The Minister of National Defense Brownie Samukai, at the head of a high-level delegation from his ministry is touring River Gee, Maryland, and Grand Gedeh Counties, respectively in southeast Liberia to assure citizens of security as the United Nations Mission in Liberia, UNMIL, leaves in June.
Minister Samukai is reportedly being accompanied by Assistant Minister for Public Affairs David Dahn, and senior officers of the Armed Forces Liberia. Assistant Minister Dahn told the Liberia Broadcasting System Tuesday, 16 February the tour is intended to re-assure citizens of the AFL’s capability and readiness to assume national security in the absence of UN peacekeepers.
The delegation made a stopover in River Gee County and told citizens not to panic in the wake of UNMIL drawdown. Minister Dahn said the visit is also intended to inspect various border entries in the three counties, and for Minister Samukai to acquaint himself with citizens in the southeast region.
Liberians, particularly citizens in the southeast have been apprehensive about how prepared is the government to provide national security as UNMIL departs the country as well as reports of some Burkinabees intruding into Grand Gedeh County to farm.
Defense boss Brownie Samukai recently assured the public of the army’s readiness to take over from UNMIL come June 30th this year. Speaking at the 59th Armed Forces Day celebrations in Monrovia last week, he said the AFL along with other state security institutions are prepared to protect and defend the country, and that government is strengthening bilateral relations with neighboring Cote d’Voire to conduct cross-border training along Cavalla River bordering both countries.
By Lewis S. Teh-Edited by Jonathan Browne