By Garmonyou Wilson
The People’s Republic of China has donated US$4 million engineering equipment to the Armed Forces of Liberia for use of that department of the AFL.
At the ceremony held at the National Defense Headquarters in Monrovia, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhang Yue said that his government has not only provided Liberia with engineering equipment gratis valued at US$4million, but also will send an engineering expert team to Liberia to work with the engineering personnel of the AFL.
Ambassador Yue said the equipment will enhance the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to contribute positively to Liberia’s social and economic recovery, and will raise the AFL’s profile in terms of civil-military relations.
Receiving the engineering equipment, Defense Minister Brownie J. Samukai lauded the Chinese Government for the gesture and assured that the equipment will be used for the purpose they are provided for by the AFL.
The equipment includes tractors, heavy duty trucks and other valuable equipment to be used by the Liberian army. Minister Samukai said as mandated by the President of Liberia the AFL Engineering Company will work with the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Public Works to rehabilitate roads throughout the country.
Minister Samukai said within the 2014/2015 budget, funds will be needed to ensure that operations and maintenance of the equipment is properly utilized. He then commended the Chinese government for their relationship that exists between the People’s Liberation Army of China and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). Minister added that over 30 Liberian soldiers have gone to China as a means of building the capacity of the AFL.
Also speaking during the turning over ceremony, Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly said the equipment would be utilized to build roads in various parts of the country and facilitate mobility.
Also speaking, the Minister of Public Works, Antoinette Weeks said her ministry will work along with the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Defense to rehabilitate specific road corridors throughout the country.
Madam Weeks added that both the Ministry of Public Works and Defense would benefit from a twenty-four weeks training with Chinese engineering experts in March.