The Inquirer (Monrovia)

8 February 2013

Liberia: Panelists Want Support for AFL

Ahead of the 56th Armed Forces Day Celebration slated for February 11, 2013, three panelists at a symposium organized by the Ministry of Defense are calling on the national government to allot more money into the military for the upkeep of the personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

The symposium is intended to provide the Defense Ministry the opportunity to address issues that are confronting the ell-being of the army and its officers.

The three discussants: Lt.Gen. Henry Dubar (Retired), Col. Randolph White, and Journalist Philip N. Wesseh showered praises on men and women of the AFL but indicated that taxpayers' money should be spent to train, accommodate, feed and clothe and also provide for them all other accessories in order to keep the army operational.

At the Monrovia City Hall yesterday, the three speakers stressed the need for central government including the National Legislature to motivate the gallant men of the Armed Forces.

In a separate tone, Mr. Wesseh told the audience that government must equally provide for the soldiers as it is done for cabinet ministers, lawmakers and other officials in autonomous agencies. Motivation is a Latin word meaning to move; so how can the soldiers move when they are not motivated? We need to ensure that the welfare of the soldiers be seriously catered to," Mr. Wesseh intimated.

Mr. Wesseh however advised the soldiers to remain professional while exercising national duty and avoid misconduct if provoked by any civilian. He wants the recruitment exercise to be scrutinized as was done in 2006-2007.

For retired Gen. Dubar, he warned that correct measures should be put in place in order not to repeat what occurred in the past. Lt.Gen. Dubar who served as Chief of Staff of the AFL wants the issues of accommodation to be taken seriously to address some of the needs of the soldiers. According to him, when accommodation is handled properly, the deployment of soldiers will take place within the 15-political sub-division of the country while UNMIL draws down their troops from Liberia by 2017.

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