Ex-AFL Soldiers Present 6-Count Petition To House

Former solders of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) Tuesday presented a six-count petition to the House of Representatives calling for improved benefits and another restructure of the national army.

In the petition, the ex-soldiers are calling for increment in their pension and resettlement benefits, including the provision of building materials, consistent with Article 5(a) of the National Defense Act of Liberia.

The former soldiers in a communication to the House of Representatives dated June 6, 2014, said the silence of the House of Representatives on their plight was making them vulnerable to death, hunger, sickness and abuse of their children.

The 2003 Accra Peace Accord called for the restructuring of the AFL, with the United States of America agreeing to play a role in the creation of a new Liberian army.

It assisted the National Transitional Government in re-documenting personnel of the armed forces in order to produce a database of personnel records and service history.

Scores of ex-soldiers were disbanded and paid US$540 each in accordance with Accra agreement, while those who qualified were recruited into the new Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

Following the reading of the communication, the lawmakers turned it over to the Committees on Claims, Petitions, Human Rights and Defense, for review with the mandate to advice plenary on the way forward in two weeks.