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Thursday, June 20, 2024

LIBERIANS DESCEND ON ARMY CHIEF FOR “PEOPLE WANT HIM TO OVERTHROW PRES. WEAH” RANT

Date:

Liberia’s army chief Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, has come under strong criticism from segments of the Liberian society for his recent revelation that people have been calling on him to overthrow President George Weah.

In a recent radio interview, General Johnson said, he has received several social media messages to use the void created by the long absence of President Weah from the country to overthrow him.

Former Assistant Information Minister, Samuel Worzie said: “The army chief of staff lied.”

Writing on his social media, the former government official said, the real fact of the matter is that the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia  General Prince C. Johnson lied. Nobody asked him to stage a coup d’etat.

He said General Johnson wants to overthrow the Government but it’s just that no way to do it because of his poor relationship with army officers.

He said he can proof his statement. Worzie urged General Johnson not to use the uniformed defense infrastructure to intimidate democracy.

Mr. S. Karweaye urged political neutrality, “keep the Armed Forces of Liberia out of politics.”

Karweaye, a political commentator said the old teaching and the military philosophy in Libera have always been that the military should have nothing to do with law enforcement duties unless the situation reaches a stage where the civil power can no longer contain it.

Karweaye writes that the National Defense Act of 2008 re-emphasized that military philosophy where Section 2.3(e) says “the duties of the AFL in peacetime shall include support to the national law enforcement agencies when such support is requested and approved by the President.

Such support shall include the exchange of information, personnel training, and mobilization and deployment of security contingents. At no time during peacetime, however, shall the AFL engage in law enforcement within Liberia, such a function being the prerogative of the Liberia National Police and other law enforcement agencies.

Notwithstanding, the Military Police of the AFL may, on request of the Ministry of Justice made to the Ministry of National Defense, and approved by the President of Liberia, provide assistance to these law enforcement agencies as determined by prevailing situations. The AFL shall intervene only as a last resort when the threat exceeds the capability of the law enforcement agencies to respond.”

Another Liberian who identified himself as ‘Strong Ghana Pekin’ writes: Dear General Prince Johnson recently, you have been making statements that are unjustified, uncalled for, and direct threats to the peaceful citizens of Liberia.

Lest you forget, he said, a fundamental part of our constitution allows for a peaceful assembly of citizens.

“I will go further by clarifying that those assemblies mentioned in the constitution include non-violent protests of any kind.

“Your most recent statement warning citizens about the 2023 General Elections points to some planned malpractices where you will be called upon to use the Armed Forces of Liberia to quell any protest from the opposition when results are announced. Furthermore, your statement also shows some political alignment on your part, as the AFL does not issue statements about political occurrences until the force is requested as a backup to assist other security agencies in time of chaos.”

He indicated that instead of commenting on elections that are still months away, why don’t you comment on the lack of funds and availability of benefits for the army to keep it functioning the right way?

He reminds General Johnson that many of his officers and soldiers who are “my friends have confided in me that you are even afraid to go to Schefflin barracks these days because soldiers are disenchanted. The soldiers in Mali on the peacekeeping mission have not received their pay and benefits for months. Local army personnel are either not receiving pay on time, or are angry about the amounts they are receiving. There are no adequate benefits for the army, yet, you don’t comment or make public statements on that”

As things stand in the AFL, you should be more concerned about a mutiny occurring than worrying about citizens who have the right to voice their disenchantments at any given time, he told Johnson.

For his part, Aaron Yeah called for the immediate dismissal of General Johnson. He indicated that the army chief has a motive for his reckless statement.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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