Flashback from similar protest in 2013
Flashback from similar protest in 2013: an angry widow carries a placard that explains her frustration

Dozens of aggrieved widows of former soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) on Tuesday (May 27) besieged the Capitol Building, the home of the National Legislature, in demand of the benefits of their late husbands.

The widows blocked the two entrances to the premises of the National Legislature, preventing the members of both houses of the Legislature as well as visitors from leaving the grounds of the Capitol Building for almost two hours.

The Chairperson of the widows, Esther Myers, told the Liberia News Agency that their action was prompted by Government’s failure to pay benefits owed them.

Two of the widows stripped themselves naked on the grounds of the Capital Building, a situation that made lawmakers and visitors to the legislature to run helter-skelter.

Madam Myers indicated that her colleagues did what they did out of frustration, because the government has failed to honor its commitment to them.

Although Madam Myers could not say how much the government owed the widows in benefits, she explained that the government paid some money to them in 2006 and promised to pay all of the benefits at a later date but has failed to do so.

The widows removed the road blocks from the two entrances to the Capitol Building following the intervention of Montserrado County Senators Geraldine Doe-Sheriff and Joyce Freeman-Sumo and Grand Gedeh County Representative Zoe Pennue.

The lawmakers assured the widows that they will ensure that appropriations are made in the 2014/2015 National budget to address the widows’ benefits issue. Meanwhile, a meeting has been scheduled between members of the National Legislature and the leadership of the widows for next week Thursday.

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