Veteran of Liberian Frontier Force Dies at ‘105’

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The late Corporal Karmue, veteran of Liberia Frontier Force

The death is announced of a veteran of the Liberian Frontier Force (LFF), Corporal Fungbeh Flomo Karmue, Sr. He was 105 years old.

The late Karmue died November 8, last year, but was buried recently in his home town in Bong County.

Karmue joined the LFF (now Armed Forces of Liberia) in 1944 and  was subsequently assigned in Nimba County as “Diamond Security Officer.” He was charged with the responsibility to stop illicit mining and smuggling of diamonds, which was then discovered in 1950.

On February 6, 1908, what started as a militia was established on a permanent basis and became a 500-strong Liberian Frontier Force (LFF).

The LFF’s original mission was “to patrol the border in the hinterland [against British and French territorial ambitions] and to prevent disorders.” The LFF was initially placed under the command of a British major, who was quickly replaced after a failed mutiny attempt.

The late Karmue, affectionately known as “Corporal Flomo,” worked in many parts of Nimba diamond producing areas, including Gbarpa, near the old LAMCO Mining Town of Yekepa, Bahn, in central Nimba, Yarpea, Sanniquellie, ensuring that the precious stone was not smuggled or illegally mined.

The coffin bearing the mortal remain of the late F. F. Karmue, commonly “Corporal Flomo”

Karmue, it was said,  was so nice to everybody as a military personnel while protecting every miner, even the suspected illegal miners, recalled one of the sympathizers at his funeral, which was held in Garmu Town, Bong County.

Upon his retirement from military service in the mid-1980s, Karmue returned to his home clan, “Panta,’ now Panta District, Bong County, with the desire to serve the government and his people. And because of that, he was elected the clan chief in 1987, a position he served until the outbreak of civil war in 1990.

As clan chief, Corporal Karmue became chairman of the Bong County Development Project, where he encouraged his clan to get involved with agricultural activities.

Under his leadership, most of the citizens got involved into the planting of cash crops, including rubber and cocoa.

The late Corporal Karmue is survived by his wife, Ma Garmie Koko Karmue, 46 children (some predeceased him), 76 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren, some of of whom live in the United States of America.

Karmue was born in Garmu Town, Panta District, Bong County in 1912, unto the union of the late Mr. and Mrs. Karmue.

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