“AFL Will Comply”

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Min. Samukia in a handshake with Mr. Lerisson.jpg

Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., has assured the head of delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Julien Lerisson that the execution of operative missions of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) will be in full compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
In his welcome remarks to Mr. Lerisson at the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) in Monrovia where the latter paid him a courtesy call yesterday, Minister Samukai asserted that the MOD remains supportive of the work of the ICRC in Liberia.
The Minister further reaffirmed his commitment to upholding the principles governing international law that apply during humanitarian crisis, adding “we appreciate and firmly recognize the humanitarian role of ICRC globally. It is therefore our responsibility to ensure that enlisted, NCOs (non-commissioned officers) and officers of the AFL uphold the tenets of IHL within the perimeters of their functions.”
The Defense boss further intimated that his Ministry will close ranks with the ICRC in an effort to enhance the internal capacity for ‘would be AFL trainers’ within the domain of international humanitarian law.
“With capacity development in the area of IHL, our gallant men and women will continue to support civil authority and they will be imbued by their training to respect religious, medical and other required symbols during crises,” the defense boss noted.
For his part, Mr. Lerisson lauded Minister Samukai for the strong partnership which subsists between both entities as evidenced by ICRC’s presence during major field exercises, involving the AFL. This kind of collaborative effort, according to Mr. Lerisson, has brought both institutions closer. The ICRC boss re-emphasized his organization’s preparedness to liaise with the AFL Training Command in instructing new recruits in basic humanitarian laws.
“As guardian of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), our role is to ensure that there is respect for medical missions inclusive of ambulance services, health facilities and how to conduct search during crises,” said Mr. Lerisson.
He further assured Minister Samukai of the ICRC’s preparedness to work with the AFL in strengthening its internal capacity with reference to first aid training to foster emergency health care delivery during crises and to partner with the AFL within the confines of international humanitarian law.

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