UNMIL Drawdown Takes Center Stage at Symposium

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The gradual drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) over shadowed Thursday’s 57th Armed Forces Day symposium. The program was held on the topic: “Inter Agency Cooperation: Fundamental Necessity for the Security of the Republic of Liberia.”

Several panelists, including former Commanding General of the disbanded Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Rudolf F. Kolako, gave various views on the issues of the country’s security sector.

For Ex-general Kolako, the complete withdrawal of UNMIL would render the country insecure until a joint security unit is established to share vital information for the maintenance of peace and security in the country.

“From my own perception, Liberia would be left insecure by the complete withdrawal of UNMIL, unless several other security measures are put into place.”

The former AFL general, who now heads Veteran Affairs, said, “UNMIL’s withdrawal would also render Liberia’s territorial waters, land, sea, and air vulnerable.”

He indicated that placing the security of the country in the hands of Liberians is a crucial step, because it would be done by Liberians themselves.

Former General Kolako also observed that Liberia has the potential and capabilities to organize and provide the necessary mechanisms for adequate security agencies to keep the country safe.

“Realizing the intensity of effects this withdrawal would have upon us; it is time for our military, police, immigration and national security agency to work in unison by coordinating all tips and dissemination of sensitive security information to each other,” he said.  

Mr. Kolako explained that “inter agency cooperation is important for us at this crucial time because it increases the productivity of our security network.”

In addition, the former Army General said it allows peaceful cohesion between security and civilians working together to achieve goals.

Other panelists included Police Director, Chris Massaquoi, and Drug Enforcement Director, Anthony K. Souh among others.

Almost all the speakers stressed the need for security collaboration and information sharing.

The AFL symposium is an annual event that showcases some aspects of the Army’s professional performances and exploits to the general public. It is part of the celebration of the anniversary of the AFL scheduled for Tuesday, February 11 at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) on UN Drive.

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