The Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., says the welfare of the military, especially Liberian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), is a priority for the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the UN, a dispatch from New York has said.
Kemayah made the statement shortly after he received the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major-General Prince Johnson, who was in New York to follow-up on negotiations of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Liberia and the UN.
Amb. Kemayah assured the AFL that he would engage his colleagues at the UN to fast-track the finalization of the MoU to ensure that the government properly cater to Liberian peacekeepers serving in MINUSMA.
According to a dispatch from Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the UN, the MoU, which is being negotiated, will detail the number and type of personnel, equipment, and services that Liberia provides as a peacekeeping contributor; as well as the support expected from the UN.
The dispatch further states that as a standard UN procedure, every troop-contributing country, including Liberia funds the deployment and upkeep of its soldiers; including the provision of major equipment and services, and gets reimbursed.
When completed, the MoU will state how much and how Liberia will be reimbursed for major equipment, maintenance, troop deployment and welfare among others.
Amb. Kemayah informed Maj/Gen. Johnson that under his leadership, Liberia’s Permanent Mission would forge the interest of the military at the world body in support of His Excellency President George Weah’s commitment to improving the plight of the gallant men and women in arms, evidenced by the ongoing construction of the 14 Military Hospital. He commended President Weah’s efforts to ensure that people’s impression of the military is changed for the better.
Kemayah emphasized the need for both a Military and Police Attaché to be assigned at Liberia’s Permanent Mission to effectively handle security-related issues and pledged to work with the relevant authorities to ensure that Liberia is properly represented.
“We are also going to work towards making representation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and through him to the Commander in Chief of the AFL, President Weah, so there can be a Military Attaché to this mission. Not only Military Attaché but even Police Attaché because we’ve come and seen what is happening at other Missions, we need to have these two here,” he said.
Maj/Gen. Johnson thanked Amb. Kemayah for the warm reception and presented him a plaque bearing the seal of Liberia and the Emblem of the Ministry of National Defense in appreciation of the good work the Ambassador was doing in representing the Government and people of Liberia, especially in such a short space of time.
Amb. Kemayah thanked Maj/Gen. Johnson for the honor and dedicated it to President Weah, who reposed confidence in him to serve as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Liberia to the UN. He also dedicated the honor to the staff of the Permanent Mission who continues to support his leadership.