Upon the request of the house plenary which summoned Defense Minister Brownie Samukai in the wake to orders to evict residents of the 72nd Camp Ramrod Barracks, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has mandated the Deputy Minister for Operation, Joseph F. Johnson, to halt the eviction process until time indefinite.
Appearing at the house’s chamber yesterday Thursday April 28, 2017 in a regular Thursday session on behalf of Minister Samukai, Minister Johnson said the president as Commander in Chief of the Army has ordered a suspension of the eviction order until the end of a consultative meeting with security apparatus in the country. He noted that while it is true that the eviction will not take place May of this year, it does not mean that those occupying the site illegally will not be evicted. Meanwhile the house plenary has accepted the recent development and promised to work in line with the appropriate authorities. The honorable House of Representatives recently summoned National Defense Minister Brownie Samukai to give reason of an eviction order released on February 10, 2017 to force out all ex-disarmed military persons residing in the 72nd camp Ramrod Barracks along the Samuel K. Doe Boulevard. The house action was based on a communication sent by Honorable Thomas Fallah of District # 5 stating that he received a complaint letter from the ex-disarmed ATU personnel residing in that community for acknowledgment and timely intervention. Rep. Fallah in his communication noted that due to the peaceful preparation of election that is ongoing he prompted an urgent meeting with the minister including leadership of the ex-soldiers where he appealed for the eviction order to be deferred to January 2018. According to him, Minister Samukai requested that because of the urgent need of accommodation for soldiers of the ALF, some units within the barracks be made available. With immediate effect, Rep. Fallah said 12 units were made available to the National Defense authority in keeping with their request. “Regrettably, to our utmost surprise, the outcomes of that meeting were negated by Minister Samukai without informed consent,” he stated. Rep. Fallah pointed out that indeed it is necessarily compelling, as well it seeks to evoke the rule of law which according to him has to do with government serving as a custodian of peace and stability in the country. “This in my wisdom speaks to the fact that we as policy makers are under obligation to protect our citizens from unwarranted physical or mental distress, maltreatment, or deprivation of civil liberty as Liberians,” he said. “In the context of informed consent, I would think that the decision to evict occupants from that area should have been done in line with the National Election Commission. The barracks is coded 30289 under NEC’s voter registration exercise,” he added. Rep. Fallah rationalized that an eviction order at this time will cause a mass displacement of prospective voters and children who are in schools.