The Chief of Staff (COS) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major/General Daniel D. Ziankahn, has been appointed to head the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) chiefs of defense staff (CODS).
He was appointed at the just-ended 36th ordinary meeting held in Lomè, Togo, which was convened from November 22-24, 2016. The meeting was climaxed with the colorful transfer of gavel of authority from the outgoing CODS of Senegal, Lieutenant/General Mamadou Sow.
With that authority vested in him, M/Gen. Ziankahn will chair quarterly meetings of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defense Staff with the aim of keeping close surveillance on West Africa’s current hot spots. These include Guinea Bissau, Mali and the Lake Chad Basin Countries (Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger) that are plagued with Boko Haram insurgency.
The event was witnessed by high profile individuals, among them the Prime Minister of Togo, Komi Selom Klassou, representing the country’s President and Defense Minister, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas; Edward Singhatey, vice president, ECOWAS Commission; ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Madam Halima Ahmed; the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Guinea Bissau, Ansumana
Ceesay and a cross-section of representation of the members of the diplomatic corps in Togo.
Maj/Gen. Ziankahn’s ascendancy to the regional helm, a first for Liberia, also coincides with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s position as chair of ECOWAS heads of state, an added layer of confidence and respectability to the Liberian security sector.
M/Gen Ziankahn has meanwhile expressed gratitude to Defense Minister, Brownie J. Samukai, and through him to the Commander-in-Chief of the AFL, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the opportunity to serve his country in such a high profile capacity in the history of Liberia’s army.
“This position,” noted Ziankahn, “has eventually unraveled a new layer of heightened responsibility for closing ranks with fellow Chiefs of Defense Staff of ECOWAS to securitize the sub region and by extension, to serve the common security interest of the people of West Africa for the next one year.
About Gen. Ziankahn
A qualified paratrooper and a product of the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leaven¬worth, Kansas, Brig/Gen. Ziankahn holds a Master’s degree in Military Science and Strategy.
On the 57th anniversary of Liberia’s Army Forces Day, February 11, 2014, C-I-C and President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced Ziankahn as AFL Chief of Staff. Ziankahn took the helm as Major/General Suraj A. Abdurrahman, a world-class Nigerian military officer who served diligently as the
Command Officer-in-Charge of the AFL for seven years, stepped into retirement.
Born on July 12, 1971, Gen. Ziankahn completed his secondary education at the Assembly of God Mission High School in Monrovia. He received a Bachelor of Business Art (BBA) degree in Business Management from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University, also in Monrovia.
Ziankahn completed his Indi¬vidual Entry Training (IET), Advance Individ¬ual Training, Basic Non-Commissioned Officers Course and Officers Candidate School in Liberia between 2006/2007.
He received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant on May 9, 2007. Gen. Ziankahn also successfully completed the Basic Officer Leader Course II, Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course III, and Basic Airborne Course – all at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the U.S.; Armor Company Com¬mander Course in the Arab
Republic of Egypt; Junior Staff Course at the Hor¬ton Academy in Freetown, Sierra Leone; and Intermediate Level Education at the United States Command and General Staff College.
He also attended various international seminars, including the Af¬rican Land Forces Summit, held in Kam¬pala, Uganda, and the African Endeavor, held in Duala, Cameroon, both in 2012.
Gen. Ziankahn is married to Nathal¬ine Ziankahn and the union is blessed with two children: a girl, Tetee, and a boy, Amaya.