11 January 2013

Liberia: Another AFL Brutality in Bong County

Report from Bong County says a soldier of the Armed Forces of Liberia has severely flogged an ambulance driver assigned at the Phebe Hospital in Suakoko, outside Gbarnga. The victim, Mulbah Singbeh, is said to have received several kicks and punches from the army officer.

Speaking to the New Dawn from his bed at the Phebe Hospital, Mulbah narrated that while he was in the ambulance driving from Palala to the Phebe Hospital, he slowed down due to potholes on the road at which time he heard a wild break check from behind involving a convoy of three army trucks coming from Nimba County.

He said despite heading on an emergency to get a patient, he decided to go off the road to give chance to the three trucks, but the driver of the second truck stopped and dragged him from out of the vehicle, querying him why he had to abruptly slow down before their convoy.

Mulbah said the driver of the truck, a soldier, kicked and slapped him several times, while his colleagues stood and watched the assault, adding that as his boss tried appealing to the soldiers, he was told to distance himself from their action.

"My boss told them we were going for a patient to take to the hospital for treatment, but they said they didn't care" he stated.

The victim narrated that he does not remember the specific officer, who flogged him on Wednesday, but can remember some of the officers, who were on the three trucks. He said he was feeling pain in his legs and his whist and needed serious medical attention.

Although the soldiers, who were said to be in the convoy, are not based at the Camp Tubman Military Barracks on the outskirt of Gbarnga, but soldiers at the barracks, had on several occasions brutalized peaceful citizens.

The latest of such brutality occurred in late November involving a soldier at the Tubman Barrack and a commercial motorcyclist, who was stabbed multiple times and later admitted at the Phebe Hospital.

The incident subsequently led to street riot by commercial bike riders in Gbarnga, who erected roadblocks, forcing the Special Representative of Secretary General of the United Nations here and 10 other foreign envoys, who were on their way to attend the closing ceremony of the Vision 2030 National Conference in Gbarnga to return to Monrovia.

Although Defense Ministry authorities in Monrovia promised to investigate the incident and bring the soldier involved to justice, not much has been heard since the attack. Phebe Hospital in Suakoko has condemned the attack by soldiers on the ambulance driver.

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