15 February 2013

Liberia: AFL Faces Critical Challenges

The Armed Forces of Liberia has reached a critical stage, a stage face with challenges, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has acknowledged. "It is a stage of uncertainties, unfolding realities that we must be prepared to face on a daily basis," she said in a recent speech at the Armed Forces Day celebration.

The President said the challenges facing the AFL extend beyond the borders of Liberia and its consequences could have enormous impact on the country. She further stated that the stage of the AFL also has consequences for Liberia's peace and security.

The president said Liberia's present "economic reality, and the potential for growth expansion, creates a unique dimension that could positively impact the level of financial reinforcement needed to sustain the AFL as they continue to develop."

President Sirleaf also spoke highly of the AFL Coast Guard, saying their actions of deterrence against transnational crimes in the nation's territorial waters are also cost recovery operations that can increase returns to" our national treasury".

She said "the level of potential investments with successful offshore drilling will bring the required future dividend, under the umbrella of a credible, efficient and responsive Coast Guard."

The president extended her gratitude to foreign governments whose assistance have help shipped the AFL to its current status. She mentioned the U.S. Government for supporting the Coast Guard, the People's Republic of China, Nigeria, Ghana, and Great Britain among others for their support to the AFL.

The president said in spite of competing priorities for limited resources, it is her government's fervent intention to stay the course in building the tactical and technical capabilities of the AFL as a potential source of economic growth,.

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