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General Power Threatens Formation of Kru Defense Force

first_imgFlashback: Ex-rebel General Power (a.k.a. Augustine Nagbe) leads riot police and government sympathizers to rescue Freedom FM, following the shutdown of Roots FM.…Says, “I will organize the Kru people to defend Pres. Weah”Augustine Nagbe, alias “General Power,” who is named in the True and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report as  the rebel fighter who forced a woman at gunpoint in the West Point community, outside Monrovia, to eat a whole can of human feces (Pupu), has promised to organize the Kru ethnic group to defend President George Weah.President Weah is also a member of the Kru ethnic group, who hails from Grand Kru county, Southeastern LiberiaGeneral Power added, “I don’t trust personnel of the state security, therefore, I will form a Kru Defense Force to protect ethnic Krus and the President.”The notorious ex-general, on a local radio talk show in Monrovia on Thursday, November 21, 2019, threatened that his ethnic group will form a force that would rise in defense of President Weah if anyone tries to attack him.Gen. Power, who boasted of being a proud Kru man, said he is prepared to use his military training to defend the Kru people, who include President Weah.Though a top source in the National Security Agency (NSA) has confided in the Daily Observer that General Power is the Deputy Director of the agency, he denied working with the government.General Power said he is a Kru warrior, and does not care how anybody takes his position, but said inasmuch as there is a Kru man in power, “I will not allow people to talk to him anyhow.” He maintained that: “President Weah is the Commander-in-Chief of Liberia, so I will defend him, and if anybody tries to molest him, the way they had Lofa Defense Force, you will see the Kru Defense Force.”Up to the publication of this story, the government was yet to react to Power’s threat.In a statement on social media, Representative J. Fonati Koffa of Grand Kru County District #2 had this to say: “I feel compelled in no uncertain terms to condemn my kinsman whose nom de guerre is General Power and urge him to cease and desist from talks of urban militarism. Similarly i condemn all those engaged in incendiary rhetoric in the name of free speech. The Liberian state and people have endured much. Our common challenges must be faced with clasped hands one to another, not clutched fists.”The Lofa Defense ForceHis mention of the erstwhile Lofa Defense Force (LDF) brings to mind the formation of the LDF, which was a rebel group that participated in the Liberian Civil War. It was a local group that crossed the northern border from Guinea to attack armed positions, mostly those of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy-Kromah faction (ULIMO-K) in early 1994.The LDF was led by Francois Massaquoi, Taylor’s Minister of Youth and Sports, and was formed in 1993.  Massaquoi was from the Lorma ethnic group. The LDF was estimated to have 750 combatants, mainly drawn from within Lofa County and the Lorma ethnic group. Their mission was to protect their Lorma villages from being attacked and looted by armed bands of ULIMO’s ethnic Mandingo fighters. Francois Massaquoi died April 16, 2001, reportedly from gunshot wounds after the helicopter he was flying in came under fire in the troubled northern border region of Lofa county. There were unconfirmed reports at the time that Massaquoi was allegedly shot at close range by General Momo Geebah otherwise known as “Bulldog”. Jibah has since denied the claim.The Liberia Peace CouncilAnother rebel faction, the Liberia Peace Council (LPC), was a group that participated in the Liberian Civil War under the leadership of George Boley, now an elected lawmaker in the 54th Legislature.The LPC emerged in 1993, partly as a proxy force for the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), which was then factionalized. It made substantial gains against the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) in southeastern Liberia, vying for control of commercial operations in timber and rubber.A predominantly ethnic Krahn organization, it drew supporters from the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) and the AFL, but also from other ethnic groups, who suffered under NPFL occupation.It had about 2,500 militants in its ranks. Like all groups that participated in the civil war, the LPC committed serious human rights abuses, including murder, torture, and looting, particularly of some major investment facilities around the Roberts International Airport (RIA), including facilities of EXCHEM, a multi foreign investment, in an effort to terrorize and depopulate rural areas held by the NPFL. LPC did not only loot or vandalize the company’s facilities, but killed its general manager, Sanford Dennis, Jr., and his production supervisor, Mark Williams.In a related development , General Power had earlier, in response to a story