Liberia, on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, celebrated the 57th anniversary of Armed Forces Day in consonance with an Act of the National Legislature. Primarily characterizing the entire Armed Forces Day celebrations, including the official program at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia, was the long-awaited emergence of a Liberian military high command of the AFL- occasioned in an extraordinary ceremony by the Change of Command from Major General Suraj A. Abdurahman, former Command Officer-in-Charge to Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankham as the new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia.
We can only congratulate the young military high command of the AFL-Chief of Staff Ziankham, his Deputy, and Brigadier Eric Dennis and Brigade Commander Prince C. Johnson, III- for their ascendency to the top of the Liberian military in this new age. As educated as militarily and professionally prepared the new Liberian military high command may be, it is now incumbent upon these new leaders of the AFL to transform all of the acquired military and professional skills and education to continuously push forward the development and progress of the Liberian military to the realization of the dream of their Commander-In-Chief, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Defense Minister J. Brownie Samukai and the people of Liberia for a professionally strong and law-abiding Armed Forces of Liberia.
Chief of Staff Ziankham and military colleagues are now at top of the reinvigorated Armed Forces of Liberia to discharge their constitutional responsibilities-among which are to safeguard Liberia’s borders and marine resources without fear or favor in the interest of the Liberian people. Such undertaking must be accompanied by discipline, morality, respect, the highest degree of patriotism, as well as the observance of basic human rights in consonance with the Geneva Conventions.
Major general Suraj A. Abdurrahman must also be hailed for his professional and sound leadership provided the AFL as Command Officer-in-Charge for the years he served to February 11, 2014. There’s nothing much Liberians may have to cherish Genera; Abdurrahman’s achievements that have gotten the AFL to its present stage, but to express their highest gratitude for his invaluable services to the country. For the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, the People’s Republic of China, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, United Nations and others who one way or the other assisted and contributed to the reform efforts of the new Liberian Army that today we now have our own Chief of Staff, our deepest compliments cannot be over-emphasized.
In the AFL itself, our new military high command must exhibit all of the attributes-characteristics and traits of a good military leader in an effort to further build not only a strong and law-abiding, but a more progressive, development-oriented and proud Armed Forces of Liberia-that’s our challenge to the new Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigade Commander, as well as the men and women in arms.
Let the men and women in arms be also reminded that the 2009 Defense Act recognizes the continuous steadfastness of the AFL in supporting the foundation for long-term security and economic development, as well as fostering regional peace to consolidate Liberia’s emerging democracy- something they must continue to uphold.