Cllr. Gongloe: “AFL Now Trusted by the Public More than Para-Military”

19
1927
Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe speaks at the AFL symposium.

The President of the Liberia National Bar Association, Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe, has described the Armed Forces of Liberian (AFL) as a trustworthy force, having gained more public confidence more than the para-military forces including the Liberia National Police (LNP).

Giving a brief narrative of his temporary but quite interesting time with the AFL through some observations about its past and present history, Cllr. Gongloe said that the AFL has transcended from a brutal force to an incrementally disciplined and professional force over the years.

“Let me quickly say that my general observation and the observations of many critical Liberian thinkers that I have spoken to is that the armed forces, for more than a decade, has been incrementally disciplined and more professional that it is now trusted by the public more than the para-military forces,” the legal pundit stated.

The post-war AFL has been overseen and heavily supported by the United States Government; something that has contributed to its professionalism, thus making it different from the pre-war AFL that is recorded for committing atrocities and other human rights abuses during the Samuel Doe Administration.

“Today, we are all proud of the performance of the men and women of the Armed Forces as part of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Mali,” he submitted.

The LNBA’s President made the assertion on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, when he served as keynote speaker of the 64th Armed Forces Day Symposium which took place at Ministerial Complex.

Panelists for the symposium mostly came from the government, diplomatic sector, civil society, and international partners to discuss the topic “Enhancing Military and Legislative Interaction in a Democracy: Liberia in Perspective”.

While focusing on the theme of the symposium, he urged the military to stay out of politics and let the politicians make whatever mistake they can make. Cllr Gongloe further suggested that the military could play a leading role to reverse the increasing level of food insecurity in our country.

The symposium, which also brought together members from the various security institutions including the AFL and experts to discuss topics for the development of the Armed Forces of Liberia, was held under the theme: “The Military in Sustaining Democracy.”

“The military with the support of the legislature should expand the scope of the military’s role of providing for our collective security, beyond protecting us from invasions from across our borders to our collective security from hunger,” he emphasized. 

The LNBA President has also called on the Armed Forces of Liberia to form a robust agricultural battalion to find ways to solve Liberia’s collective food insecurity problem.

Cllr. Gongloe said the military could play a lead role in solving the country’s food insecurity problem by focusing its attention on agriculture through the formation of a robust agriculture battalion.

“The level of discipline that exists in the military makes it ideal for leading our national effort to overcome our food insecurity problem,” Cllr. Gongloe said, according to a Ministry of National Defense press release.

The Liberian legal luminary called on the Legislature to make adequate budgetary appropriation to strengthen the Armed Forces of Liberia. Cllr. Gongloe further asserted that the Liberian Government must also provide more incentives for entrepreneurs that want to venture into food production.

He urged the government to use the process of eminent domain to get land for such an agriculture program. “The Government of Liberia should identify huge parcels of farmland in each county and make them available to the military to produce food for Liberia,” declaring further, “As a nation, we cannot make progress if we cannot produce most of the food that we eat.”

He said the engagement of the military in food production would also provide opportunities for civilian jobs for agricultural school students, graduates and graduates from TVET programs in the operation and repairs of farming machines, and other logistical and administrative services. “It can be done once there is a political will,” he maintained.

More U S Support for AFL

Meanwhile, the newly-accredited US Ambassador to Liberia, Michael A. McCarthy, has renewed his government’s continuous support to the AFL in making the force more relevant to the people of Liberia.

Amb. McCarthy said his government will continue to partner with the Ministry of National Defense and the AFL, stressing that, “It is a pleasure to work along with a partner like you because it makes the work easier.”

“It is an inspiration that Liberia has come so far in the understanding of peacekeeping that Liberia is today a contributing nation to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations around Africa,” Amb. McCarthy added.

The Ambassador made the statement when he paid a courtesy call on Liberia’s Defense Boss, Major General Daniel D. Ziankahn, Jr., (Rtd.), at the Barclay Training Center a few days before the symposium.

For his part, Minister Ziankahn assured the U S Government of enhanced partnership in sustaining Liberia’s Defense sector.

The Defense Boss appreciated the United States Government for her increased support to the Armed Forces of Liberia peacekeeping operations. He particularly praised the leadership role being demonstrated by the U.S. Government, emphasizing that, “We will do everything possible to get to where we are to get as partners.”

The Defense Minister indicated that the US Government continues to play a vital role in training, equipping and mentoring personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia and staffers of the Ministry of National Defense.

He said, “We are committed partners based on a deeper root with the United States of America. The U S Government has been working on lots of projects that have rejuvenated the Armed Forces of Liberia to a ‘force for good’.”

