A high ranking Bangladeshi Army officer, Lieutenant General Mohammad Mainul Islam, at the head of a six-man delegation yesterday ended a visit to Liberia with a pledge to provide technical and military assistance to the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
Lt/Gen Islam and his delegation on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on the Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., promising bilateral and technical assistance to the AFL.
In brief remarks, Lt/Gen Islam assured Minister Samukai that a medical team to Liberia from the Bangladeshi Army Division would be sent here to provide of medication to benefit the Liberian people through the services of the AFL.
Lt/Gen Islam said Bangladesh as a manufacturer of assorted medical equipment and ‘useful’ drugs will assist the AFL in these respects.
The general also used the occasion to extend an open invitation to Defense Minister Samukai and a team of defense officials, including hierarchy of the AFL, to visit Bangladesh for a firsthand experience on the operations of that country’s military.
Lt/General Islam recounted his army’s assistance in the areas of construction works initiated specifically by the Engineer Brigade.
He said the army is involved in the building of roads and bridges, thus contributing significantly to the overall development of Bangladesh.
The Bangladeshi army general assured Liberian defense authorities that his army stands ready to provide engineering training to the AFL and other technical assistance that will prepare the AFL chain of command for the development of the country.
Lt/Gen Islam then lauded the Government of Liberia for the ‘speedy development’ ongoing in the country, and added that his visit is in solidarity with Liberia for the level of development since the end of the devastating civil unrest in the country.
In response, Defense Minister Samukai welcomed the offers by Lt/Gen Islam and the Bangladeshi Army. Mr. Samukai also lauded the country for its peacekeeping role in the country.
He praised the Bangladeshi Army serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for the ‘sacrificial roles’ being played, describing the soldiers as good, disciplined and professional people.
He recounted the level of assistance by the Bangladeshi Army in Liberia, mainly in the areas of health, military training as well as engineering.
According to him, Bangladesh has the largest peacekeeping contingent serving with distinction in UN missions around the world.
He said the Bangladeshi army is positively contributing to their missions in the troubled West states, including Mali, and states in other parts of the world.
“Liberia is a developing country with many challenges facing its army, and so, we are willing to learn from your peacekeeping experience, and your skills in the provision of medication and engineering. We want to maintain the level of relationship that exists between our two countries,” Samukai stated.
The AFL is interested in the engineering, manufacturing and the agriculture sector. He promised to put together a combined team to visit Bangladesh to acquire some technical knowledge, and explore other areas that would be beneficial to the AFL.
Lt/Gen Islam was accompanied to Liberia by Col. A.S.M. Mahmood Hossain, Force Chief Engineer, Col. M.D. Omar Faruque, afwc, psc Col Staff, LTC. Md Asadul Islam, psc, Engineer, Lt/C Mahammad Khaled Kamal, psc, GS Branch, and Major Muntasir Mamun, Engineer.
As a token of appreciation for his courtesy call and successful interactions with Minister Samukai, the Bangladeshi presented several gift items to the Minister and a cross-section of his staff.