LIBERIA: Defense Minister Samukai Hails U.S. Support To AFL

Defense Minister J. Brownie Samukai has lauded the U.S. government for its positive ties and continuous support to the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), from the restructuring process that kicked off in 2006 to the ongoing transformation process.

Minister Samukai reiterated that he is pleased with the American Government's support to the AFL over the years, especially the Liberian Coast Guard.

He made the commendation Thursday when a United States military delegation headed by Brigadier General James S. O’Meara, paid a courtesy call on him at his Barclay Training Center (BTC) office.

Brigadier General O’Meara was accompanied by Mr. Lee McTaggert, Col. Timothy D. Mitchell, and Col. Lu Perozo.

He informed the visiting delegation that the AFL is currently carrying out its own recruitment and training exercises executed by 'Sergeants' who were trained in the United States.

According to a Defense Ministry press release issued in Monrovia Thursday, Minister Samukai said the AFL is being developed into a “Citizen’s Army, a force for good and a force that will positively contribute to the post-war reconstruction of Liberia."

Minister Samukai thanked the American delegation for the visit, and praised the United States military officers who are currently mentoring personnel of the National Army in the ongoing restructuring process.

He also thanked the United States Government for extending OPERATION ONWARD LIBERTY to an additional one year.

In remarks, Brigadier General O’Meara said the purpose of his delegation’s visit to Liberia is to reinforce bilateral relations at the senior inter-governmental level in order to review United States support to Liberia and to discuss issues of mutual interest.

He extolled Minister Samukai for the level of progress made so far since the restructuring of the Armed Forces of Liberia began in 2006, and assured his government’s continued assistance to Liberia in its recovery process.

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