Authorities at the Ministry of National Defense has refuted a report by the Institute for Research and Democratic Development(IREDD) accusing Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., of authorizing the participation of AFL soldiers in a district political rally under the auspices of the Unity Party.
IRRED in its report published by this paper and several other dailies alleged that Minister Samukai deployed officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to provide security for the contractors hired to construct a podium in Barnersville for the launch of its representative candidates’ campaign ahead of Vice President Boakai’s visit there.”
“The report is totally untrue as at no time and date, as mentioned by IREDD, and published by the supra mentioned local dailies did any military personnel participate in any political rally,” the Defense authorities said in a release issued Friday October 6.
“Perimeter security at the rally was provided by clearly uniformed personnel from the Executive Security Consultancy (EXECON) firm. The stage and truss were built by a team of young Liberian technicians while the public address system and musical equipment at the rally were provided by the musical crew known as the “Beast””, the release added.
The release said Minister Samukai has never ever authorized any military personnel at any political rally or otherwise. The AFL remains a professional military institution that has no intention of participating in any political rally, whether before, during or after the pending October 10, 2017 Presidential and Representatives’ Election.
In another development, the Liberia Coast Guard (LCG) has interdicted for illegal and unreported fishing, a fishing trawler, DZINTARS, at position 06 24.39’ N 011 02.12’ W, less than 12 nautical miles from Liberia’s Coastline. The vessel crossed over into Liberian territorial waters on 28 September 2017. Upon inspection, the LCG found the vessel to be in multiple violations including shutting down its Automatic Identification System(AIS) four (4) nautical miles from the border with Sierra Leone, the lacked of landing declaration, violation of Liberia’s Catch On Entry(COE) regulations, among others. Meanwhile the vessel with over 321 thousand kilograms of fish on board is chargeable under Liberian Laws for contravention of the Fisheries Regulations and Tax and Customs Laws of the Republic of Liberia. The authority at the Defense Ministry is recommending a fine in the neighborhood of 1.5 Million United States Dollars as a measure of deterring poachers who are engaged in illegal activities within Liberian Exclusive Economic Zone.