AFL Trains Red Cross Volunteers

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In an effort to provide adequate and prompt humanitarian services in time of emergency or better prepared them in case of national disasters, volunteers of the Liberia National Red Cross society (LNRCS), have participated in a joint emergency response exercise along with officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).

The exercise, coined “Watch over IV” is an Internal Security Operation Joint Field Training Exercise designed for the AFL, officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Fire Service personnel and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

During the exercise over the weekend, the LNRCS volunteers formed a part in order to respond adequately in time of emergency.

One of the prime objectives of “Watch Over IV” is to prepare the Liberian security sector as peacekeepers of assigned with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) gradually draw down. UNMIL mandate comes to an end in June 2016.

The exercise, which links the AFL and LNRCS as national responders, focuses on road block, cordon and search and crowd control.

It was held in Harbel from June 23-27, and executed through assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Fayiah Tamba, Secretary General of the LNRCS, said it was important for Red Cross Volunteers to participate directly in the practical exercise; doing just what they would do in real-life situations, such as providing first aid, medical and other services.

“We are quite satisfied with the collaboration. It ensures adequate coordination and communication between the Red Cross and the army on one hand, and other security apparatus on the other. This is an exercise that needs to be repeated in the future and we are fully committed to our participation,” he said.

The military exercise helps to strengthen the relationship of mutual trust and shows a clear role each group has to play in an actual situation of internal disturbance or armed conflict in which the LNRCS has a mandate to conduct its own activities.

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