The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is probing two of its soldiers for allegedly beating a teenage boy in Sergeant Kollie Town in Suakoko District, Bong County on December 4, 2015, leaving him unconscious.
The incident took place when the victim, Ruben Wennah, along with two of his peers, took from the hood of a car a leftover biscuit belonging to the officers.
In a statement issued by UNMIL’s Officer-in-charge and Deputy SRSG for Political and Rule of Law, Waldemar Vrey, the incident was reported to UNMIL weeks later.
“The mission takes the allegations seriously and has dispatched a preliminary fact-finding team led by the force Provost Marshall – the highest ranking member of the military police,” the statement said.
The statement described the boy’s condition as “moderately serious” and said UNMIL had transferred him to the JFK Hospital in Monrovia for advanced treatment.
The statement also called on “all parties to remain calm and cooperate with the investigation team to establish the facts” in Bong County.
But speaking to a team of journalists from his hospital bed recently, Wennah explained that around the Christmas season, he and his friends had gone to the CARI Water Plant, an isolated area where the soldiers are assigned, to look for food.
He said upon arrival, they saw a piece of biscuit on the hood of an UNMIL vehicle and decided to take it.
According to Wennah, it was at that juncture that the UNMIL soldiers grabbed and flogged him until he became unconscious.
He said when he was taken from the Water Plant to the nearby town, he was afraid to explain his ordeal to his parents and kept it to himself, but later explained the story to his parents after he got seriously ill and was taken to the hospital.