British military authorities based in Freetown, Sierra Leone have expressed interest in helping Liberia with its future security plans in the wake of the drawdown of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
Speaking during a courtesy visit paid on Defense Minister Brownie Samukai at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia Thursday, British High Commissioner in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Commander Derek Deighton, described as mature the level of defense cooperation between Liberia and the UK.
“We are keen on UNMIL’s transition and will be glad to know areas UK can be of assistance to you,” he said.
Also making remarks during the courtesy visit, British Maritime Advisor of the International Security Advisory based in Freetown, Commander Pat O’Byrne, said he was pleased to discuss the future of the Liberian Coast Guard.
This is the second time this week that bilateral military partners have pledged assistance to the defense ministry.
Earlier, the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Ralph Brauksiepe and delegation expressed similar interest during a visit to the defense ministry at the Barclay Training Center on Monday, November 16.
Also in remarks, the British Ambassador to Liberia, David Belgrove, assured Minister Samukai that the delegation will further explore cooperation in many other areas between the militaries of both countries.
In response, Defense Minister Samukai described bilateral partnership as crucial in scaling up training opportunities in the areas of unexploded ordinance disposal, civil military cooperation as well as increasing the response capability of the Engineering Company of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
He noted that such opportunities will enable the AFL to assist civil authorities in a timely manner and strengthen the capability of the Liberian Coast Guard, “We hope that the capacity of our Coast Guard can be boosted at our forward operational bases so as to increase our maritime patrols as a way of assuring our population of confidence and deterring poaching and pollution along our southernfrontiers,” he added.
The Liberian Defense Minister hoped that results of the courtesy visit of the British delegation will also provide "cross-cutting benefits" in the relations subsisting between Liberian and the British militaries.