The Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has underscored the need for more support for the AFL in terms of training, resources and facilities, while commending the military for utilizing limited resources so far to bring results.
“We know that there’s much more to be done; much, much more in terms of the resources to be made available, the facility to be constructed, the training that needs to be done,” C-I-C Johnson-Sirleaf said recently in Monrovia during an affiliation ceremony in honor of soldiers of the AFL held at the Edward BenyanKessely military barracks outside Monrovia.
The Cabinet thru the Executive had allotted (US$90.1 million) in the 2015/2016 national budget for Security& Rule of Law, including US$15 million for UNMIL Transition, but analysts say this amount is inadequate.
She praised the army for its professionalism, saying it has made “tremendous results” with what it had so far. The Commander-In-Chief particularly commended the Minister of Defense J. Brownie Samukai, for bringing great improvement and pride to the restructured post-war army, saying he has put it at a level that makes “us all so pleased.”
Minister Samukai is the longest serving member of President Sirleaf’s cabinet, having taken up the post since 2005. She thanked the AFL for the support given the government during the difficult days of Ebola in 2014, as she recognized their sacrifices in protecting the borders and going around the country to be able to respond to emergencies, including giving hope to the many people, who had fallen prey to the disease.
“The resilience demonstrated by you; the strength and courage demonstrated by you as you joined so many other citizens of the country to fight the enemy has made us today very proud,” she told the army.
Speaking earlier, Liberia’s Army Chief of Staff Brigadier General Daniel Ziankahn, briefed the Commander-In-Chief on a number of changes that he said had been effected since she last celebrated the affiliation day with them.
Gen. Ziankahn said the Brigade Command with support from the Ministry of National Defense has constructed about four miles of roads – though not paved yet, among others. The Army Chief of Staff noted that the AFL Affiliation Day, commemorated last Tuesday, 29 December could not be celebrated in the past two years due to the outbreak of Ebola here.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Jonathan Browne