The Inquirer (Monrovia)

21 January 2013

Liberia: A Challenge to the New AFL

editorial

FOLLOWING THE JUST ended one-day extraordinary session in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has disclosed that Liberia is prepared to send a military troop comprising of a platoon which will be integrated in a battalion into the ECOWAS Peacekeeping Mission in Mali.

MAKING THE DISCLOSURE upon her return home from the extraordinary session comprised of West African leaders on Saturday, January 19, President Sirleaf said this will be Liberia's first time in the most recent years to participate in such mission.

SHE SAID THE aim is to show Liberia's solidarity to the Malian people that Liberians appreciated their effort in helping to restore peace in Liberia during its time of crises and that it is their time to give back adding that details will be worked out by the Ministers of National Defense and Foreign Affairs.

THE LIBERIAN GOVERNMENT'S move is in line with the Heads of State and Government's determination to assist Mali in the resolution of its security and institutional crisis within the framework of the norms and principles underpinning Community Protocols.

THIS IS THE first time since the 1960s that Liberia is prepared to participate in such mission. We see this move as a challenge to the new Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and as a way opener for the new soldiers to get extra military experiences.

WE THEREFORE URGE the platoon that as they go out they should remember to be vigilant and behave properly in keeping with international rules of engagement and also be guided by their military ethics because their behavior will determine their participation in future activities.

MEANWHILE, WE ARE also calling on the belligerent forces of Mali to cooperate with the ECOWAS Mission as peacekeepers cannot perform magic and if no cooperation is provided, there can be no proper restoration of peace and sanity in that country.

ONCE AGAIN, WE are impressed about the level of discipline imparted in the new army under the able leadership of Minister Brownie Samukai but we also want to remind our gallant men and women that they are going to serve as our military ambassadors, armor bearers and therefore they must be prepared to exhibit high level of professionalism in your call of duty.

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