A contingent of the Armed Forces of Liberia is expected to be deployed in Mali as part of the ongoing United Nation Peacekeeping Mission in that West African State. The troops to be deployed have completed pre-deployment training at the Camp Sande Ware Barracks located in Careysburg, that have prepared them for any circumstances that they may encounter while on the mission in Mali.
The training which was conducted by French and British trainers focused on imparting skills to personnel in order to enable them detect and defuse Explosive Ordinate Disposal (EOD) and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which are commonly used by terrorists .
This batch of personnel will be replacing returning Liberian Peacekeepers that are expected to end their duty in September after a year of service on the mission.
Speaking during the closing ceremony, Armed Forces of Liberia Chief of Staff, Maj/Gen. Prince C. Johnson III, stressed the importance of the training for the men that are to be deployed in Mali. He said the training has prepared the soldiers both mentally and physically to meet up with challenges that they may face doing the mission in Mali.
Maj/Gen. Johnson said the Armed Forces of Liberia is grateful for the high level training provided by the French and British counterparts ahead of their deployment, and lauded their governments for the support and expertise provided to the Armed Forces of Liberia.
The Liberian Army Chief of Staff said the training gives the soldiers the experience to handle any risky situation on the mission, adding that it will help to build the morale of the men ahead of their deployment.
David Belgroves, British Ambassador to Liberia also in attendance, expressed satisfaction over the involvement of his government and the French government in helping the Armed Forces of Liberia in its pre-deployment training. Ambassador Belgroves said the joint cooperation was necessary before going on the mission.
For his part, French Charge d’ Affairs, Huge Nagy, said he was impressed with the level of training the current batch of soldiers received. “From the opinion of the trainers the current batch of soldiers from the AFL are one of the best units ever trained here, we have high expectations for them when they reach Mali,” he said.
The Armed Forces of Liberia currently has a company-size in Mali and the deployment in September will be Liberia’s sixth rotation of peacekeepers in Mali.
Liberia joined the mission in 2013 and became full peacekeeping nation in July 2019 following a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and Liberia.