Samukai Holds Talks with Ghanaian Soldier

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Defense Minister, Brownie J. Samukai lauded the government and people of Ghana for their immense support, which he said has positively impacted Liberia’s defense sector reform, when he held talks on Wednesday with Ghanaian Vice Air Marshall, Issifu Kadri.

“The close ties subsisting between Ghana and Liberia have an enriching partnership value that has expanded the network of cooperation between the militaries of both countries,” Samukai told the Ghanaian solider.

He then paid a glowing tribute to the men and women of the Ghanaian Armed Forces who, he said, sacrificed in the spirit of West African solidarity during the days of ECOMOG, a sub-regional peace monitoring group of soldiers sent to Liberia in the 90s when the Liberian nation was engulfed in civil war.

“I must admit that the qualities of Ghanaian officers seconded through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) are individuals who conducted themselves in an exemplary manner worthy of emulation by our young officers,” said Minister Samukai.

He made the assertions when Vice Air Marshall Kadri, the head of a six-member Ghanaian delegation visiting the country, paid a courtesy call on him at his Barclay Training Center office in Monrovia.

For his part, Kadri expressed gratitude to Minister Samukai and his staff for the warm hospitality accorded the Ghanaian delegation.

He assured Samukai that in the spirit of regional solidarity, the Ghanaian military will close ranks with their Liberian counterparts in the area of capacity building.

In another development, authorities at the Ministry of National Defense said it noted “with utmost dismay” a story captioned: “AFL Gets Tough Order Again!” published in the Wednesday, October 28 Vol. 4, No. 39 edition of the Liberian Nation newspaper.

In the portrayal of what constitutes “toughness,” the Ministry said there is a photograph depicting an unidentified individual being dragged while several uniformed security personnel followed. The picture showed one of the uniformed personnel holding an unidentified object in his hands as if to be used on the victim. Another personnel captured in the picture looked as if he was about to step on the victim.

For the Ministry, and from all indications, analysis of the photograph established that the security personnel in the photograph are foreign and have no links to Liberia or the AFL.

“The photograph in question,” the Ministry said, “has got no historical bearing on the deportment of soldiers of the AFL.”

The Ministry said that to insinuate that Defense Minister Samukai’s charge to steer the affairs of the cabinet while the President is out of the country is tantamount to authorizing the AFL to exercise excessive actions not ascribed to it by the Constitution is a further misstep in the judgment of the paper’s editorial staff.

“Samukai’s mandate to chair the cabinet presupposes consultations with other members of the cabinet and national stakeholders to ensure tranquility within the (domain) of the law through the length and breadth of the country,” the Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

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