The Minister of National Defense, Retired General Daniel Ziankahn, has said that the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has gone through significant transformation, noting that the force is well-trained, respected, trustworthy and reflects the hopes and aspirations of the Liberian people.
The Defense Minister observed that barely one year after he was called to serve the nation by President George Manneh Weah, he is proud to report that the nation’s military is stable and that the men and women of the AFL are ever vigilant and remain a force that the nation can boast of.
He said in remarks at the 62nd Armed Forces Day celebration in Monrovia on Monday that the AFL has gained its rightful place in the Liberian society, admitting, however, that “this did not happen by chance; but through focus, recruitment strategies, sustained training, education and rigorous monitoring.”
Referencing President Weah’s commitment and vision to ensuring that Liberia can boost of a vibrant military, Ziankahn averred that the men and women of the AFL are the most trained discipline and combat-ready force that Liberia can ever boast of.
He said as part of the AFL’s effort to support the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, they have engaged in various initiatives to ensure reforms and establish constructive civil-military relations.
“We are also aware that the responsibilities of our nation’s armed forces to its citizens is paramount and, to this end, we have crafted a clear code of conduct supported by sustained efforts to incorporate ethical balance in the AFL and reinforce accountability, public trust, dignity, service and respect for human rights,” Ziankahn noted.
The Defense Minister indicated that to ensure this, the ministry has collaborated with their international partners from the US Department of Defense, the Department of State US office of Security Cooperation in Liberia to conduct local training for the Liberian army and its civilian staff.
“The AFL continues to be a force for good capable of conducting at least two missions simultaneously and participating in civil operations that enhance the reconstruction of our country as well as contribute to regional and international peace and security,” Ziankahn maintained.
He then thanked members of the AFL for their commitment to serve the nation and its people.
Ziankahn also commended the governments of the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, among several other bilateral partners, for the provision of training opportunities aimed at enhancing the professional development of members of the AFL.