Minneapolis, MN: The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) says it is bothered by recent news reports emanating from Liberia regarding the joint security and the Liberia National Police (LNP) confiscation of a consignment of deadly weapons and ammunition at the National Port Authority (NPA) in Monrovia.
On January 6, 2023, the LNP reportedly confiscated 15 deadly weapons including AK-47s and long rifles in a container shipped to Liberia, West Africa, by a US based Liberian.
Addressing a news conference in Monrovia, the LNP’s Inspector General, Patrick Sudue, displayed a number of military grade arms and ammunition which he said were discovered in several boxes loaded onto a container and shipped through the Freeport of Monrovia where they were confiscated.
Inspector Sudue named a number of individuals connected to the illegal importation including Barbra Debbra of the Old Road Community and Boye Benjamin Baker, a resident of Texas, the United States. Additional weapons were also, reportedly seized from Mr. Baker’s home in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.
ALJA in a press release issued on Friday, January 12, described the reports of the arms and ammunition seizure as disturbing and appalling. The Association said given Liberia’s ugly past mainly the 14 years civil wars that devasted the lives of tens of thousands of people, properties, and the displacement of thousands of people internally and externally, it is traumatizing for Liberians to be confronted with such news.
“ALJA says with barely ten months to Liberia’s 2023 Presidential and General elections, the country cannot afford any crisis that will distract from this all-important goal of building upon the democratic gains that the country has made since the cessation of the civil crisis.
The Association said while it commends the security forces for this seizure, it also recognizes the skepticism with which many Liberians have received this report given the Joint security forces checkered history and the perception that it operates as a partisan security apparatus”, ALJA release noted.
Meanwhile, ALJA is urging the Inspector General Sudue and the security apparatus to ensure that the investigation is conducted in a professional and transparent manner and the rights of all suspects are fully protected.
ALJA is a conglomeration of current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It is a 501c (3) non-profit organization. The Association was founded in 1998 with the objectives of advancing press freedom through media capacity building, and the fostering of good governance in Liberia through media advocacy