Tears Drop - Widows Cry for Death Benefits

By: Lewis K. Glay

Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted December 7, 2005


Despondent widows of deceased Armed Forces of Liberia soldiers have again taken to the streets to demand their husbands’ benefits from government.

Yesterday, the widows were enroute to the Executive Mansion to meet with Chairman Gyude Bryant in protest of what they termed as deliberate attempt by government to deny them the just benefits of their late husbands who died on active duties.

The spokesperson of the widows, Esther Myers told journalists yesterday in front of the Ministry of Labour that they were peacefully marching to the Mansion to seek clarification on statements allegedly made by Chairman Bryant to Vice Chairman Wesley Johnson that “certain article” prohibits rendering such compensation to the widows.

She claimed that at the time they visited the mansion recently, Vice Chairman Johnson told them that in the government’s own way, at least 20 or 25 USD would be given to each widow in good faith.

Madam Myers however argued that their husbands, during their services rendered to the nation, were insured and used to pay for their insurance in US dollars as such, they were entitled to US 1,500.00 each instead of 20 or 25 USD as proposed by Chairman Bryant on voluntary basis.

She said they were suffering and their children were out of school, while the government was very insensitive to their plight, adding “they told us that Daniel Chea was the hold on but he has signed our paper, yet still they don’t want to give us our benefits”.

The widows who were in the hundreds were blocked by the Liberia National Police , backed by UNMIL civilian police in front of the Ministry of Labor as a way of preventing the widows from marching to the Executive Mansion.

The protestors said they were prepared to pay the price for their action if it meant to be killed to follow their husbands whose benefits they have continued to secure.

Before the issue of restructuring the AFL commenced this year, the widows have been advocating for benefits due their fallen husbands but they are yet to overcome the struggle.

© 2005: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved. Forum can reached at: Forum@theperspective.org