French and British military experts have completed weeks of training Liberian military personnel to prepare them for the sixth deployment of Liberian troops to Mali in September for UN peacekeeping operations.
Mali has been battling terrorist attacks for years, and Liberia has been one of many countries that have been helping to restore peace there under a UN Peacekeeping operation.
This batch of Armed Forces of Liberia soldiers will replace returning Liberian peacekeepers who are expected to end their one-year mission in Mali in September 2019.
On Wednesday, 7 August 2019, Liberia’s Chief of Staff, Major General Prince C. Johnson; Deputy Defense Minister for Administration, Olandrus Dickson; British Ambassador to Liberia, David Belgrove and the Charge d’Affairs at the French Embassy, Hugh Nagy witnessed the soldiers as they displayed military tactics they acquired from their British and French trainers.
Ahead of the exercise, the foreign trainers, Liberian military authorities and other dignitaries were led to the exhibition hall at Camp Ware Military Barracks outside Monrovia, where weapons, including mines and other explosive devices that the soldiers have been trained to defuse, were on display. These devices are commonly used by militants to cause havoc in areas infested with terrorists.
As part of the training for what to expect in the risk zone of Mali, the Liberian soldiers have been given skills to detect and defuse explosive Ordinate Disposal and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) when they are on patrol missions during their peace keeping operation.
In remarks, AFL Chief of Staff, Prince Johnson, said it was important that their British and French counterparts brought in their own expertise “to enhance our guys who will be deployed to Mali in September.” “This training we are getting will build the morale of the troops,” General Johnson said, adding that it gives them that experience to counter whatever they will encounter and respond appropriately during their mission in Mali
In remarks, British Ambassador Belgrove said he is pleased that his country’s army and the French armed forces are in the country training Liberian armed forces for their deployment to Mali.