— To sustain the peace in Liberia
The high command of the Armed Forces of Liberia has embarked on engaging vulnerable groups across the country in order to maintain and sustain the peace and tranquility as the country moves toward the holding of General and Presidential Elections scheduled for October 10 this year.
AFL Chief of Staff, Major General Prince Johnson, named the vulnerable groups as the youths, students, the motorcycle and tricycle riders, stressing that they are often misused to create violence and political unrest during the electoral era.
Major General Johnson made the disclosure over the weekend when he led top brass, officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia on a massive cleaning exercise at the Junction of Duport Road in Paynesville.
According to him, the AFL as a member of joint security in Liberia, will also engage stakeholders in the elections on the need to maintain and sustain peace in the country.
He said the AFL engagement with various youth groups will cut across the country, to enable all youths to have an understanding of the importance of protecting peace in Liberia during the elections.
The AFL Chief of staff explained that this engagement is necessary in order to bridge the gap between the joint security and these vulnerable groups especially on issues of national concern.
As the cleaning up exercise by the soldiers was going on at Duport Road in Paynesville, a medical unit of the AFL rendered medication to the public free of charge to residents at the Po River area and its surroundings. Individuals who turned out for the free medical service lauded the AFL for the gesture, adding that it was the first of its kind in their community to see military men and women addressing their medical needs.
“We are so grateful for the treatment the army people are providing for our children and we the parents, because this is the first time, in the past, we used to un from army people but now they are treating us good”, a forty-five -year-old mother of three kids was heard saying after being treated by AFL medics.
The celebrations of the 66th Armed Forces Day began Friday, 03 Feb 23 with an Islamic prayer service at the Mosques located at the Edward Beyan Kesselly Military Barracks. In continuation of religious activities surrounding this year's Armed Forces Day, a thanksgiving service was also held on Sunday, February 5, at the International Military Baptist Church at the Edward Beyan Kesselly Military Barracks.
On Tuesday, there will be a symposium at the Monrovia City Hall where the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program, Stephen Rodriques, will deliver the keynote speech. This year's symposium is being under the theme: 'Fostering Effective Stakeholders Engagement for Sustainable Democracy'.
During the symposium, the chairmen of the senate and the house committees on Defense, Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs of the Liberian Senate and House of Representatives, and several personalities will serve as panelists.
Two days later, the celebration will continue with the display of various professional units of the Armed Forces of Liberia to students from various high schools in Monrovia and its environs.
During the military professional units display, the Chief of Staff of the AFL, Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, has promised to offer his office to a student for a brief moment, symbolically handing over the command of the Liberian army. This is intended to give a feeling of authority and leadership to the student that will be selected.
On Saturday, February 11, 2023, the official celebration will take place at the Barclay Training Center and the keynote speaker is Maj. Gen Pablo Estrada, Commanding General of the 46th Military Police Command Lansing Michigan.
The President of Liberia and Commander-In-Chief of the AFL, President George M. Weah, is expected to grace the occasion where he will deliver a special statement to be followed by a pass-in-review and parade through the principal streets in Monrovia.
Prior to pass-in-review, two retired officers Retired Colonel Washington Bowier, former Commander of the Air Wing Unit of the AFL and Retired Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Nah also of the Air Wing Unit of the AFL will be honored as recipients of the Distinguished Service Order. The 66th Armed Forces Day celebration will be held under the theme: “Inter Agency Collaboration: Working Together for Peaceful Elections” while the symposium will be held under the topic: “Fostering Effective Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Democracy.”