By Goodluck Ikiebe in Abuja.
The Chief of Staff (COS), Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Major General Prince Charles Johnson III, has showered encomium on the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) for playing a vital role in the restoration of peace and stability in Liberia.
He also paid glowing tributes to late Lieutenant General LN Yusuf and Major General SA Abdurrahman, who served as the first and second COS of the new AFL before handing over to an indigenous COS.
Major General Johnson gave the commendation and tributes when he visited the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
He said that Nigeria and Liberia had long standing defence and bilateral relations, admitting that, “today Liberia has witnessed seventeen years of relative peace and stability because of the sacrifices of men and women of the AFN, for which Liberia is ever grateful and indebted to Nigeria”.
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As an expression of Liberia’s depth of gratitude, he said, a befitting memorial was being planned to honour and immortalize the AFN in the annals of Liberia’s history especially, those who paid the supreme price with their lives to bring peace to Liberia.
Our correspondent report that COS Liberia was in Nigeria to attended the graduation ceremony of Senior Course 44 Students of Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) in Jaji, Kaduna a day before,
He said the courtesy call on the CDS was to also enable him seek possibility of enhancing the existing defence ties in order to tackle contemporary threats facing the West African sub-region and Africa at large.
General Johnson further stated that AFL personnel were gaining from the training arrangements with AFN, noting that the AFL was benefiting immensely from the professionalism, expertise and experiences of their Nigerian counterpart, which would help in addressing future threats in Liberia and the West Africa region.
Responding, the CDS, General Lucky Irabor, said the AFN remained proud to have actively participated in the restoration of peace, law and order to Liberia during the period of the country’s security challenges.
General Irabor assured him that the AFN would continue to render the needed support to AFL in building its capacity required to undertake the responsibilities of defending and securing Liberia.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari was supportive of the AFN’s engagements in Liberia, which was in accordance with the President’s commitment in ensuring peace and stability in West Africa and the whole of Africa.
The visiting COS was accompanied by Colonel JS Willie (Commander, Liberia Coast Guard), Colonel ON Ejiga (a Nigerian, who is a Senior Adviser ECOWAS Adversory Training Team to Liberia) and Captain JJ Dwanah (Liberia Military Pilot).
The COS with his team later paid similar visits to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaya, Chief of Navy Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao in their offices at the Armed Forces Complex in Abuja.
According to Google, the first Liberian Civil War was an internal conflict in Liberia from 1989 until 1997.
The conflict killed around 200,000 people and eventually led to the involvement of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and of the United Nations.
Nigeria played strategic role in bringing the war to an end in 1997.
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