written in the Daily Observer’s October 11th edition, Captioned: “General Power” Leads Roots FM Shutdown, denied any involvement in the closure of the radio station, though he was captured in a photo being heavily protected by plain-clothed security agents during the closure of the radio station, which is owned by Henry Pedro Costa, a fierce critic of the government.Gen. Power, who was captured on video instructing the LNP to violently take the radio off air for “violating section 15 of the Telecommunications Act of 2007, and Chapter 11 section 11.2(d) of the criminal procedure law,” was himself reportedly removing some broadcast equipment, while ordering the police to arrest on sight anyone  making an attempt to defend the station.His action caused a police officer to respond angrily, saying, “Whose instructions are we following today, because our bosses came and told us to do different things, while other people bring different instructions with their own securities protecting them, some of whom we do not even know.”Gen. Power claimed that the station was operating without a valid license as well as illegally using its broadcast equipment to tarnish the good character of the government and its officials.The ex-general declared that  Henry P. Costa, manager of Roots FM, cannot keep using the station to incite citizens against the government while operating illegally.He said if Costa keeps insulting the President and preaching hate massages, “I, Gen. Power, will arrest him to bear the full weight of the law because Liberia is not a lawless country.” Power’s statement was greeted with mixed reactions from curious onlookers, some of whom scolded him while others, mainly government supporters, applauded him.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Stabroek Wharf vendors to be relocated next Friday

first_imgStabroek Wharf vendors who will have to relocate their businesses because of the partial collapse of the structure will be taking up positions within the barricaded Route 42 bus park in the Stabroek Market Square as of next Friday.This decision taken by the Georgetown City Council was reportedly communicated to the vendors sometime last week via notice.According to the document seen by this publication, an inspection was conducted two weeks ago by Chief City Engineer Colvern Venture, who inked in his report that the sixth section of the wharf was uninhabitable and unsuitable to accommodate vending activities.The vendors were also thus notified: “Failure to remove from the said stelling when stipulated will result in lawful measures being employed to ensure your [theThe dilapidated roofvendors’] compliance.”Further, vendors were reminded that continued occupation of the wharf could prove detrimental; thus their compliance is essential.When Guyana Times on Wednesday visited the area which has been identified for the relocation, works were in progress to prepare the area for the vendors. This included the erection of concrete structures to demarcate the zones for operation.One of the vendors told this publication that they had, for many months, waited for action to be taken to fix the wharf, and are hoping that works would be completed in a timely manner. He added that vagrants are occupying the wharf both during the day and at night, making it unsafe for vendors to house their goods.Moreover, the vendor said, the presence of vagrants at the wharf further degrades the aesthetics of the shopping area, and customers are afraid to venture into the area.“It good that we just got to wait a couple more days till we get to go out there, cause they say is next week on the paper; but I hope is that, cause you get a set of junkie and all kinda things happening at the back here. So is good if they can doA section of the unsafe flooring of the wharfthe works and get we back here in a better state,” the vendor expressed.It was reported since June 2016 that Town Clerk Royston King had declared the commencement of works after the Council had received word from the Public Infrastructure Ministry to go ahead with the project.Nevertheless, in November of 2017, the works were still pending, and this publication was informed that to facilitate rehabilitation of the wharf, vendors would be relocated to the west of the Parliament Building following the removal of the Island Snackette and Pizzeria. According to City Hall, the expectation was to transfer vendors there by the end of November 2017.At that time, the budget for the complete refurbishment of the wharf was pegged at some $400 million. After the repairs, the section of the market which faces the Demerara River would be converted into a mall, inclusive of a boardwalk and entertainment areas. If the ideas are approved by the vendors, they would be required to pay a larger sum of money to rent sections of the new building.Over the years, more than 300 vendors were situated at the wharf, but the number dwindled following insecurities posed by the deteriorating structure. (Rupadai Seenaraine)last_img read more