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Citizens demand urgent probe

–Following the discovery of huge cache of arms

By Lewis S. Teh

Liberians are calling for a speedy investigation surrounding the discovery of a huge cache of military-grade arms and ammunition.

In an interview, marketers in the densely populated Duala Market urged the Government of Liberia to attach urgency to the ongoing investigation.

They want the government to ensure that culprits are brought to book.

Last week, security forces announced an investigation into the discovery of weapons at the Freeport of Monrovia, the country’s largest seaport.

Some of the weapons were discovered at the Freeport of Monrovia, and others were found at a private residence in Brewerville.

So far, security authorities have linked the illegal weapons to a single source – suspect Ben Baker.

In their reactions, marketers in Duala said the seizure of the weapons was timely.

But they also urged that the government waste no time in dealing with the matter and bringing to book those responsible for the shipment of the weapons.

Madam Elizabeth Thomas, one of those interviewed in the Duala Market, said news about the discovery of the arms and ammunition was troubling.

She said this happened at a time Liberians are about to go to elections.

“When I heard about the arrest and later saw the guns on Facebook, fear grabbed me, because the guns remind me about the war that was fought in this country,” she said.

“We can’t afford to go back to the dark days, we have had enough, the 14 years of fighting we did in this country, nothing has changed,” Elizabeth added.

“We want our government to make sure those behind this face the weight of the law,” she added.

Also speaking to this paper, a resident of Capitol Bye-pass, Amos Wesseh, extolled the government through the joint security forces for their efforts to confiscate the arms and ammunition at the Freeport of Monrovia.

“Imagine if the joint security was not that smart enough what would have happened to us in this country. These things [that are] happening … [remind us] of what we went through some years back,” he said.

Madam Victoria Wleh, also speaking to our reporter, called on the United States government to help the Government of Liberia in the ongoing investigation to bring the culprit to book.

“We can’t be assured that our government alone is capable of bringing those behind shipping of guns to book due to the number of things they have investigated in this country,” said Victoria.

She argued that since the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government took state power, not a single investigation has been concluded.

“We can’t rely on these people, they’re aware of all the things that are happening in this country.”

Last week, the joint security and intelligence forces identified the ringleader of the smuggling operation as Boye Benjamin Baker, a Liberian who lives in Texas, United States of America.

Barbara Debah, a resident of the Old Road community, and another lady only identified as Melvina were named as Baker’s accomplices.

 The former was the designated recipient of the consignment while the latter was the clearing officer.

Some of the arms include M16 and AK47. According to the police, about 450 machine guns were seized at the Freeport of Monrovia, including other areas of Montserrado County.


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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