Pres. Weah Highlights Efforts To Address Challenges Facing AFL Personnel
President George M. Weah has highlighted efforts by his government to address the many challenges personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) are facing in the performance of their duty.
Personnel of the AFL along with their dependents are faced with several challenges which include housing, welfare, logistics, and compulsory savings, among others.Speaking Tuesday at the 63rd celebration of the Armed Forces Day at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia, the Commander-in-Chief of the AFL disclosed that he has personally engaged in the search for lasting solutions to these challenges.
“I have visited the military base where, incidentally, I once lived with my uncle, Robert Bobowleh Wulateh Wreh, and have engaged in direct dialogues with the officers and men and women in arms, with the aim of hearing from them, in an open forum about their concerns and needs” President Weah revealed.
According to the President, the interactions with the officers at various levels have provided the Government of Liberia the unique opportunity to address some of the challenges the army faces.
“For example, we have begun the renovation of existing military barracks to facilitate decongestion of the current facilities.
“Additionally, we will seek further support from Government to modernize and expand the barracks with paved roads and proper sports and recreational facilities,” the Liberian leader cited.
He added that the Government of Liberia has also deployed new equipment and hardware, such as armoured personal carriers as a means of giving the AFL personnel protected and efficient mobility.
“On the medical front, you will recall that, two years ago, in my first Armed Forces Day address, I announced the construction of a Military Hospital, to be the first of its kind in our history that would focus on the special medical needs our soldiers, as well as their families, both at home and abroad,” President Weah said.
He further revealed that his commitment to build the Military Hospital is nearing fruition, adding: “And so I am pleased to inform you today that the 14 Military Hospital is nearing completion, and will soon be dedicated and fully operational, to cater to the critical health needs of our servicemen and women and their families, as well as the citizens living in nearby communities.
Meanwhile, President Weah has stated that the theme for this year’s celebration, “Strategies to Incorporate More Females in the Security Sector: AFL in Perspective,” coincides with government’s Pro-Poor Agenda with regards to women empowerment.
He lamented that female representation in both public and private sectors of Liberia is very low, and the AFL is no exception.
However, he plans to increase women participation in decision-making, noting that “As Liberia’s Feminist-in-Chief, I have set my Government on an irreversible path to break this glass ceiling. We have made more appointments of women in leadership in our Government than ever before, including the first female Deputy Chief of Staff of the AFL, and promise to do more in the coming years.”
Also, President Weah used the occasion to laud honorees for their invaluable services rendered to the Armed Forces of Liberia and the Liberian nation in general, citing “you have brought honor and credibility to yourselves, your families, and your respective countries. Congratulations!”
He added: “I want to express thanks and appreciation to our partners; the Governments of the United States, the People’s Republic of China, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Republic of Ghana, and the Arab Republic of Egypt for their continuous support to the Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia.
“We also express gratitude to our military partners, the ECOWAS Advisory Training Team. The mentorship and training that you provide will continue to enhance both the administrative capacities and operational capability of the AFL.”
The Commander-in-Chief also sent ‘special thanks’ to the Government of the Republic of Guinea for the support to the AFL peacekeeping mission in Mali and the Government of Cote d’Ivoire for the recent Memorandum of Understand signed with the Armed Forces of Liberia, which is geared towards safeguarding their respective countries.
“To our military families, we want to thank you for the support that you give to our servicemen and women while they serve to protect and defend our Nation. By so doing, you continue to demonstrate your love for our country,” the President said.
Honorees at the 63rd Armed Forces Fay celebration include Lt. Col. Eromosele Christian Lawani, a professional military officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and currently the Commanding Officer of the Field Engineer Regiment Nigerian Army; Lt. Gen. Obed Boamah Akwa, the Chief of Defense Staff, Ghana Armed Forces, a decorated soldier and recipient of several military honors; Lt. Col. Kemoh Sellu, a Professional Military Officer of the Serra Leonean Armed Forces, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work at the Njala University, among others.