The New Dawn (Monrovia)

18 February 2013

Liberia Warned About Mali

The Deputy Director of Research, Faculty of Academic Affairs at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana has warned Liberia to be mindful in Mali. Dr. Thomas Jaye said this is because the situation or war in Mali with militants has linkages with others which make it conventional.

With this, he said, there are more serious risks with personnel (soldiers) that associated with such operations because Mali is a different kind of place as a desert land.

Jaye made these comments recently during a one-day policy dialogue held under the banner- LIBERIA IN PEACEKEEPING: "Risks and Opportunities", organized by the Governance Commission in Monrovia.

The forum was meant for the government to defend its position on deploying troops to Mali. The ceremony brought together both local and international community experts on peace-building.

"Liberia needs to be mindful of the situation in Mali as there are linkages of the militants with others which make the war conventional," Jaye noted. He indicated that he was happy that the presence of AFL personnel in Mali would be on a rotational basis.

"That is, sent the first 45 or 50 men and replaced them after 3 or 6 months because peacekeeping mission worldwide has to do with politics, economics and military," Jaye said.

About the environment and language barrier, he noted that they were points to worry about because the terrain in Mali is a different kind of place.

However, he agreed that there was a big 'dollar sign' behind peacekeeping worldwide because if the troops cannot be sustained, their morale would die down. Jaye lamented that Liberia's presence in Mali is for exposure and experience for the future.

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