18 December 2012

Liberia: Foreign Ministry Staff Brutalizes AFL Soldier

An employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs George W. Wallace III is reported to have brutalized a soldier of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), leaving one of his teeth broken.

John T. Fortumah, the victim said, "I was stocked in the traffic at the ELWA Junction when Mr. Wallace decided to bypass the line, using the opposite lane. After he approached my vehicle, I asked him why he was driving on the opposite lane, but he (Wallace) insulted me and I replied."

The soldier alleged that Mr. Wallace disembarked from his vehicle and punched him in his mouth and immediately left the scene living his jeep behind. Mr. Fortumah said he did not fight back but rather reported the situation to the Police and was later taken to hospital for medical attention.

The incident which occurred on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the ELWA Junction drew the attention of several passersby who expressed disbelief over Wallace's alleged action.

He added that since that incident, Mr. Wallace has shown little sense of remorse, but has chosen to remain quite aggressive to him and his lawyer. He alleged that Mr. Wallace has committed himself to paying his medical bill and to replace his broken tooth with plastic, something he totally detests.

Officers of the Liberia National Police at the Zone-3 Depot in Congo Town charged Mr. Wallace with crime of "aggravated assault" and he is expected to appear in court this week.

When contacted, Mr. Wallace, an ICT consultant at the Foreign Ministry, said "I am not aware of any incident of such and I did nothing wrong. You can go ahead and publish whatever you wish."

Recently, an AFL soldier stabbed a motorcyclist in Gbarnga, Bong County. The situation sparked public protest among motorcyclists claiming the attention of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and other government officials who had gone to attend the Vision 2030 Conference in central Liberia.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fortumah has said he has already informed the Ministry of National Defense on the matter. He said as a trained soldier, he will do nothing to violate the rights of any Liberian, but will rather seek redress through the legal process.

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