YESTERDAY THE MINISTER of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai disclosed that his ministry has identified the troop for the Peace Keeping Mission in the troubled West African state of Mali.
LIBERIA IS CONTRIBUTING troop to the West African Peace Keeping Force in Mali where the French troop and Malian soldiers are trying to dislodge Islamic forces seeking to overthrow the Government of Mali. Liberian Defense authorities have disclosed that its forces will be embedded into the Nigerian Battalion that is expected to leave for Mali shortly.
MINISTER SAMUKAI, WHILE addressing the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism disclosed that an infantry platoon of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) trained for combat environment has been identified to take on the mission in Mali.
MINISTER SAMUKAI SAID members of the platoon have done their medical and that they have begun a pre-deployment training to adequately prepare them for Liberia's second peace keeping mission. Liberia in 1963 took on its first peace keeping mission in Congo Brazaville.
HE SAID TO speed up the troop's deployment the Liberian Government has sought assistance from the United States Government in terms of airlifting and rotational of the troop, logistical support among others, something that the US Government has consented to.
WITH THE LATEST information on the Mali mission we are satisfied with the strides being made thus far for the deployment of the Liberian soldiers to Mali, a country that was once at peace but has now been engulfed with war as a result of Islamic incursion.
WE APPRECIATE THE Government of Liberia's initiative for the timely preparation and the pre-deployment training for our young soldiers who are going to represent our national color in that country.
WE ALSO WANT to thank the United States Government for its continuous support to the training of our army, something that has prepared them to take on a peace keeping mission. We welcome the assistance from the US Government to do the rotational airlifting of our soldiers during the Mali mission. We further urge the government to go all out for assistance for the army because the peace keeping mission is not an easy task and as such, let our troop be well supported to encourage them execute their mandate.
ON THE OTHER hand, we call on our soldiers to serve as ambassadors in that country. Let them exhibit a high level of discipline, professionalism and dedication to duty being cognizant of the fact that they are representing a country and not themselves.
IN CONCLUDING, WE believe that the early preparation, the better the mission will be. We are happy for the level of preparation thus far and welcome the assistance from the US Government.
AT THE SAME time, we hope that our soldiers will live up to the expectation by exhibiting good behavior as soldiers representing a nation. Please represent Liberia with pride and dignity!