‘Don’t dare cross the redline’
–MOD sends caveat ahead of election
By Lincoln G. Peters
Liberia’s defense authorities have sent a caveat to all political parties, institutions, and actors to not dare cross the democratic red line by perpetrating violence.
During Liberia’s 66th Armed Forces Day celebration Saturday, 11 February 2023, the authorities passionately appealed that if political actors’ dreams fall short, they should not seek to go beyond the collective will of the people by perpetrating violence.
Defense Minister Major General Daniel Dee Ziankahn warned that they will stand by the expressed will of the people in line with the Constitution of Liberia.
He sounded the caveat at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) Barrack in Monrovia while reporting on the state of the military to President George Manneh Weah and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
“Our passionate plea [to] political actors, institutions, irrespective of their political affiliation, will be, don’t dare cross that Democratic Red-Line beyond the collective will of the people if your dreams fall short by perpetrating violence,” said Minister Ziankahn.
“You can rest assured, we will stand by the expressed will of the people in line with the constitution of Liberia,’’ the retired military general warned.
This October, Liberians will go to the polls to vote in presidential and legislative elections.
Incumbent President Weah and several opposition leaders including Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Alexander B. Cummings will be fighting for the nation’s highest office.
As the country draws closer to the presidential and legislative elections due 10 October 2023, Minister Ziankahn assured Liberians that the Armed Forces of Liberia will remain apolitical.
He admonished every political actor, irrespective of their political affiliation, to remain peaceful and civil during this heated process.
The Defense Minister also encouraged political institutions and individuals to pursue their dreams of becoming whatever they want.
But he reminded them that their dreams, ego, and aspirations will more often than not, fall short of the collective will of the electorate.
Addressing the military, Minister Ziankahn encouraged soldiers to remain focused on the mission and demonstrate supreme gallantry.
He urged AFL officers to remain professional by affirming their loyalty and services to the State as their patriotic obligation and constitutional responsibility in defending and preserving the nation.
“Finally, to the men and women in arms, as we honor you today, we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you for your loyalty, dedication, sacrifice, and patriotism in ensuring the safety of our nation and its people,” said Minister Ziankahn.
He urged them to continue to be the standard bearer of the security sector and remain a “Force for Good.’’
The Armed Forces of Liberia on Saturday celebrated its 66th Armed Forces Day. The Day is celebrated every year to remind the country of the many sacrifices made by men and women in the military.
The day also presents the tangible accomplishments for which the nation has remained strong among the comity of nations.
It also enlightens the public about the challenges the military faces when executing its constitutional duties.
The program brought together members of the Diplomatic Corps including the United States Ambassador to Liberia and many others.
The auspicious occasion was also graced by the members of the 54th Legislature including the House Speaker and the Senate Pro-Tempore, as well as officials of government.
Earlier in delivering the keynote address, United States of America Task Force 46 Major General Pablo Estrada said that for Liberia to maintain its peace and democracy, the AFL should continue to be professional and apolitical.
“As Liberians look to this year’s national elections, they have to understand that the AFL has to be apolitical,” he said.
He noted that the professional military will continue to be a force for good in helping to ensure a peaceful election.