Amidst the entire nation under the leadership of President George M. Weah, massively overwhelmed with the proliferation of excessively reckless and inhumane rape including unbearable high crime rate with emphasis on armed robbery, the leader of the over 9,000 disbanded Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Captain Jerry Kollie is informing the government that his force will not hesitate to deploy nationwide to curb the disturbingly frustrating scourge of rampant rape and dreadful criminality unleashed against the safety and security of peaceful unarmed citizens.
Capt. Kollie said recently in Monrovia that they were trained adequately from the taxpayers’ money and are capable enough to engage and battle such threatening menace that is posing grave insecurity to the lives of women as small as three months and above coupled with the constant armed robbery plague that is ravaging so many homes seriously craving for police protection and swift intervention.
Capt. Kollie explained that despite being considered disbanded AFL’s soldiers, their loyalty to the state and people remains unshakeable, while the restoration of peace, safety and harmony in the country cannot be compromised as long as they are available.
According to him, despite the mounting military pressure lumbered on the state during the rebels’ insurrection which lasted for 14 years, the AFL was able to defend the Executive Mansion and the Barclay Training Center (BTC) – a major military facility from falling to the invading rebels.
At the same time, the United Methodist Human Right Advocacy entity has also condemned sharply the reckless form and manner in which women, girls, little children including babies are raped by some older, elderly and young folks which cannot be accepted in a civilized society guided by laws and not men.
The organization’s spokesman pathetically registered that it is insane to see a person in his 50s and above raping an eight-month old baby, adding that such level of wickedness is perpetrated for ritual purpose; either for wealth, power or murder to have blood on the hands.
Also, in an open letter to President Weah from Mr. Maxson S. Kpakio and dated July 13, 2020 who equally catalogued over 15 rape cases committed in the country, noted that he is filled with frustration, pain, anger, and buried in disappointment as he writes to him (Weah)
Kpakio said: “I wish you could agree with me Mr. Weah, and accept that is hugely mind-boggling and massive embarrassment the catalogues of rape cases across Liberia and sadly you have said nothing about it since you came to power. Are you truly a father, our father, and our father?”
Kpakio in his letter noted that today, even government officials as well as those who should be protecting us serving in national security are being accused of committing these crimes but unfortunately no further step taken against them and no justice for the victims. He pointed out that “Mr. President, certainly if you say nothing, do nothing, but sit watch this like you are watching a movie, you will go down in history for not giving justice to victims of rape”.
However, when contacted about the disbanded AFL’s soldiers getting in involved with the fight against rape and armed robbery nationwide, a well-placed government official who spoke on anonymity said that the government is not suffering from security shortage, and has not endorsed the disbanded AFL’s soldiers to fight crimes on behalf of the government, adding that if the government finds itself in such security squeeze, it could appeal to the United Nations to assist, but government is too far from such stage and anyone getting on the street in the name of fighting crime, will face the law to present legitimate authorization from the government.
It can be recalled that in the wake of a controversy simmering between the disbanded AFL’s soldiers and the National Bureau Veteran Affairs (NBVA); some 9,000 former Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) soldiers, who claimed to have been illegally disbanded, have petitioned the Legislature for the payment of over US$50 million in arrear owed them.
Speaking on behalf of the affected AFL soldiers recently, Captain Jerry Kollie noted that the manner and form in which they were purged from the army was not in line with the law governing such process.
Capt. Kollie said the arrear is based the accumulation of their respective unpaid salaries which now net over US$50m since they were disbanded in violation of the law and the government must pay their entitlement.
According to him, thereafter, they must be properly pensioned in keeping with the law.
Meanwhile, the National Bureau for Veteran Affairs (NBVA) strongly warned retired and demobilized soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia against acts aimed at obstructing their enrollment for biometric identification cards.
Addressing a news conference some time ago, the bureau’s Director General, Colonel Edwin Goodridge, said the enrollment of retired and demobilized soldiers will begin at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
Col. Goodridge calls on retired or demobilized soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia that have problem with the enrollment for biometric identification cards to channel their grievances through the bureau in a peaceable manner.
Colonel Goodridge called comes in the wake of a planned abandonment by some members believed to be a part of the defunct AFL headed by Captain Jerry Kollie.
He further stated that the enrollment of retired soldiers was not conducted by the new leadership at the bureau. The NBVA boss pointed out that the enrollment is a policy framework designed by the Government of Liberia to enable easy payments of each retired soldier in his or her personal account.
He further disclosed that the process was designed by the government of Liberia and not the newly appointed leadership of the bureau and as a government’s institution; they are in full compliance with the mandate of national government.
Speaking to scores of media practitioners that converged at the National Bureau for Veteran Affairs head office in Sinkor, the Director General warned all those that are concerned about the transparency of the process to immediately desist from obstructing the enforcement of government’s directive or risk facing the consequences.
Again, on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 a joint-team from three institutions of government commenced the biometric registration of AFL pensioners at the Slip way community center in keeping with the mandate of the Government of Liberia, but folks believed to be members of the defunct Arm Forces of Liberia predominantly of those that were demobilized but who were not part of the AFL pensioners entered the registration center and embarked on actions that disrupted the process and brought it to an abrupt suspension.
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