-Forces 41 PSU Officers On AWOL
By Esau J. Farr
Report from Gbarnga, Bong County speaks of the abandonment of duties and assignment of security officers assigned at the Regional Justice and Security Hub in the county.
According to a local journalist in the area, 41 officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) of the Liberia National police have left the hub to unknown locations citing hunger, lack of electricity, safe drinking and stipend.
The process or condition where a security or army personal deserts guard post or area of assignment is usually referred to as AWOL (Absent Without Leave) a situation the 41 PSU (LNP) officers now find themselves in.
Recently, it was reported that officers assigned at the justice and security hub were complaining about the shortage of food, electricity and safe drinking water thereby forcing many of them to leave the hub to go outside in search of food and other basic necessity and survival.
But, to add ‘insult to injury’, the officers are alleging that top authorities of the LNP owed them eleven (11) months arrears in stipend.
“For eleven months now, we have not received our regular monthly stipend,” a local journalist in the area quoted the escaping PSU officers as telling him.
The officers explained that as part of their operations, they take a regular monthly network tour scaring out criminals, a service for which they are entitled special stipends, but it has since seized to exist for almost one year.
The deserting of assignment by the 41 PSU officers from the Regional Justice and Security Hub is said to pose serious security concern in the area due to the high rate of criminal activities in the region.
The hub provides tours and security interventions to Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties.
The three counties have in recent years reported high number of several crimes ranging from armed robbery, rape, murder, domestic violent and kidnapping amongst others.