At the same time, the Government of the United States of America has stepped up its budget support by 25% to the AFL, which will now enable the AFL to send 40-45 soldiers to the United States for military studies under the International Military Training Program.

Personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia and Defense staff have benefited from US training programs at various U.S. Military institutions in the United States of America and other training programs around the world.

The United States Government has been very supportive in the growth and development of the new Liberian army by the provision of specialized training opportunities for the new military.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of Liberia has been admitted into the ElsieFund. The ElsieFund is geared towards supporting more women’s participation in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and is in support.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    What are you selling this time ? Or what are you smoking from the public view ? Or best, what did the military promised you next time around ?
    The Presidency ?
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    Keep on smoking, or keep on dreaming about the presidency . You alright, man .
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    Better poured a shot of Jack Daniel’s to understand this article.

  2. Is Gongloe touting the idea of a coup d’etate in Liberia?

    That’s what it appears to be, giving his lavish praise of a disoriented AFL that’s reeling fron a bad publicity quite recently as two weeks ago when it fathomed a terrorristic sojourn for a salary crisis!

    What a pity for a self-styled human rights lawyer whose power greed betrays the just cause of democracy to anarchism!

    There is no way that a Gongloe’s conspiracy in contempopary Liberia will find fruits of betrayal. Either Gongloe will tread the path of another Thomas Quowonkpa with the historical context of a failed foreign powers invasion that thrusts at reintroduce coup d’etate in Liberia!

  3. Is Gongloe touting the idea of a coup d’etate in Liberia?

    That’s what it appears to be, giving his lavish praise of a disoriented AFL that’s reeling fron a bad publicity quite recently as two weeks ago when it spewed a terrorristic sojourn for a salary crisis!

    What a pity for a self-styled human rights lawyer whose power greed betrays the just cause of democracy to anarchism!

    There is no way that a Gongloe’s conspiracy in contempopary Liberia will find fruits of betrayal. Either Gongloe will tread the path of another Thomas Quowonkpa reminscent of a failed coup de’tat by foreign powers thrusts to reintroduce military rule in Liberia.

    People like Tiawon Gongle are American stooges on the continent of Africa as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was for the wider experiment of human sufferings in geopolitical diversions to see the continent remain poor and stifle for self-determination!

    Tiawon Gongloe seems to be an advisory team member either of a multilateral invasion plan of Liberia or a regional destablization plan of the opposition to use the military but they will come to nough!

    • One wonders whether you and our in-house jester, James Davis, read the same article available above? The basis of my inquiry is the outlandish and quirky interpretations you 2 attribute to the orator’s remarks.

      The man made a simple comparative analysis in his speech in the context of recent Liberian reality, and that supposed to be insinuating a stealthy underhanded smokescreen for a presidential ambition, or a coup plot? The myopia especially that distinguishing the outlook of the present Liberian military from what it was few years ago, and even suggesting creative ways that endowment could be deployed for the betterment of the common good is tantamount to a dog whistle for some imaginary coup, is just darn astunding and stupefying, uni-dimensionally thinking, that is. Bunch of jokers!

      Either that, or some idle minds just love rumor mongering! And this anxiety about Cllr. Gongloe’s presidential bid is not new, by the way, just in case anyone here wants to take credit for that “breaking news.” And as if the man has no right to pursue whatever ambition in Liberia, like any others. After all, his will just be another option amongst several alternatives. Thank you.

  4. Revised:

    One wonders whether you and our in-house jester, James Davis, read the same article available above? The basis of my inquiry is the outlandish and quirky interpretations you 2 attribute to the orator’s remarks.

    The man made a simple comparative analysis in his speech in the context of recent Liberian reality, and that supposed to be insinuating a stealthy underhanded smokescreen for a presidential ambition, or a coup plot? The myopia especially that distinguishing the outlook of the current Liberian military vs what it was few years ago, and even suggesting creative ways that endowment could be deployed for the common good is tantamount to a dog whistle for some imaginary coup, is just darn astunding and stupefying, uni-dimensionally thinking, that is. Bunch of jokers!

    Either that, or some idle minds just love rumor mongering! And this anxiety about Cllr. Gongloe’s presidential bid is not new by the way, just in case anyone here wants to take credit for that “breaking news.” And as if the man has no right to pursue whatever ambition in Liberia, like any others? After all, his would just be another option amongst several alternatives. Thank you.

  5. Peter Gboyo
    Whatever you call yourself, many of you like Gongloe only dream is either to attain to power as before or to.support those with whom you have relationship to attain to power.

    Gongloe is plotting against the state and inciting a military coup uprising to thereafter install an interim gpvernment.
    You will be as stupid as you feel others are not to read between the lines of a smoke screen as James David put to know what Gongloe has been promised for such underground maneuvering.

    As stupid as you are, we are not like you.

