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AFL must remain committed

Liberia’s Justice Minister Benedict F. Sannoh has urged officers and personnel of the Arm Forces of Liberia or AFL to remain committed to the country and its people.

Minister Sannoh said the AFL has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the constitutional intent that “the army be held in exact subordination to civil authority and governed by it’.

Speaking at a Symposium on the theme: “Military Support to Civil Authorities: the way forward”,  as part of the activities marking this year’s observation of the 58th Armed Forces Day, the Justice Minister noted that since the end of the Liberian conflict, significant progress has been made in training and establishing a true professional army.

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He further congratulated Lieutenant General Daniel Dee Ziankan for his ascendency to the post of Chief of Staff of the AFL.

He noted that he considers last year’s WestPoint incidence as a demonstration of the AFL’s commitment to respecting human rights, the rule of law and zero tolerance for impunity, which inspires him to say that the “AFL of today is not the AFL of yesterday”. Cllr. Sannoh encouraged the Defence Minister and Chief of Staff to stay conscious.

The Minister said  the military support to civilian authorities depended not only on the legal mandate, but also on the extent to which the mandate of the force can be allowed with the national priorities consistent with the agenda for change, while significant progress was being made in expending security and peace, reviving economic activities and strengthening Governance and the rule of law.

The Liberia Frontier Force became the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) in 1962, but the civil war, which started in 1989 and lasted for some fourteen years, tore it apart.

By Rewina Juduh

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