command must now join us in this struggle for a paradigm shift.
Like in Mali, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, etc., Maj/Gen. Johnson and his enlisted personnel must join this pro-people struggle in order to rescue Liberia. The People’s Power is greater than those in Power.
Rogue Regime – Killer Government – Mafia State – Banana Republic – Zombie Nation – Junta Judiciary – Corrupt Legislature – Zero President.
This is Edition #175 of our daily writing series dubbed and styled “Under The Sycamore Tree”.
Martin K. N. Kollie writes from exile…
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