  6. If Cllr. Gongloe were to have a political ambition, he would be the best president that Liberia can ever produce.
    He rightly interprets the constitution of Liberia, upholds it to the letter without fear of any intimidations whatsoever.
    He stood up to the 419 Nigerian for usurping our nationality, he dismissed him from the Liberian Bar with no second thought or fear, he refused to attend any of his illegal conferences or meetings of probity, as the guarantor was himself a compromised individual.

    Mr. Whyte, Liberia is no longer a farm for everyone to freely reap from. There are established rules you should play by. Stop castigation an honorable Cllr. Gongloe for being patriotic.
    As Mr. Gboyo rightly said, your hatred for the man did not permit you to even read the article before your sarcastic remarks.
    Cllr. Gongloe is a son of Liberia, he is upholding the dignity of his patronym. If you don’t like it, leave our country!

    Councilor, congratulations on your speech to the AFL. They are indeed a pride of Liberia thanks be the USA and other friendly governments.
    May we cleanse the LNP of the thugs injected by Weah for our police to regain some glory and respect in enforcing the laws.

  7. Mr. Smith Whyte,
    Your denouciation of Cllr. Gongloe is not being received across the board with approbation. Let’s get it right. You have a right to express yourself, but not falsely. However, if you have the evidence that Gongloe is a potential coup plotter or a deranged destabilizer, step up to the plate with your proof.

  8. Comrade Dempster Yallah alias Peter Gboya,

    Please, explain “comparative analysis”, because Counselor Gongloe didn’t provide support for the claim that “AFL as trustworthy force having gained more public confidence than the paramilitary forces, including LNP…” Although your college chum and MOJA comrade, the highly-regarded Human Right lawyer is entitled to his opinion, but not entitled to his own facts, to borrow from Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous quote.

    The truth of the matter is that AFL armies of yesteryears – before and during the 1980 coup – were all logistically supported, and their senior officers trained by the U.S government. What has changed in AFL can be linked to the fact that unlike the Tubman, Tolbert, Doe, Taylor, and Johnson-Sirleaf days, this government has to some extent limited deployment of AFL for policing duties.

    Mind you, responsive democratic governments keep soldiers away from civilian populations except when there is a danger to homeland security. For instance, we saw the tragic outcome (killing of 15 yrs old Shaki Kamara in 2014) when government dragged AFL into using deadly force against unarmed protesters in West Point. Frankly speaking, Counselor Gongloe’s effusive praise can be attributed to either boosting morale of AFL, or flattering the leadership. If it is the latter, for what purpose, and that’s the $64,000 question?

    • Short version: The US trained only the top brass during previous administrations compared to bringing the trainers in Liberia this time around to do the training. So all presentday soldiers should should now have some “advanced level” training, compared to soldiers before. With that advanced training, the soldiers now can be expected to be more professional, community inclined and perhaps productive than tjhose before them. That’s what the Cllr was referring to. Nothing ominus or sinister as you and think-alike conjecture.

      Besides that, you Bagdhad Moses, of all people, should have a private stock of dossiers on ones like Cllr Gongloe and his comrades, as you call them. You should therefore have firsthand knowledge of the kind of personality he is than any of us here. Unless, of course, you too, have become compromised for anything good.

  9. Many of you in the defense of this fraud Gongloe are either tribally connected to him or are part of the underground maneuverings for his sinister deeds!
    Gongloe is no honorable in Liberia, he’s an opportunist, had tried to undermine Ellen Johnson Sirleaf when she quietly let him go.
    Now, being of that posture, he’s trying to gain favor from the Americans by advancing some sort of a dedtablising efforts through the AFL!
    This is another Thomas Quiwonkpa and he will exposed and defeated!

    • Did you read Hney’s response/reaction to your initial balderdash? You need to do just that and stop effusing more gibberish here. Thank you.

  10. Cllr. Taiwan Gongloe is right. The AFL continues to exhibit a high level of professionalism, unlike our para-military forces. There have been numerous highly publicized, controversial incidents involving our para-military forces which have arugably eroded trust. If you look at the current military and the importance of what the AFL does (keeping us safe, non-political, serving in the UN peacekeeping mission abroad, etc.), the competence with which they do their job, and the qualities of those who serve (including selflessness, bravery, and discipline), you will know Cllr is right.

    • The Post-War AFL deserves all the praises. In 1970, I saw soldiers who collected taxes literally torturing poor, unemployed Liberians. Kids don’t forget easily. I was in third grade. This Quarter chief, Old man Zoadau, was made to stand up with about five, long and heavy sticks on his shoulder. I came by several times to console this poor man. I felt his pains. This was just the tip of the iceberg for the force that transformed into AFL today, the Liberian Frontier Force, LFF. History does not lie. Read this article, “The Uncontrollable Force: A Brief History of the Liberian Frontier Force, 1908-1944.” There are more horror stories about the LFF.

