Troops of the Armed Forces of Liberia or AFL are gearing up for a new mission, this time in the south American state of Brazil, to undertake training in peacekeeping operations.
A platoon of AFL soldiers is currently on a United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in Mali on a rotational basis. Liberia has continued to enjoy relative peace since its more than two decades of civil war ended in 2003.
With the United States Government leading the training of the Liberian Army, troops of the AFL have continued to enjoy some high moral standards despite few desertions. Brazilian Ambassador to Liberia Andre Santos announced at a program marking his country 193rd, Independence Day celebration, a first of its kind here at a local hotel that plans were far advance for the departure of the soldiers.
The news come at the time there are Brazilian troops still here serving in the United Nations Mission in Liberia or UNMIL. The exact number of AFL troops is that would participate in this mission is yet unknown as calls placed at the Defense Ministry could not be return.
Defense Ministry spokesman David Dahn told this paper that he was contacting headquarters to get back to this paper on Tuesday. But an hour later he cancelled all followed up calls that were placed on his phone.
Amb. Santos says the Liberian troops will have the opportunity to establish connections, as he hopes for a greater opportunity in 2016 to advance that connection. He applauded the existing relationship between both countries (Liberia and Brazil) saying it is excellent but added that there are still lots needed to be done in the cooperation sector.
Amb. Santos commended President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for her recent letter to members of the Liberian Legislature to propose appropriate amendments to the Constitution that will undo the racist clause in the Liberian constitution and allow any human being who meets the standards and the nation’s naturalization laws to become a citizen of Liberia irrespective race.
Touching the the recent Ebola outbreak, Amb. Santos commended the Liberian people and foreign residents as well as bilateral partners and other countries that helped in the fight against the Ebola disease, while appreciating his staff here.
For his part, Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Kpege Ngafuan recounted some of the efforts already made by Brazil to ‘concretize’ commitments shown to framework agreements and the exchange of technical visits by officials of the two respective countries.
Mr. Ngafuan says the Liberian Government recognizes Brazil as an important [partner] in Latin America, reiterating Liberia’s desire for support of the commerce and trade industry … involving agriculture as well education and tourism.
Mr. Ngafuan expressed Liberia’s deepest appreciation for Brazil’s participation in UNMIL, its government’s financial contribution to continue to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus from Liberia. He said Liberia remains internally grateful for Brazil’s financial assistance, adding that the its diplomatic presence has made Liberia feel that the world is sharing weight “with us in our fight.”
By Winston W. Parley – Edited by Othello B. Garblah