The high command of the Armed Forces of Liberia has begun engaging with vulnerable groups as part of celebrations for the 66th anniversary of Armed Forces Day in an effort to uphold and safeguard the peace and serenity in the nation both before and after elections. Major General Prince Johnson, the chief of staff for the AFL, identified the youth, students, motorbike, and tricycle riders as the most susceptible categories since they are frequently utilized to incite violence and political disturbance during election seasons.
While leading senior leaders, commanders, and members of the Armed Forces of Liberia on a significant cleanup operation at the Junction of Duport Road in Paynesville, Major General Johnson revealed the information in an interview with newsmen. He asserts that the AFL, as a component of joint security in Liberia, will also inform participants in the elections of the importance of upholding and sustaining peace in the nation. The AFL Chief of Staff noted that this involvement is required to close the communication gap between these vulnerable groups and collective security, mainly concerning matters of national importance.
While the soldiers were conducting their cleanup operation on Duport Road in Paynesville, a medical unit of the AFL provided free medication to locals living near the Po River and its surroundings. At the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, a mini-sports competition with teams from Joint Security, the Lone Star MTN, the Federation of Liberian Youths, the Liberia National Student Union, and the Federation of Motorcycle and Tricycle Union also took part.
On Friday, February 23, an Islamic prayer session was held at the mosques housed within the Edward Beyan Kesselly Military Barracks to kick off the 66th Armed Forces Day celebrations. A thanksgiving ceremony was also held on Sunday, February 5, at the International Military Baptist Church at the Edward Beyan Kesselly Military Barracks as part of the religious events commemorating this year’s Armed Forces Day. The United Nations Development Program’s resident representative, Stephen Rodriguez, will give the keynote address during a symposium on Tuesday at Monrovia City Hall.
The chairmen of the defense, security, intelligence, and veteran affairs committees of the Liberian Senate and House of Representatives, as well as a number of other individuals, will participate in the conference as panelists. The event will continue two days later when different professional units of the Liberian armed forces are shown to students from different high schools in Monrovia and the surrounding area. Major General Prince C. Johnson III, the Chief of Staff of the AFL, has agreed to temporarily hand over control of the Liberian army to a student during the presentation of military professional units. The selected kid will have a sense of authority and leadership as a result.
Maj. Gen. Pablo Estrada, Commanding General of the 46th Military Police Command Lansing, Michigan, will be the main speaker at the formal celebration, which will be held at the Barclay Training Center on Saturday, February 11, 2023. George M. Weah, Commander-in-Chief of the AFL and President of Liberia, is anticipated to attend the event. He will make a special remark, which will be followed by a pass-in review and parade through Monrovia’s main streets. Two retired officers will be recognized as recipients of the Distinguish Service Order before to the pass in review, including Retired Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Nah and Retired Colonel Washington Bowier, both of the Air Wing Unit of the AFL.
The 66th Armed Forces Day celebration will be held under the theme: “Inter-Agency Collaboration: Working Together for Peaceful Elections while the symposium will be held under the topic: “Fostering Effective Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Democracy.”
Reported by: Augustine Octavius