11 June 2007

Liberia: Army Gets New Commander

The Government of Liberia over the weekend installed into office the new Commander In Charge, CIC of the armed forces of Liberia, Major General Suraj Alao Abdurrahman.

The ceremony took place at the Ministry of National Defense where senior military officials from both the International Sector and the Government of Liberia graced the occasion.

Major General S.A. Abdurrahman succeeds his countryman, Lt. Genral Luka Yusuf who has been appointed by the Government of Nigeria to serve his country as Chief of staff of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Major General S.A. Abdurrahman holds a Philosophy Degree in Arch from Heriot-Watt University in the United Kingdom.

Speaking during the turning over ceremony, the former Commander In Charge of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Lt. L. Yusuf, thanked the Government and People of Liberia for the level of support they rendered him during his stay in Liberia and then urged the Government and People of Liberia to extend the same level of support to the new CIC.

He said, " As a soldier, we go where we are called and I am going to where I have been called to serve. I enjoyed my stay in Liberia and I think I am more Liberian than Nigerian given the fact that I spent much of my time in Liberia," he stated.

Lt. General Yusuf disclosed that his new appointment to serve as Chief of Staff in the Nigerian Army would influence more support for Liberia from the Nigerian Government.

"I am not going to break ties with Liberia but rather I am going to assist the new General back here with any necessary support that he will need for the army of Liberia," he promised.

The Nigerian Army boss left with strong words of encouragement for the AfL, saying, " the new army should be in the position to carry out any mission without looking back; they should see themselves as servants and not servers."

He said he would work along with his successor to make sure that the new AFL gets the best opportunity like any other member of the ECOWAS State.

Additionally, the Minister of National Defense, Brownie Samukai, lauded General Yusuf for his hard work he carried out while he was in charge of the AFL and wished him all the best in his new appointment.

In a related development, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has conferred the Honor of Distinguished Service on Lieutenant General Luka Nyeh Yusuf, outgoing Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

At a conferral ceremony on Friday, the President thanked Lt.Gen. Yusuf for performing his duty and building bridges between Liberia and Nigeria. The President, according to an Executive Mansion release, described the performance of Lieutenant-General Yusuf, as a reflection of the appreciation of the Nigerian government and thanked the West African nation for allowing Lt.Gen. Yusuf to serve Liberia.

In response, Lt.Gen. Yusuf thanked President Johnson-Sirleaf for the honor, noting that he sees himself more a Liberian than a Nigerian. The outgoing Chief of Staff also thanked the Ministry of National Defense family for its support and cordial working relationship during his tour of duty.

Lt.Gen. Yusuf has been recalled by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to serve as Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army.

The ceremony was witnessed by UNMIL Boss Alan Doss, the Cabinet, members of the diplomatic corps and officials of the Nigerian Community in Liberia.

The Honor of Distinguished Service is the highest distinction Liberia confers on a soldier for bravery and valor. It was enacted into law in 1910 by an act of the National legislature during the Presidency of Arthur Barclay

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