Defense Minister Wants Non-Lethal Support for Security Sector

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Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai, Jr, has called on the European Union (EU) for non-lethal support to the security sector as UNMIL drawdown plan takes effect on June 2016.

Minister Samukai made the appeal when the European Union (EU) Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Her Excellency Tiina Intelmann, paid a courtesy visit on Wednesday, April 22, to the Barclay Training Center, on UN Drive in Monrovia.

Minister Samukai said it is indispensible for the EU to lend logistical support as Liberia's security sector trains to play its constitutional role in defending the strategic depth of the country.

According to Minister Samukai, outstanding interactions among Defense Ministers of the Mano River Basin, coupled with the democratic space, including freedom of speech, political tolerance among others, being provided by the current Liberian government serve as an incentive for the Liberian military to engage in community road rehabilitation rather than focusing on internal security matters which are in the purview of other law enforcement agencies.

Minister Samukai said "Given the quality of work being done in various communities by the Armed Forces of Liberia Engineering Company in partnership with the Ministry of Public Works, particularly concerning road rehabilitation, all that is needed is capability enhancement and the AFL engineers will do more."

He told the EU Ambassador that there is a broad framework being crafted by the security sector aimed at beefing up the numerical strength of various security agencies between now and 2016 as UNMIL draws down.

For her part, Ambassador Tiina Intelmann lauded Minister Samukai and the defense family for the level of work being done and assured the minister that EU remains supportive of the Defense Ministry's role in the infrastructural development of Liberia.

Ambassador Intelmann through Minister Samukai, congratulated the people of Rivercess County for what she described as the "peaceful and orderly manner" in which the by-election was conducted in District #2.

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