VOA Africa Service, Minister Samukai said the more than 2,000-strong Liberian military has been undergoing training in preparation for roles after the UNMIL drawdown.
“From our side, we believe that the roles and responsibilities that we have are easily executable because we have been doing the preparation a little over a year- and- a-half now,” Samukai said.
“We are at the point where all of our forces, all of the 2,000-plus personnel of the AFL have been going through different kinds of training, different kinds of operations, different kinds of scenario exercises, including our participation in the UN Mission in Mali. So, we are very confident in the capability of the Armed
Forces of Liberia,” he emphasized.
Defense Minister Samukai told the VOA that the military just graduated 154 additional personnel last week after they completed advanced individual training to prepare the army for the different roles after the drawdown of UNMIL.
Samukai denied that the presence of the international community implies that the Liberian military is incapable of maintaining the nation’s security on its own.
He disclosed that it has been suggested that about US$100 million would be needed to get the Liberian security sector ready to take over from UNMIL, noting that the amount is needed for capacity-building and resource mobilization, among others.
“That is what the government is doing now. The government has already made available $10 million to support the preparation of the Liberian security forces, including the military heading toward 2017,” he said.
Samukai disclosed that the government has made available an additional US$5 million to support the AFL and other security agencies in their preparation for the 2017 elections and other exigencies.