In what could be described as reckless and irresponsible instruction, the Management of the Liberia Airport Authority or LAA issues a stern order here Wednesday, to the Armed Forces of Liberia to shoot on sight, suspected criminals found in the airport’s premises.
But the AFL says it does not take order from civilian authority, and that there is no such arrangement with authorities at the LAA. A public service announcement posted on social media reads, “The management of the Liberia Airport Authority in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) wishes to inform the general public that additional security measures have been put into place at RIA, to secure the premise of the airport especially the aerodrome or the airside from theft and unlawful interferences.”
The announcement details that the new measures include: Stringent patrols by armed men of the AFL at every entry point of the aerodrome or airside at RIA and authorization to the AFL to shoot at sight, anyone who attempts to steal any of the navigational equipment, within the aerodrome or on the airside at the RIA.
“In view of these new security measures, the public is advised to keep away and not to unlawfully interfere with the aerodrome or airside at any time, as these measures will be strictly applied to the letter”, the LAA Management warns.
But in a sharp response, Assistant Defense Minister for Public Affairs Sam Collins told a local radio station in Monrovia via mobile phone that there is no such collaboration with the airport authorities to shoot on sight, civilians suspected to criminals.
“That order does not come from the AFL; we have reached no arrangement with the airport authorities to shoot on sight”, Collins says. He says the AFL has set operational procedure and under that procedure it does not take order from civilian authorities.
Gradually, authorities of the Weah-led administration seem to be turning this country into a police state, acting outside the law.
Story by Jonathan Browne