Cogent report reaching the Insight news desk indicates that more than a dozen individuals recruited for enlistment into the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), have escaped from the AFL training camp in Todee, rural Montserrado County.
A well-place and unimpeachable security source hinted this paper that the training being carried out for the recruits is not only intense but also difficult, a situation that makes several of the trainees to abandon the training camp for unknown destinations.
According to our source, some of the recruits have sustained various forms of injury during the training.
The hinted further that those who escaped from the training camp are being searched for plainclothes security personnel who have been posted in several locations.
It is however not clear why the escapees are being traced.
At least one of the escaped recruits who made contact with the Insight on condition of anonymity said that he is afraid that he could be harmed for escaping the training base.
According to the recruit, prior to the commencement of the ongoing training, they (recruits) were warned that should any of them absconds from the base, such person(s) would face severe consequences because the training was crucial to augmenting the strength of the AFL as peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) prepare to leave the country by September 2016.
Asked by the INSIGHT why he decided to escape from the base in face of such warning, the escapee said he and others could not stand the training any longer because many of the recruits were sustaining serious injuries.
He told the Insight that he fears that the accidents which have been taking place during training exercises could sooner or later become fatal as the training progresses, therefore, he thought it prudent to leave the training base before anything happen to him.
“Our action was indeed a precautionary measure,” the recruit further told the INSIGHT.
The recruitment into the new AFL has been characterized by defections, thus contributing to the slow pace of augmenting the number of its personnel which is estimated to about 2,000.
When the Insight yesterday contacted through a mobile phone, Assistant Minister of National Defense (MOD) for Public Affairs, David Dahn, for comment, he confirmed that some recruits have escaped from the Camp Todee military training base.
Defense Spokesman Dahn, however, debunked claims that the training being administered at Camp Todee was extra intensive, saying that the AFL training is in line with standard military training that armies around the world undergo.
Minister Dahn asserted that the information given by the recruit that he escaped because he could not ‘cope with the training’ was true because it is not everyone who goes to base are able to pass all of the training components.
He mentioned that recruits who fail to pass the marksman tests among others are often dropped from the class.
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