“Board of Inquiry” Report on the West Point Incident of August 20, 2014 Reaches President

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My fellow citizens,

Foreign Nationals within our Borders,

Friends of Liberia:

In our attempt as a government to protect our people in the West Point Community from the Ebola virus disease, I authorized that the Community be quarantined by personnel of the security forces from August 19, 2014.

In this process, an unfortunate incident occurred on August 20, 2014 involving some residents of the West Point Community and security personnel of the Joint Task Force (JTF). In the confusion, one of our compatriots, little Shiaka Kamara was shot and subsequently lost his life.  This is a sad and regrettable development. Unfortunately, little Titus Nuah also was shot and is being treated at a local hospital with assurance of his full recovery.

As a government, we mourn with the family of little Shiaka Kamara and extend our sympathy to those wounded as we look forward to their speedy recovery. We are also duty bound to find out what really happened on that fateful day of August 20, 2014. Against this background, I authorized the setting up of a Board of Inquiry which was comprised of representatives from the Liberia National Police, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, the National Security Agency, the National Fire Service and the Armed Forces of Liberia. In addition, there were Observers in the persons of two U.S. Military Advisors and one ECOWAS Military Advisor. The Board of Inquiry has completed its work and its report.

I extend thanks to all the members of the Board of Inquiry and have reviewed and given the utmost importance to the recommendations. Accordingly, I am authorizing the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankahn, to take immediate action in line with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) against those found culpable in keeping with the recommendations of the Report.  This action underlines my determination to ensure that our Military remains responsible and accountable for its action at all times.

I have also requested the Independent Human Rights Commission to carry out an investigation into the occurrences in the West Point Community on August 20, 2014. This would allow for frank exchanges between the citizens and the Commission, thereby assuring our people that their views and recommendations will be given consideration in the final conclusion of this very sad chapter in our nation’s history.

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