Liberia: Ex-Soldiers' Muster Gets Poor Attendance

18 November 2019

The leadership of the disbanded soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) failed to gather the much publicized 15,000 members for a general muster held on Friday, 15 November, following weeks of creating panic among residents of Monrovia.Capt. Jerry Kollie, one of the officials of the disbanded soldiers, presented to the Chairman of the ex-soldiers at least 1,000.00 men instead of the 15,000.00 he had boasted of during the weeks of publicity here.In the midst of the muster was the presence of a batch of riot officers from the Liberia National Police (LNP), which appears to pose some fears into the ex-soldiers attending the muster.

Ex-soldiers could be heard complaining why the police in battle gears should flood the premises of the Slipway Football field, the venue of the general muster.

Having fear that something might spark up, many of the ex-soldiers began leaving the filed in small groups with others standing along the Gabriel Tucker Bridge to observe from distance what might unfold.There were mixed reactions and mixed feelings among the ex-soldiers, as most of them wondered why their leadership rushed with the muster without allowing them to be present in spite the huge spending on transportation that they had to go through for muster.

Ex-soldiers Prince Y. Johnson (now Nimba Senator), George Boley and Alfred G. Koiwood, ignored the purported order issued by Capt. Jerry Kollie for their appearance for the muster.

It was also noticed that while more ex-soldiers were arriving at the venue for the muster, their officials were leaving the field without any proper information dissemination to keep the arriving ex-soldiers updated on the situation.Other ex-soldiers who were angry about the manner in which things went, proceeded to their (ex-soldiers') office on Carey Street to ascertain from the leadership the next date that the muster will be reconvened.

Meanwhile, ex-soldiers living with disabilities have threatened to boycott any other general muster to be convened because they do not have free money to lavish on a worthless venture.

The ex-soldiers expressed disappointment as they could not see the Minister of States for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill who was expected to deliver a special message from President George Manneh Weah.

Dozens of ex-soldiers who had gathered at two other locations, the D. Tweh and Saye Town Football Fields saw no official from the ex-soldiers to address them on whether there was a muster held.After waiting for hours without any signs of progress, the ex-soldiers started leaving their respective locations with mixed feeling.

Earlier, the ex-soldiers' co-chairman for administration, Capt. Jerry Kollie says they are giving the government the benefit of the doubt to see its seriousness about resolving the issue of their benefits.He says upon President Weah's return to the country, the ex-soldiers would re-convene.

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