Margibi County – President George Weah says the Armed Forces of Liberia can play a major role in “uniting and building a more peaceful and prosperous Liberia” and make “significant contribution to regional peace and stability.”
But the Liberian leader stressed that existing funding, equipment and logistic constraints as well as “apparent inability of government to provide social needs of the military” are hurdles to the performance of the military.
President Weah was speaking Monday before breaking grounds for the construction of a military hospital, which he named the 14th Medical Hospital, adding that the move is his “first step to building a modern and professional Liberian army”.
The military hospital, which will be the first of its kind in the country, will be built within the proximity of the Edward Binyan Kessely Barracks along the Roberts International Airport highway.
The President assured that actual construction work will begin in “the next few weeks.”
He disclosed that the designed has been approved and financing for the project has already been arranged.
The hospital will be equipped with the most modern facility and will be staffed by highly trained medical personals; it will also be a teaching hospital for soldiers, President Weah said.
He assured his administration’s commitment to building an army of “professional trained soldiers who are well paid, highly educated, and professionally trained and care for medically to the highest standard.”
“As we speak today, there are no specialized medical facilities for our men and women in arms,” he said, claiming that AFL personals are given no priorities at other hospitals.
“Our wounded soldiers that are returning to Liberia from peace mission aboard have to be evacuated to other countries for specialized medical treatment that they require.”
Origin of a Name: ‘14 Military Hospital’
President Weah, a former FIFA player of the year, said he preferred the name ‘14th Medical Hospital’ based on his legacy of success on the football pitch when he wore the number 14 on the back of his jersey.
At the ground breaking, he recalled that he brought success and proud to the Liberia and Africa in number 14 jersey.
“It is now attached to this new institution as a symbolic reminder of what Liberians can achieve when we together put our hearts and minds into promoting and defending our country’s cause,” he said.
“It is the first project of my administration and I promise you that it will not be the last.”