By Garmonyou Wilson
The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Liberia National Police (LNP), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), and the National Fire Service (NFS) have conducted a joint exercise on crisis control at the AFL Unification Town Barrack in Margibi County.
The joint exercise which was conducted during the weekend was a means of demonstrating the various security agencies preparedness to take over the security of Liberia once the United Nations Military in Liberia (UNMIL) completes its drawdown come 2016.
The exercise named Watch-Over IV brought the joint security forces together to identify their roles when it involves a crisis of national concern.
AFL Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Daniel Ziankahn, said the exercise was to enable Liberia’s security do what needs to be done in the case of crisis. He said the exercise was a replication of ‘real life situation.’
Brig. General ZianKahn said the security forces want to do the exercise yearly, wherein the four forces would come together in an exercise that would lead to the resolution of crisis.
He disclosed that it is costly to conduct such an exercise, especially when it involves the military, saying, “It is expensive to move the military.”
Colonel Clearance Massaquoi of the LNP during the ceremony said the demonstration is to show the Liberian people that the joint security is ready to take over security throughout the country when UNMIL shall have left.
Col. Massaquoi stated further that if history could prove him right, then the security has always been ready. He made reference to therecent crisis’ in Sinoe, Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties when the police demonstrated how capable they are to resolve crisis.“The Security is always prepared to save life and property.
“Nothing has changed and nothing will change when UNMIL leaves,” Col. Massaquoi asserted. “The Security forces are together,” he concluded.
BIN Commissioner Col. Lemuel Reeves said the exercise was a positive step in the right direction. He continued, “Working together improves security.” He stated further that the exercise would ensure that everybody knows their function during a crisis. “We are all on the same time,” he concluded.
The Deputy Director for Operations for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Benedict Johnson said that the DEA was committed to conducting the exercise annually. He said once the security forces are together they can succeed.
The Deputy Director for the National Fire Service (NFS), Napoleon Jones said that the exercise brought the fire service to the book. He stated that the NFS is limited to carry out its function because not only does the entity have only two fire trucks for the entire country but it also lacks many other resources to make them more efficient.
The Secretary General of the Liberia National Red Cross, FayiahTamba said that the organization was grateful to be a part of the process.
SG Tamba said if a crisis situation was to ever unfold when the time comes, there would be no need for introduction. The Red Cross through a United Nations Resolution is protected when crisis happens anywhere in the world.
As UNMIL gradually drawdown, Liberian security forces are preparing themselves to take on the full responsibility to make sure that the country’s borders are protected; whether it is civil or foreign crisis Liberian security believe that together they can ease any tension that may erupt.However logistics is an issue that seems to be far from being addressed.