Some 27,000 deactivated Liberian state security personnel are demanding alleged US$70 million benefits from the new administration of President George Manneh Weah, having taking over from former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf whose government downsized the officers.
A spokesman for the the officers deactivated from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Liberia National Police (LNP) Anti Terrorist Unit (ATU) and Bureau of Immigration (BIN), Caption Jerry Kollie claimed in an exclusive interview over the weekend at his office in Redlight that ex-President Sirleaf’s government owed them US$70m after years of diligent service.
“We are 27,000 deactivated security personnel that are from the AFL, LNP, BIN, and the ATU including the Fire Service. We were all downsized by Madam Sirleaf, but we want to inform the President Weah that we are regular soldier of this country,” Captain Kollie claims.
According to him, the Act that established the Army was not repealed to build a new army after they were downsized, and yet there is now a new army. As such, Captain Kollie says they are demanding their benefits, and those that are capable of going back in the army would serve again while others can go and do other things.
He complains that the deactivated security personal sacrificed their lives in serving the country, thus stressing the need for government to ensure that they get their benefits.
He alleges that the money given them earlier was given for officers to surrender their arms to their commander without picking up arms again.
But he urges President Weah not to take the liability of a man who allegedly embezzled soldiers’ money.
By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley