The Ministry of National Defense says its attention has been drawn to the Thursday, June 22, edition of the New Democrat Newspaper under the banner headline “Brumskine’s ‘Zogos’ Army”.
In the article published, the paper quoted Liberty Party Standard Bearer Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine as saying: “We will use the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as a vehicle to assist with the development of our country.
We will establish auxiliary units, such as the Agriculture Battalion, the Engineering Battalion, and the Medical, in which Zogos and other troubled youth, as well as average young Liberians, who may so desire, to be trained as carpenters, painters, masons, electricians, plumbers, farmers, among others.”
But the Ministry of National Defense in a press release issued recently says it totally disagrees with any and all future Commanders-In-Chief, who harbor the desire of conducting political recruitment of “Zogos” or criminals into the Armed Forces of Liberia.
According to the Ministry, such action on the part of any future leader has the propensity to summarily dampen the professional content of the military and that it points to a deliberate breach of the legal requirements for eligibility for service in the AFL and the method of recruitment as articulated in sections 7.2 and 7.3 of the New National Defense Act.
It continues that additionally, applicants have to be approved by the Joint Personnel Board, comprising one representative each from the Civil Society, the U.S. Government, and the United Nations Mission in Liberia and chaired by the Minister of National Defense.
The Ministry says it views the call for recruiting Zogos into the AFL by the political leader of the Liberty Party as a flagrant disservice to the efforts of the United Nations, Economic Community of West African States as well as other bilateral partners, particularly the United States Government, which have over the years invested both human and material resources aimed at creating a professional, properly trained and equipped security apparatus that is apolitical and subordinated to the Constitution of Liberia.