The Adjutant General of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard visiting Major General Paul Rogers says the U.S. State Partnership Program with Liberia builds mutually beneficial relationships between U.S. states’ National Guard and armed forces or equivalent of a partner country.
He says the Michigan National Guard-Liberia partnership was established in 2009, and it improves the Armed Forces of Liberia’s capabilities by regularly exchanging best practices and providing opportunities to participate in multinational exercises via Michigan National Guard sponsorship.
The U.S. Government has trained more than 2,000 AFL personnel (civilian and military combined), assisting the Government of Liberia in its efforts to build and maintain an apolitical and professional military force.
“Providing emergency medicine mentorship is part of this ongoing effort. We are in the business of building future together, and a well-funded and trained military is essential for Liberia and the region’s long-term stability”, a press release issued by the Embassy of the United States near Monrovia quotes Major General Rogers as saying.
He made the remarks in Monrovia on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, during a media round table hosted by U.S. Ambassador Michael McCarthy. Also in attendance was the director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Ambassador McCarthy led a discussion on the Summits for Democracy and vaccination campaigns in Liberia, and Major General Rogers informed the gathered reporters about the State Partnership Program between the Michigan National Guard and the Armed Forces of Liberia.
According to the release, Ambassador McCarthy first brought the reporters’ attention back to the Summits for Democracy, the first of which took place on December 9, 2021. The second summit is expected in December of this year. President George Manneh Weah participated in last year’s summit, held virtually.
It notes that 2022 is the “Year of Action” to advance the summits’ goals: defend against authoritarianism, address and fight corruption, and promote respect for human rights.
Each invited leader, including President Biden and President Weah, announced specific actions and commitments to meaningful internal reforms and international initiatives that will take place during this year.
President Biden announced the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal at the opening of the summit, an initiative that is an expansion of the U.S. Government’s efforts to defend, sustain and grow democratic resilience with like-minded governmental and non-governmental partners.
It centers on five areas of work crucial to the functioning of transparent, accountable governance, including supporting free and independent media, fighting corruption, bolstering democratic reformers, advancing technology for democracy, and defending free and fair elections and political processes. The U.S. Department of State also announced a complementary set of initiatives.
President Weah also announced the Government of Liberia’s own interventions for the Year of Action. Ambassador McCarthy acknowledged these commitments at the round table saying, “We are pleased to see that President Weah also made important pledges. We think they are excellent examples of specific and meaningful actions that will grow democratic resilience right here in Liberia.”
President Weah promised to, among others, amend the country’s Anti Corruption Act to grant direct prosecutorial powers to the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission, propose legislation for the establishment of a dedicated criminal court for the prosecution and convictions of public officials, individuals or institutions engaged in corrupt practices and financial offenses, as well as commit to fairness, transparency and accountability in election funding.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Envoy has encouraged the Liberian press and public to keep track of the President’s interventions prior to the December summit, noting that “Democracy requires effort from the government as well as the populace, and the media are an essential connector between the two.” https://thenewdawnliberia.com/afl-troops-arrive-after-successful-completion-of-northern-strike-training-in-u-s/Press Release