The Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and President of the Republic of Liberia has disclosed that the Government of the People's Republic of China has committed itself to proving US$4.5 million military equipment for AFL.
Making the disclosure in Monrovia on Monday when she delivered her Armed Forces Day (AFD) message, President Sirleaf said the equipment will be used by the engineering battalion of AFL, so as to boost their community outreach activities.
According to the President, the equipment will shortly be turned over to the AFL through the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) in Monrovia.
Though President Sirleaf fell short of stating whether the US$4.5 million engineering equipment was a grant or part of a loan scheme, the Liberian Leader lauded her Chinese counterparts for the gesture, describing it as a boost for the new army.
At the same time, the Liberian Chief Executive has disclosed that a National Defense Strategy (NDS) will shortly be released by the government. She stated that the NDS will outline strategy imperatives of the national army. It will consider the basic principal of human security.
The CIC also announced that the country was one year away from declaring the AFL fully functional and appointing a Liberian to the post of Chief of Staff.
President Sirleaf paid tribute to the gallant men and women of AFL, saying, "Today, we have come to honor our courageous men and women for invaluable service to our Country. We appreciate their commitment to protecting the territorial integrity and aiding civil authority in the maintenance of internal peace and security. We commend all members of the Armed Forces of Liberia, those on active duty, those honorably retired and those who have paid the ultimate price departed us for their immeasurable service. Your dedication and service remains indelible in our hearts and minds. Today, especially on your day, we applaud you, as you continue to serve as a force for good and a pride of our nation."
She also lauded the contributions of African countries towards the attainment of peace and security in Liberia, especially those serving in United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and helping to rebuilding the national army.