The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Student Group Blasts Retired AFL Officer

The Coalition of Youth and Students to Enhance and Democracy in Liberia has unconditionally disagreed with the barrage of criticisms being made by former AFL Captain Jerry Kollie and others against Defense Minister Brownie Samukai.

The group in a press release issued in Monrovia said the youth group believes that the retired captain Kollie and others action were totally out of frustration, which should not be given credence.

Of recent, retired Capt. Kollie during an interview with West Africa Pilot, said Minister Samukai does not possess qualification to head the Ministry of National Defense, because according to him, the Minister once headed the elite armed group Black Beret during the civil crisis. He also said that Minister Samukai allegedly paid money to the former Truth and Reconciliation Commission to exclude his name from the TRC hearing.

The pro-civil society group condemned in the strongest term, the allegation against Minister Samukai and called on all men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), including the public not to give credence to the retired captain and other paid agents, who lack the moral rectitude to call for Minister Samukai dismissal.

"We are convinced that retired captain Kollie and those paid agents want to distract the developmental agenda and programs prepared under the dynamic stewardship of Minister Samukai and his able lieutenants at the Ministry of National Defense", the release read.

The youth and students group highlighted that under the stewardship of Minister Samukai, the army has been conducting vigorous patrol of the country's border in collaboration with other para- military personnel to ensure security.

"Under the same leadership of Minister Samukai, there had been hundred percent increment in the salary of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and there are progress report reaching us that the current strength of the AFL is one thousand nine hundred both men and women and there are plans to increase the AFL up to three thousand plus.

We further call on the National Legislature to increase the budgetary allotment for the Ministry of National Defense as compare to other countries around the world", it concluded.

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