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West Kingston Enquiry: JDF ex-boss authorised some soldiers to wear masks

Published:Monday | June 22, 2015 | 6:10 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Retired army chief Stewart Saunders has revealed that he authorised the use of masks by some soldiers who participated in the May 2010 operations in Tivoli Gardens.

Saunders said the masks he authorised partially covered the faces of the soldiers who wore them and explained that this was done to protect their identities.

Residents of the west Kingston community testified, at the start of the enquiry, that some members of the security force wore masks during the operation.

Testifying before the west Kingston commission of enquiry this morning, Major General Saunders noted that the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) recruit from all communities across the island, including Tivoli Gardens.

And he says the army does not discriminate when persons were being selected to go out on operations.

"The purpose of wearing the masks was to protect their own identities," he sought to explain.