MONROVIA, Feb, 11 (LINA) – AS the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL)continues impressive performance, both nationally and internationally, it has won the admiration of the Commander-in-Chief, President George Manneh Weah.
The President applauded the critical role and deportment of the AFL in upholding national security and the democratic values of the country, consistent with its statutory obligations.
In a special statement to mark the 64th Armed Forces Day celebration on Thursday, February 11, President Weah said the theme of the occasion, « the Role of the Armed Forces in Sustaining Democracy », is befitting of the crucial role the AFL has played in solidifying Liberia’s democratic governance culture and peace.
Through their selfless service, he said, the gallant Men and Women in Arms have provided the enabling environment for the kind of development the country continues to enjoy since the end of the civil war.
The President said the nation is proud of the transformation the Force has gone through over the years in order to become the fully regimented and discipline army it is today, committed to the execution of its constitutional mandate.
« Our Armed Forces are recognized as a Force for Peace, as is evident by their maintenance of a perfect peace since the withdrawal of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), » the President said.
He explained that the « troops also provide routine medical support to public health education, comprising family planning and HIV/AIDS awareness, and to communities and areas within the vicinities of their barracks/ »
He said they have also been part of first response measures during emergency and disaster situations.
The deployment of the AFL medical company during the height of the COVID-19 crisis in the country, and the strategic support they gave to the national response effort was also highlighted by the President.
« Today, partly because of the robust support provided by the Armed Forces, Liberia is one of the countries with the lowest number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus. »
While also acknowledging the AFL international peacekeeping duties, the Liberian leader emphasized the important involvement of the troops in the implementation of the country’s national development agenda, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The AFL, he said, has played « a frontline role in different development initiatives across the country. »
He named the construction of the 14 Military Hospital; collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works on road repairs and the rehabilitation and renovation of houses in barracks around the country, as key examples of the AFL support.
« As Commander-in-Chief, I envisage the expansion of their participation to other key areas of national development, » he said, announcing that he has already instructed the deployment of the Engineering and Agriculture Companies to further support the efforts of the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Agriculture.
According to him, the Engineering Company, working along with the Ministry of Public Works, will conduct assessment for the implementation of quick impact interventions on roads throughout Liberia that are in critical need of rehabilitation.
The exercise, he explained, is aimed at facilitating the free movement of people and enabling farmers have access to markets during the rainy season in order to reduce the high cost of locally-grown commodities.
The President has also instructed the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to ensure the provision of adequate support and budgetary allocations to the AFL for earth-moving equipment to maintain their « technical presence across the country. »
The Commander-in-Chief, acknowledging the challenge posed to national security by the threat of food insecurity, called for leveraging the military potential to undertake « supplemental production. »