In her 59th Armed Forces Day message at the Barclay Training Center Monrovia on February 11, 2016, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleasf reiterated explicit confidence in the ability of the military and security forces to effectively execute their duties in post-UNMIL environment.
According to President Sirleaf – also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia or AFL, such explicit confidence is evidenced by the level of preparedness among the men and women in arms. However, the President admonished the military and other security forces to prepare for extremism, as well as the consequences of terrorism through effective coordination.
The President’s admonition to the security apparatus on Armed Forces Day may have been against the backdrop of the threats of extremism/terrorism in the West African Sub-region. In Nigeria, Mali, as well as Niger among others – not too far from Liberia, extremism continues to disrupt peace and stability.
And if the necessary preparedness is not made against future threats, Liberia may just be taken by surprise. This is why President Sirleaf, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the AFL, has begun raising her voice high so that the process of effective coordination within our national security network are put in place in readiness for any eventuality.
And it is now incumbent on all security agencies – the Ministry of National Defense/ Armed Forces of Liberia, Liberia National Police, Bureau of Immigration, as well as the National Security Agency, among others, to ensure such effective and efficient coordination among themselves and place the security of the nation the core of their operations.
While we are indeed cognizant of the various constraints and challenges – capacities and salaries, commitment to duty and loyalty to the state will, no doubt, attract the attention needed to capacitate our national security operations at all levels as evidenced by the latest donation of military hardware to the AFL by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
While the foregoing may be very germane to the operations of the national security apparatus, the role of Liberians towards this effort cannot also be over-emphasized. This is why we join President Sirleaf in pleading with the citizens across the country to continue not only to work with the army, but all security agencies, in strengthening all border control mechanisms. We as citizens must also remain vigilant against activities and acts targeted at affecting or disrupting the peace and stability of our nation.
It is because we exist as Liberians, that’s why the apparatus exist for national security, and therefore, combination of our efforts would best serve our interest as a people. That’s why we emphasize the urgent need for coordination with all security agencies within and at our borders in ensuring our peace and progress.