AFL, Keep Shining!

TODAY, WE ARE publishing a story on our front page about the activities of the new armed forces of Liberia, which is on a peace mission in Mali. About four months ago June 23, 2013, troops from the Armed Forces of Liberia arrived in Mali onboard a United States C-17 military aircraft to participate in the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) and were received by the Nigerian Battalion at the Bamako International Airport.

ACCORDING TO INFORMATION, on June 26, the AFL unit hoisted with pride the Liberian National Colors at the Headquarters NIBATT One Base in Mali, and on July 1, the unit participated in the re-hatting ceremony, changing from the African-Led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

PRINCIPALLY, THE MISSION of the AFL is to defend the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Liberia, including land, air and maritime territory, against external aggression, insurgency, terrorism and encroachment.

MOREOVER, IT IS to respond to natural disasters and engage in other civic works as required or directed. The mission of the army was in consonance with the Defense Act of 2008 which states that the AFL shall also participate in international peacekeeping enforcement and other missions conducted by the UN, Africa Union, Economic Community of West African States, Mano River Union (MRU) and or all international institutions of which Liberia is a member.

TODAY, WE ARE proud to note that the AFL mission in Mali is contributing immensely to international peace efforts, representing Liberia and translating the skills and training they have acquired over the past seven years into a real combat environment. As a result of its activities, the United Nations is praising the efforts of the AFL’s first operation’s deployment in more than 50 years. Also, the headquarters of MINUSMA has confirmed the approval of two AFL officers to occupy staff officer positions.

INDEED, WE ARE gratified by these achievements by the Liberian mission in that country, as this would create a positive image of the country and more importantly exhibit how trained and professional the new army is, considering the efforts that were made in the recruitment and training exercises of this army, in keeping with the comprehensive peace Agreement (CPA) reached by the parties in Accra, Ghana, about 10 years ago.

HOWEVER, AS WE acknowledge the effort of the AFL mission in Mali, it is equally our belief that the mission would not be complacent over these accolades, but would continue to always exhibit professionalism in the discharge of their duties in the mission. The mission should continue to serve as Goodwill Ambassadors, in an effort to rebuild the confidence lost in the former army because of its role in the country’s civil conflict.

AS GOODWILL AMBASSADORS, the AFL Mission should always remember that all eyes are on them to bring credit, not only to the army, but also the country, which international image was lost because of the conflict and bad governance over the years. Once again, we hail the troops for “performing excellently well in their duty,” as was acknowledged by the mission’s Chief of staff of MINUSMA in that country.

HATS OFF TO the AFL Mission in Mali! Equally, we commend Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai and his team for the level of discipline in the new army, which is being exemplified and exhibited in Mali. Indeed, to whom much is given, much is expected. Let the mission in Mali Keep shinning to bring pride and honor to Mother Liberia