      Have you wondered why Liberians are so traumatized, scared, and sort of law-abiding? It’s not because of the high illiteracy rate but TRAUMAs passed on for generations due to past abuses. Can you imagine a soldier beating your father before your eyes and he’s told to bear it? My late grandfather, Sahn Mankaghen, was bayoneted because he didn’t have money to pay taxes in the late ’30s. So, our parents passed on their unprocessed anger and told us to always watch out for these Red Caps.

      These abuses were not only relegated to Nimba. All the leeward counties were affected. Sadly, these so-called initially barefooted soldiers, were all tribal folks from Lofa, Bong, Nimba, etc. So, I am happy to see such a transformation in this century. The AFL needs to undertake more community awareness projects in the interior to de-traumatize the people. Liberians should not run away from anyone in GREEN UNIFORMs anymore. The post-war AFL deserves all the praises. Cllr. Gongloe is on the side of history and progress.

  11. Let us face the facts as Liberians. We know the connections to the United States and what favor they rendered to a few and the bulk during our crisis alongside the reasons why. We see we have not enough in our military in terms of capacity. We see that the lettered in the military is just a minute figure. We also should know that the nation is majority illiterate of the English world. Why do we not train restrictively within our borders until we come to the footings of a unified army well equipped as was a light of Africa before we got involved in external affairs? We just not too long ago had a civil war not yet reconciled. Some mock when they see us helping other nations in peace keeping when we hardly have enough to keep our peace at home. Some external forces and wealth for greed were responsible for pumping in a few the penury of imperialism in a culture laid for by this foundation. We will no longer condone this. The AFL is a group of Liberian soldiers, they know themselves and what they have stood for since emerged from the LFF. No nation will compel its destiny and no nation will ever again try to dishevel its purpose. We have learned a lesson from this secret heritage within and intents to revisit distorted options will be crushed. Do not overlook the conditions seemingly of external ignorance of our lettered and unlettered. We have our own hieroglyphics that no one will know unless you are a Liberian.
    Best of luck. Let Liberians speak for themselves.

  12. Mr. Yini Guva A. Sahn,
    I don’t know a whole lot about Cllr Gongloe. But on the issue of LFF vs the AFL, you’re certainly correct. There’s an undeniable difference between the two. For instance, the present-day military is comprised of women and a few educated military personnel than the LFF.

    Secondly as a kid growing up in Maryland county, I saw first hand how the LFF soldiers became brutal towards their own fellow Marylanders of the lower class. Example, a so-called “Messenger” in those days was authorized by the county commissioner to collect taxes in a rural area of the county. As the Messenger went, he was escorted by a soldier who couldn’t speak without chopping his sentences. Upon arrival in a rural village, instead of collecting the money for which they went, the Messenger and the Corporal guard demanded a chicken to be slaughtered and cooked as a “foot fee”. What a terrible thing to do? Sent to collect tax money, but instead of doing that, foolish demands were made by the tax collectors.

    Part Two….
    The poor people were forced to pay taxes, but the government cared not about building schools, streets, clinics or even provide electricity. In the real sense of the word, a barbaric practice such as that amounted to what is called “black on black” crime.

    Part three…..
    Where did such a wicked practice originate?
    Answer: From The Leadership of The Former Presidents Of Liberia.

    During slavery in America, we’re often told that black Africans were egregiously misused. That’s true. Obviously I wasn’t alive, but I rely on what the writers of History have told us. However, black Africans weren’t the only ones who became enslaved by white people. Believe it or not, there were black enslavers!!!! In other words, wealthy black men who were previously enslaved, bought their freedom from their white masters and then got into business of enslaving their fellow black brothers and sisters. It’s a fact.

    Back to the original topic….
    It is quite true that the current AFL is markedly different than its predecessors. First of all, times change. Secondly, I don’t know the motivations of Cllr. Gongloe. I am not a supporter or an admirer of his politics. Maybe, the gentleman is gearing up for a presidential run. He has the right to run. Overall, we’ve got to change. All presidents have to change from the old ways of doing things. President Weah has to change. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul changed because of an epiphany which he experienced on the road to Damascus.
    If we change, there will be no reason to mistreat a fellow Liberian.

    • Fair enough. That’s more palatable than the variation that Cllr. Gongloe’s recognition of that reality, or change in the outlook of the Liberian military was therefore a pandering for political leadership. But more preposterous of all, that those remarks contained a dog whistle for a coup d’etat? How ludicrous and laughable? But of course, only the certified lunatics of us will entertain such moronic ideation. And so it goes.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here