‘Liberia Risks Retaliatory Terrorist Attack’ – Pres. Weah
Monrovia – President George Manneh Weah has alluded to recent alert of possible terrorist attack in Liberia, stating that Liberia stands “the risk of retaliatory strikes from supporters and sympathizers of the forces that threaten peace in Mali.”
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
President Weah made the assertion in Brussels while addressing delegates at the European Development Day (EDD) Summit.
He linked the new security threat to the deployment of Liberian military personnel as peacekeepers in Mali.
“In the face of this new threat, we are asking the European Union in conjunction with the United Nations to work with our security sector to ensure the safety of our citizens and residents within our borders,” he said.
President Weah’s assertion comes several weeks after the British government issued a travel alert on Liberia, citing that possible terrorist attack cannot be ruled out.
The British government in May warned its citizens traveling to Liberia that “Terrorist attacks in Liberia can’t be ruled out. As seen in Mali, Côte D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, terrorist groups continue to mount attacks on beach resorts, hotels, cafés and restaurants visited by foreigners. You should be vigilant in these locations and avoid any crowded places and public gatherings or events. There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.”
The Liberia National Police condemned a FrontPageAfrica publication highlighting the warning, noting that the information was misleading.
But the President’s confirmation and subsequent plea for assistance questions how prepared the Liberian security is to curb these threats, especially in the wake of the pullout of the United Nations Mission in Liberia.
The country is prone to an influx of small arms, most of which are believed to be locally manufactured in neighboring Guinea.
When the war ceased in 2003, the United Nations in Liberia beefed up security in Liberia by providing manpower, logistics and capacity building. The mission ended in March this year.
In June 2013, Liberia committed 150 officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia to peacekeeping mission in Mali.
The peacekeeping deployment is only the second in Liberia’s history, after it sent peacekeepers to Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1960s.
The Mali mission is the first since it rebuilt its army from scratch after the civil war, which was characterized by the use of child soldiers by rival warlords and rampant human rights abuses.