The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia Maj./Gen. Prince C. Johnson, III, says vehicles that are being stopped at checkpoints manned by soldiers of the AFL are non-essential vehicles, and the army is acting based on orders from President Weah.
He underscores that unless the military receives another order from the Commander-In-Chief, they will continue to enforce the current mandate of the President.
According to General Johnson, the AFL received orders from the President that all 15 counties in the Republic of Liberia are hereby quarantined, and movements between counties prohibited due to the novel coronavirus.
He says in accordance with the instructions, no person is permitted to enter or leave or in any way, cross the borders of any county into any other county, except for Montserrado County and Margibi County which are quarantined as a single unit. He adds that throughout this period, only essential residents for
reasons of health and food are allowed to move about, which should be restricted to a local community and that has not changed.
Speaking with Okay FM 99.5 Tuesday, Gen. Johnson however notes that exceptions were made for persons designated as essential staff in government offices,banks, supermarkets, and other business establishments such as hotels,
petrol stations, and health facilities to travel directly to work and return directly home.
Multiple complaints have come from the public about soldiers grounding dozens of vehicles at various checkpoints, mainly along the Monrovia-Kakata highway, affecting marketers bringing local produce to the capital and those taking goods into the interior of the country.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff says the State of Emergency declared by President George Weah on April 8, 2020 expires this Friday, June 5th noting that until the ban on movement from one county to another is lifted, only essential cars would be allowed to pass thru checkpoints manned by soldiers.
Liberia has moved from an initial index case of the coronvirus on March 16 to total confirmed cases now at 311, including 28 deaths, 167 recoveries and 116 active cases.
By Bridgett Milton–Editing by Jonathan Browne