By Stephen G. Fellajuah
President George M. Weah has challenged members of the Arned Forces of Liberia (AFL) and other security apparatus to remain vigilant against the negatives that could affect the peace and stability of the nation and people.
The Liberian leader at the same time urged the AFL and other security apparatus across the country to strengthen the country border control mechanism and not to waiver to protect the country against extremism and the consequences of terrorism.
“There are unique capacities that the AFL can bring in supporting civil authority, particularly in our development efforts as a nation.
First, and foremost, we must continue to strengthen our border control mechanisms, and remain vigilant against the negatives that could affect the peace and stability of our nation and people.
Similarly, we must not waiver to protect ourselves against extremism and the consequences of terrorism” President Weah Made the statement over the weekend at the 66th Armed Forces Day celebration during a special remarked.
Armed Forces of Liberia on Saturday February 11, celebrated the Armed Forces Day.
The day is celebration each year as was then set aside by an Act of the Liberian Legislature to be observed as Armed Forces Day, in recognition of the bravery and sacrifice of troops of the Armed Forces of Liberia who had ended a mutiny that took place on February 11,1909.
The 66th Armed Forces Day celebration was held at the B.T.C barrack in Monrovia and brought together several member of the diplomatic community, government official and civil society grouping.
Accordingly, the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change CDC standard bearer noted that citizens must be better informed, and ensure effective coordination and preparedness between and among military and civilian law enforcement agencies, against any action that could affect the peace, security and stability.
“As Commander-in-Chief, I have implicit confidence in the ability of our troops and security forces to effectively execute their duties. I have progressively monitored the achievements of the Armed Forces of Liberia and I have no doubt that it is on the right path to greatness, both locally and in the international community”, he noted.
According to him, today, the country flag is being carried proudly by soldiers in the troubled regions of Timbuktu, the Republic of Mali, the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan.
Other countries where the troops are making contributions to peacekeeping include the Republic of Guinea Bissau and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These are all very Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) missions. “Our hearts go out to them, and we look forward to proudly receiving them safely back home at the end of their missions”, President Weah told the gathering.
” Let me thank Major General Daniel Ziankahn (Rtd.), the Minister of National Defense, and his able team for the excellent leadership they have manifested in making our Armed Forces a “Force for Good”. Your diligence and dedication in transforming our military have earned you credibility and respectability both at home and abroad.
In the same vein, let me thank you, Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, for your outstanding leadership and sense of discipline and direction that has engendered the confidence of the Liberian people. Congratulations.”
President Weah also expressed thanks and appreciation to all members of the Armed Forces of Liberia – a “Force for Good” – for their discipline, dedication to duty, and commitment to the responsibility of protecting our territorial integrity, and for the gallantry exhibited by them in executing their missions and tasks wherever they are deployed.
President Weah acknowledged that despite the challenges in the growth process, the government shall continue to make favorable policies to support the Armed Forces to grow in strength and might.
He stated that the government will continue to look into the future with new hope and aspirations as it expands efforts, mentioning that the government understand that there will be challenges in the performance of duties. However, he asked all Liberians to continuously see the Armed Forces as a true representation of the Liberian people.
“Equally, our dear soldiers must remain the “People’s Soldiers” as they perform their duties in like manner. I therefore charge Liberians in all walks of life to support the Armed Forces to always conduct its functions as a professional military that serves the collective interest of all Liberians.
“The challenges we face today as a Nation is an embodiment of the path we began about five years ago. We have taken bold decisions to change things and restore public confidence in our Military and Security Sectors” President Weah noted.
He explained that it has not been easy to achieve this, especially when viewed against a backdrop of limited resources and technical inefficiencies.
But, he pointed out that in spite of it all, his government did not waiver rather, all were collectively of the firm belief that the intentions were for the future benefit of the citizens.
He stated that the investments government has made in the military and in the security sectors, with the strong support of partners, have given the reassurance of a safe and secure society, as the country gets closer to the General and Presidential elections that will take place this year.
“To the members of the National Legislature, we also extend our deep appreciation for upholding your constitutional mandates in supporting the Armed Forces of Liberia. At the same time, I commend the Defense Committees in both the House of Representatives and the House of Senate. Thank you for your support to the Armed Forces of Liberia in many forms. As a responsive government, we will continue to work with you to ensure the best for our Armed Forces.
He concluded saying “My fellow Liberians, I wish to conclude by thanking you again for your invaluable support to the Armed Forces of Liberia, which has shown itself as a “Force for Good” and is respected both locally and internationally.”
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