State security authorities, including Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, have strongly warned the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) against staging any illegal and unauthorized matches in violation of the constitution and rule of law.
Minister Samukai has, notwithstanding, assured that the Armed Forces of Liberia stands by the Commander –In –Chief, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, in defending the Constitution of Liberia. The assurance is the latest from state security in reaffirming continuous peace and stability in the country despite threats by the CDC.
The Minister of Defense last weekend told journalists that the Ministry strongly supported comments and concerns raised by the National Security Advisor, Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh that the CDC must observe the rule of law, regulations and procedures when exercising their rights, among others.
Minister Samukai urged all Liberians to respect the democratic decision of the Liberian people, remain peaceful and go about their normal businesses. He said individuals exercising their rights must observe the regulations and procedures, and other provisions that are within the constitution which allow respect for the rights of every person.
He, however, vowed the AFL’s continuous loyalty to the country in keeping with the constitution, adding “when the appropriate time comes, (you will see) the continuous loyalty of the Armed Forces of Liberia to the Constitution.”
The comments by the Defense Minister came Friday, amidst long publicized threatening pronouncements by the CDC for a Thirty-Day unauthorized protest today, Monday, November 28, 2011- weeks after another bloody march staged by the party resulting to the death of at least one opposition rioter.
He added that the opposition CDC owed a responsibility to also respect the rights of others.
“So we are calling on the Liberian people to see the progress that this county has made within the environment of peace and stability,” he noted.
In another development, the Liberian Government, through the Defense Ministry, on Friday November 25, 2011 provided US$3,000.00 each, to family members of 13 deceased soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), as a symbol of appreciation for the services of the deceased soldiers’ to the country.
Family members invited at the ministry were Michael Koffa, Thomas Fealleh, Alexander Neuville and Williams Wanbo. Others were Francis Madave, Winston Railey, WellehSwen, Flomo Woloba, Patrick Davis and Joseph Flomo, Jr. The rest of the invitees were Kandakai Massaquoi, Jackson Duosaye and Donyen Bropleh.
The program was held in accordance with the AFL’s established standards that every deceased personnel was entitled to death benefits to be received by an authorized family member.
The ministry said all long service personnel would receive benefits, but pensions would be given in varieties or categories. Personnel serving the country for 25 years were entitled to 75 percent pension; 20 year-service personnel were entitled 50 percent and those who have served for 15 years and above, 25 percent pension.
The Defense Minister also disclosed that government was designing a program that would allow soldiers who continue to serve the Arm Forces of Liberia to begin a drawdown of gratuity benefits to their salaries while in service after 15 years of initial service.
Minister Samukai, however, said families of deceased soldiers appreciated on Friday, covered deaths from 2009 to 2011. He said the program was aimed at showing the families that government was concerned about them.
“That is why the government of Liberia, under the Defense Act, has authorized the Ministry of Defense and the under the command of the Arm Forces of Liberia to come up of with a program to ensure that the services of our soldiers and our sailors and Coast Guards Personnel can be recognized why in service, why in retirement and when they are finally gone home to pay the prize,” he said.
He said besides the training and skills the soldiers and sailors will acquire, government will continue to show appreciation in other forms.
“That is why the National Legislature, in its wisdom, passed the defense Act of 2008; and that is why the Ministry of Defense is now promulgating a policy that will allow our soldiers to be remembered in service, out of service and when they are long gone.