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Liberian military troop departs for peace keeping in Mali

By Moses Sonkarlay
The Armed Forces of Liberia  ready  to depart for Mali
The Armed Forces of Liberia ready to depart for Mali

(mylbsonline/Liberia)-An infantry platoon-size unit of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) departs the country to join the Africa International Support Mission (AFISMA) in Mali.

The soldiers depart Liberia Thursday June 20, 2013 and will be embedded into the Nigerian battalion, with first Lieutenant Nathaniel Waka, serving as Commander of the platoon unit.

This will be the first time Liberia is participating in peace-keeping operations in 52 years. In 1961, Liberia provided troops to the United Nations Organization in the Congo.

The AFL infantry platoon-size unit was a UN peace-keeping force, established July 14, 1960 under UN Security Council Resolution 143 to respond to the Congo crisis.

According to an Executive Mansion release, there will be a formal departure program at the Roberts International Airport (RIA).

The Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, will inspect the troops; make a statement and a special presentation at the RIA before the soldiers’ departure.

Other dignitaries expected to grace the occasion include, the leaderships of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on National Security and Foreign Affairs, the Ambassador of the United States accredited near Monrovia.

Others include, Nigerian Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Liberia.

A United States C-17 military transport aircraft will airlift the troops to Mali for deployment after the farewell ceremony at the RIA.

Already, the United States Government has provided logistics, personal gear and other equipment to the AFL platoon for the mission.

Under the guidance of ECOWAS Advisors and Mentors, the soldiers commenced training Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at the Armed Forces of Liberia Training Command (AFTC) at Camp Sande Ware in Careysburg, Montserrado County.

For the next few months, they will adequately be trained in major activities presumed peculiar to the military situation in Mali.


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