Three retired soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) including Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of the disbanded Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL), Grand Gedeh County Representative George S. Boiley (decommissioned Mayor) of the defund Liberia Peace Council (LPC), and Representative (retire Private) Alfred G. Koiwood of Gbarpolu County have been mandated to report for general muster or risks forfeiting their pension benefits.
Addressing a brief news conference at the offices of the ex-soldiers on Carey Street in Monrovia Thursday, Retired Capt. Jerry K. Kollie discloses that the three legislators are recipients of government monthly pension benefit, so they must report for muster in accordance with the general principles of the Armed Forces of Liberia.
Despite an appeal Wednesday by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill to ex-soldiers to call off a planned muster, disbanded soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) are resolute in converging for a general muster today, Friday, 15 November.Kollie says the leadership of the ex-soldiers would communicate with the relevant agency responsible to pay pensioners from the disbanded army to drop names of those who will not turn out for the general muster scheduled to be held simultaneously at the Slipway football field in Slipway community, D. Twe High football field in New Kru Town, and Fiamah football field in Sinkor, Monrovia, respectively.
The pronouncement of the ex-servicemen has created panic among Monrovia residents, amid serious economic crisis and a planned December protest by group of Liberians to ask President Weah to step down.
The group that stage the June 07, 2019 protest in Monrovia, Council of Patriots or COP says it would return to the streets on December 30th, this time around, to ask President Weah to resign due to his ineptitude to govern the country.Retired Capt. Kollie, Co-chairman for Administration of the demobilized soldiers warns that retired soldiers, who will not appear for the general muster, will have their names delisted from the pension scheme.
He notes that such individuals would no longer receive money from the Government of Liberia (GOL) as they wouldn’t be accounted for by the general muster, which mandates all former soldiers to do so in keeping with the ethics of the military.He says they were shocked and dismayed over negative utterances against disbanded soldiers by Retired Private Alfred G. Koiwood, now Representative of Gbarpolu County, who trooped hundreds of former soldiers to Gbarpolu to have him elected.
Captain Kollie claims 15,000 soldiers were unconstitutionally retired from the Armed Forces of Liberia in violation of the Accra Peace Accord brokered in 2003, which calls for a restructure of the AFL rather than complete dissolution but was allegedly ignored by former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.He furthered confirms a meeting with the Minister of State of Presidential Affairs and Acting President of Liberia Nathaniel McGill which was geared towards reaching an amicably resolution of the ex-soldiers benefit.
He clarifies during Wednesday’s meeting with Minister McGill, the ex-solders’ representative, Retired Major Alexander Giord did not receive any money from the government, contrary to speculations in some quarters, assuring that as leaders of the ex-soldiers, they will never do anything that will compromise the dignity of the former servicemen.
Retired Capt. Kollie confirms they were asked by the Minister to restrict the general muster to a day to enable them present the official listing from the exercise to the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) President George M. Weah, who is currently in France, upon his return to the country.He terms as complete disinformation rumors the ex-soldiers are meeting to overthrow the government, which he dismisses is erroneous and baseless.
Kollie says the leadership of the ex-soldiers would communicate with the relevant agency responsible to pay pensioners from the disbanded army to drop names of those who will not turn out for the general muster scheduled to be held simultaneously at Slipway football field, D. Twe High football field, and the Fiahman football field, respectively.
He appeals to all ex-soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia to show up for the muster and be recorded to establish now how many ex-soldiers are still alive or dead since the disbandment of the army.Meanwhile, Captain Kollie reveals that during the muster, Minister McGill is expected to deliver a special message from Commander-In-Chief, President George M. Weah, to the ex-soldiers. By Emmanuel Mondaye–Editing by Jonathan Browne