Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Maltreatment in Liberia

Two service members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) took an unorthodox approach to crime prevention. The officers paraded and stripped with an accused motorcycle thief through the main streets of Gbarnga. 

In response to the abuses committed during the two Liberian civil wars, the reconstituted AFL has focused on protecting human rights.  So while the officers took this unusual tack to punish thievery, the AFL took steps to protect their professional military. The AFL expelled the officers for the good of the service and for conduct not in keeping with the AFL's standards. Despite the calls from human rights groups to prosecute the officers, the AFL appears to have decided the misconduct did not warrant criminal convictions or jail time.

It also appears some lower ranking service members were given non-judicial punishment for participating in the thief's maltreatment. The piece cites Article 15 of the Liberian Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) as the basis for that punishment, which suggests the Liberian military has copied sections of the United States' UCMJ; an observation noted previously on this blog

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