Admitting for the first time that soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) were responsible for last year’s shooting incident in the slum Community of West Point that resulted in the death of young Shaki Kamara, the Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai Jr., has openly apologized to the family of the deceased and West Pointers as a whole.Minister Samukai’s apology was made in his statement before an array of government officials led by CIC President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the full hierarchy of the AFL, the diplomatic corps and other foreign dignitaries, and hundreds of citizens who attended the Armed Forces Day program at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia yesterday.Last August a contingent of soldiers assigned to West Point to help manage efforts to quarantine that community to avoid the spread of the virus, got into a confrontation with residents who tried to resist the quarantine.In the melee that ensued, 16 year old Shaki Kamara was shot in the leg and bled to death of his bullet wounds. One other person was taken to the hospital for treatment for a bullet that pierced his abdomen.Following the shooting incident the AFL came under intense public criticism for its contentious first interaction with the public, particularly at the time of the Ebola outbreak in the country.There was initial denial by the Ministry of Defense who claimed Shaki’s wounds were caused by barbed wire.An investigation conducted by a board of inquiry set up by CIC, President Sirleaf, linked a few soldiers to the commission of the crime, accusing them of ‘illegal discharge of fire arms’ among civilian population. But there were no recommendations to reprimand those soldiers or their commander who were found culpable. Minister Samukai in his apology yesterday explained that during the deployment of the AFL to support the quarantining of West Pointers, “a very unfortunate incident occurred in which Shaki Kamara was shot in the leg, and subsequently bled to death.” “We apologize for this loss, and upon your orders we have taken the necessary After Action Review, and punitive measures to avoid a recurrence.”Minister Samukai did not name those responsible for the shooting or disclose in yesterday’s statement what punitive measures had been taken against them and any compensation awarded to Shaki’s family for their loss. Family members of Shaki are yet to comment on the statement of apology made by Minister Samukai yesterday. President Sirleaf had on previous occasions made a similar apology to the family on behalf of her government. Meanwhile in his Armed Forces Day statement, Minister Samukai said that the AFL had collaborated with the joint security in deploying in seven of the 15 counties during the height of the Ebola epidemic last year, and participated in efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
April 16, 2003WORKSHOP 3: Welcome to the workshop that started on April 13. 2003: [top from left] Noel Lavaud for the seminar week only, Dave Puritz and Robert Clyde. [bottom from left] Diana Bolander, Sarah Beth Kurzhals and Bethany Erfourth. [Photo & Text: sa]
Mediaset may move to consolidate its Spanish operation as the first step of a strategy to create a pan-European TV powerhouse, according to Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore.According to the newspaper, the Italian broadcaster is mulling a plan to acquire the 48.4% of Mediaset España that it does not already own as the first step towards creating a consolidated pan-European broadcaster.Shares in Mediaset España, which controls leading commercial channels Telecinco and Cuatro, rose on the news.The latest report of plans to consolidate the Spanish outfit follow a similar report by Bloomberg last September that also saw Mediaset España’s share price rise, but which was denied by Mediaset.According to Il Sole 24 Ore, the acquisition of Mediaset España could be followed by moves to establish a pan-European powerhouse, possibly with German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 and France’s TF1.Mediaset already has a relationship with those two broadcasters in the shape of the European Media Alliance, created four years ago to foster closer collaboration between European broadcasters in the face of enhanced threats from digital players such as Netflix and Amazon.The latest report of Mediaset’s interest in its Spanish operation came as Morgan Stanley published a note revising its price target for the broadcaster downwards in the light of a need for additional investment to combat the threat presented by digital players and an ongoing softening of the European advertising market. According to Morgan Stanley, the broadcasters most immediately impacted by the combination of a need to make substantial investment and the advertising downturn are Mediaset and its putative German partner ProSiebenSat.1.Mediaset VP and CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi last year said that the broadcaster was working on a plan to forge an alliance with other European broadcasters, with it taking a leading role. Berlusconi specifically ruled out working with French media giant and Canal+ owner Vivendi. The latter had been Mediaset’s preferred partner for a pan-European strategy until the pair spectacularly fell out over Vivendi’s withdrawal from an agreement to purchase Mediaset Premium in 2016.