President Sirleaf Meets Deactivated Security Personnel

Monday, 13th November 2006
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf  listens keenly to deactivated security personnel
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf listens keenly to deactivated security personnel
Photo Credit: Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has met with a representative group of Deactivated Members of the Security Forces at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia. Tonight’s meeting, which lasted well over two hours, was attended by representatives of former soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Police, Special Security Service, as well as widows of former security personnel.

During the meeting, the Group called for direct intervention by the President to address their concerns, primary among which is the payment of benefits and other severance packages still due them by government.

In response, the President said a committee would be set up to look into their concerns, with a view of finding an amicable solution to the problem. The President assured the Deactivated Security personnel that government would respond to their concerns based on its resource capacity and in accordance with the law.

Today’s meeting with the Deactivated Members of the security forces was fruitful and constructive. A spokesman for the group, Retired Col. Narroson Kanyen, thanked President Sirleaf for the opportunity to meet and discuss issues affecting their wellbeing.

The Representatives dismissed as unfounded news reports of violent street protests and disturbances had they not been given the opportunity to meet with the President.   Col. Kanyen assured the President that the Deactivated Solders and security personnel will do nothing to undermine the peace and security Liberia now enjoys.

“This is the first time in their lifetime some of my children are seeing street lights,” a member of the delegation, Col. Philemon Harris acknowledged, lauding the President for restoring electricity to some parts of the city. “We are not going back to those days anymore; our children must stay in school; we want peace; we are only asking you, our Mother to do something about our plight,” Col. Harris pleaded passionately.

Thursday’s meeting was attending by Police Director Mona Sieh, SSS Director Chris Massaquoi; as well as representatives of the United Nations Military Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).