It was reported this week that about a dozen BDF soldiers and officers will receive reprimands for their actions or lack of action in the disappearance of some 2,000 rounds of ammunition stolen from the BDF Camp at Price Barracks.
By now there is no doubt that the robbery was an inside job. Only a few men knew that the ammunition had arrived and where it was being stored. It would have been difficult for someone on the outside to have this kind of information. It would have been impossible for someone on the outside to break in and steal that quantity of ammunition without the knowledge and collaboration of the sentries and night officers on duty.
The robbery marks a serious breach of security, and points to a shocking lapse of military discipline and morale.
On a relatively small military base such as Price Barracks it is impossible to keep a secret. Somebody must know something; yet no one is talking!
No one among the dozen men identified is willing to uphold the honour and dignity of an organization they have pledged to serve and defend with their lives!
It suggests that there is serious dry rot with the men of the military.
There was a time when the men and women of Belize looked up to our military with pride. We regarded them as our heroes in times of stress and disaster. There are still many honourable men and women in the BDF, but this bare-faced robbery has caused a dark cloud to settle over all.
It is up to the honest men and women of the BDF to help solve the riddle of the missing bullets. Only they can restore their organization to its place of honour and prestige.
It should not be difficult to find out who were responsible for this foul deed. “Birds of a feather flock together”, we say. They cannot hide from a discerning eye. We believe that sooner rather than later the guilty parties will be caught out and exposed.
We want to say here that a military reprimand will not be enough for those who are guilty. Civilians get long jail sentences for illegal ammunition. It should be the same for members of the military who disgrace themselves and the organization to which they belong and from which they derive their sustenance.