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Time for AFL to defend the nation-Ellen

By Ferricks Densee
The AFL during one of its training sections
The AFL during one of its training sections

(lbsonline/Liberia)-The Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, says the AFL has reached a critical stage in defending the territorial integrity beyond the borders of Liberia.

The Liberian Leader made the statement when she addressed the 56th centennial observance of Armed Forces Day throughout the country.

The official ceremony was held Monday 11th February, 2013 at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) in Monrovia.
In her address, President Johnson-Sirleaf said: “The challenges to continuously restore peace to Liberia require the collective efforts of Liberians and the international community in building the capacity of the (AFL).”

She said: “About US$2.4 million is already allocated in the budget to renovate the Camp Todee Military barracks with additional US$1 million for the Defense Ministry.”

President Johnson-Sirleaf also lauded Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai, The Armed Forces of Liberia Commanding Officer and the men and women of the AFL for their dedicated services to the nation.

Commander-In-Chief Johnson-Sirleaf then paid homage to the Governments and peoples of United States, Nigeria, Ghana and other friendly countries for their continued support to the transformation of the AFL.

“The forces’ professional capabilities have been built over the years to deal with any eventualities,” the Liberian President also said.

President Johnson-Sirleaf’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Ambassador George Wallace, delivered the Armed Forces Day oration at the ceremony.

Ambassador Wallace recommended an increase in the size of the AFL from 2,000 to 7,500 strong force of men and women. The Presidential Advisor said:  “An increase in the AFL will enable the forces adequately defend the territorial confines of Liberia.”

“There is a need for government to consider adding an Air Force to the AFL and to strengthening the Coast Guards to defend the air space and territorial waters of the country against any outside aggressions,” Ambassador Wallace said.

He also recommended: “The Ministry of National Defense should establish a National Museum to preserve all military artifacts, including arms, ammunition and uniforms used by officers and members of the AFL, and that the compensation of AFL soldiers be increased.”

The Presidential Advisor on Foreign Affairs added: “The AFL must abide by the military code of conduct; the AFL is not a place for mere job seekers whose only intend is to seek wealth at the expense of the people.”

Ambassador Wallace also called for a legislative enactment to ensure that all able-body men are enlisted into the AFL for at least one year national service.

The Presidential Advisor was honored at the 2013 Armed Forces Day official program by President Johnson-Sirleaf for his dedicated services to the Government and people of Liberia. 


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