Yesterday, August 20, 2015, made it exactly one year since little Shakie Kamara was brutally killed in the slum community of West Point following Liberian Government’s efforts to quarantine the area at the epicenter of the Ebola virus outbreak.
Huge crowds of protesters attempted to surge through roadblocks imposed by members of the National Police and the Armed Forces of Liberia this subsequently led to the abrupt fire of ammunition into the air in order to subdue the crowd, which responded by throwing rocks and other projectiles that could be found.
Clashes between rioters and local police led to injuries on both sides, with little Shakie Kamara, 15-year-old who suffered a gunshot wound and taken to a local medical center later died.
The West Point slum community has about 50,000 inhabitants, report said was the center of devastating Ebola outbreak, citizens and residents of the township during the outbreak of the virus rushed into a disease screening center amid concerns that the Liberian government was transporting individuals from other areas of Monrovia who were stricken by Ebola into West Point.
The West Point quarantine was the Liberian leader’s latest attempt to slow the spread of Ebola, which has killed thousands of people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone during its outbreak, according to the World Health Organization.
Following the death of little Shakie Kamara, a Disciplinary Board of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) found a Platoon Commander and four enlisted men guilty of the August 20, 2014 shooting incident in the Township of West Point.
According to a report, Platoon Commander Lieutenant Aloysius Quaye was held responsible for ‘poorly assessing the situation and acting contrary to the behavior expected of a military leader’ in the reformed AFL.
The statement said Quaye should have ‘shown efficient command and handle simple crowd control as an experienced and well-trained military officer.’
According to a government statement read by Information Minister Lewis G. Brown on national radio Sunday, Quaye also failed to follow proper discretion in selecting personnel to fire warning shots.
Consequently, Lieutenant Quaye was found guilty of violating Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), regarding unbecoming conduct of an officer or gentleman and guilty of Article 92-C of the UCMJ regarding dereliction in the performance of duty.
Accordingly, Quaye’s rank has been reduced to the lowest rank permissible under the category of the accused, two years loss of seniority with consequential effects, and 30 days correctional custody, 30 days detention and forfeiture of two or three months’ salary and a letter of severe reprimand.
Additionally, four enlisted personnel of the AFL were found guilty of various offences of the UCMJ.
They include Corporal Mulbah Timothy, violation of Article 128 of the UCMJ regarding assault and arbitrary use of force; Corporal Flomo Anthony, violation of Article 128 of the UCMJ regarding assault and arbitrary use of force as well as Article 134 regarding threat in communicating.
Others are Corporal Toure Patrick violation of Article 107 of the UCMJ regarding making false statements and Private First Class Salebia Moses, violation of Article 107 of the UMCJ regarding making false statement.
In a related development, the United States Ambassador accredited to Liberia in press statement blamed the West Point Shooting on Lack of Communication.
In the statement, Ambassador, Deborah Malac, has blamed the August shooting incident in WestPoint on the lack of proper communication.
She said what transpired in WestPoint was “an unfortunate situation that happens around the world,” adding, “Similar incident recently occurred in Missouri, the United States, where a teenager got shot and killed.”
She made the statement Monday at the Capitol Building in response to a journalist’s question on whether the U.S. has confidence in the American-trained Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) after a shooting incident during the recent riot in WestPoint that left one person dead.
The U.S. envoy said though she has not gotten a copy of the report from the Board of Inquiry set up President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; she observed that personnel of the AFL were placed in a position they were not trained for.
According to Malac, the U.S. Army personnel will work in collaboration with personnel of the AFL by providing training support to them.
The management of GN N-Liberia pray that the family of the late little Shakie Kamara will be comforted by the Almighty God during their period of bereavement.