The Ministry of Defense has begun investigations into the reported assault on the people of Wainsue Town by personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), as it was reported by the media on May 19 & 20.
A statement issued by the MOD quoted Deputy Minister for Operations, Saint Jerome Larbelee, as saying that preliminary investigations have already begun in a meeting with citizens of Wainsue Town.
Mr. Larbelee promised both local government officials and those alleging that they were beaten, that the Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, Jr. has instructed the High Command of the AFL to probe the incident, and those found guilty will be dealt with expeditiously according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
He described the incident as a “troubling saga” since much has been done to ensure that the Armed Forces of Liberia is a “force for good” striving to safeguard Liberia’s peace; and as such, will support no acts “absolutely whatsoever” that seek to disturb the peace that Liberians now enjoy.
Larbelee admitted that what happened in Wainsue Town was an isolated incident that involved some personnel of the AFL, and can in no way denigrate (tarnish) the good image that the AFL has built over the years.
He explained that AFL personnel have received countless trainings that have enabled them to foster the protection of human rights and esteem the essence of human existence over the years; thus, contributing to Liberia being where it is now.
“As an institution, the High Command of the AFL will not accept or allow any of its personnel to perpetrate brutality against any peaceful Liberian in this age and dispensation,” Mr. Larbelee said.
The AFL statement said the Ministry of National Defense has instructed the AFL to conduct a full-fledged independent investigation into “this troubling saga” that will actually reveal what happened at Wainsue between the citizens and the AFL personnel. It may be recalled that on May 19 and 20 AFL personnel were reported to have gone on a rampage, assaulting some citizens of Wainsue after one of their members had an altercation with a motorbike rider in the township.
Following the incident, the Ministry of Defense was officially informed by the Superintendent of Bong County, Selena Polson Mappy, and the Representative of District #3, Bong County, Rep. George S. Mulbah Sr.