Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commissioned two buildings at two military barracks occupied by the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as part of celebrations, on Thursday, December 27th, marking this year’s Affiliation Day.
Affiliation Day is an annual event organized by the AFL in collaboration with the Ministry of National Defense, where officers and enlisted men and women, as well as staff and employees of the Ministry, spend the day together socializing with family and friends to mark the end of the calendar year.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the President commissioned a Staff Quarters at Camp Sandee Ware in Careysburg, Montserrado County, and a clinic at the Edward Binyah Kesselly (EBK) Military Barracks near Schefflein, Margibi County. Both were constructed by the AFL’s Engineering Company.
Cutting the ribbon at the two structures, the Liberian leader and Commander-in-Chief of the AFL, expressed joy that a national army is engaged not only in defending the territorial integrity of Liberia, but also contributing to infrastructural development.
The five-bedroom Staff Quarters at Camp Ware, according to the training commandant, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Morpah, will host at least six officers. According to the AFL Command Officer-in-Charge, Major General Suraj Abdurrahman, the clinic at Camp EBK will greatly contribute to the healthcare of soldiers and family members. President Sirleaf described the clinic as a big boost to government’s healthcare delivery.
Following the dedication of the clinic, the official Affiliation Day Program commenced, with hundreds of officers, enlisted men and women, family members and well-wishers in attendance. The day was characterized by speeches, cultural performances, dramas, comedy, sporting activities, musical display, and the presentation of awards to outstanding AFL personnel. The event climaxed with special greetings from the Commander-in-Chief to the men and women in uniform, who commended them for their gallantry, and for being efficient and professional.
“It is because of your gallantry and professionalism that peace and security have returned to our borders with Ivory Coast, and I challenge you to continue doing so in the discharge of your duty,” the President Sirleaf said to loud applause. She pledged government’s continuous support in all aspects of the soldiers’ military life, including salary and social service.
The CIC promised to complete the school annex at Camp Ware, following a request from its students, which was presented by seven-year-old Edmonia Barclay, a third grader.
Regarding monthly earnings, President Sirleaf said the government is seriously considering improving the salaries of government employees, including soldiers, and that the increments would be put into effect once the technical modalities are worked out.
Several officers and enlisted men and women from various companies, including Infantry, Engineering and the Coast Guard, received awards for their discipline and courage.
Affiliation Day also included the signing of an addendum to an Agreement between the Governments of Liberia and the People’s Republic of China, under which China will provide a US$4.5 million military grant to fund the training of AFL personnel in the Engineering Company, as well as the purchase of equipment. Defense Minister Brownie Samukai signed on behalf of the Liberian Government, while China’s Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Zhao Jianhua, signed on behalf of his country.