Defense Minister Lauds ECOWAS For Supporting Liberia’s Security Sector


Monrovia – Liberia’s, Minister Brownie J. Samukai, Jr. has praised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for efforts in restoring peace to the country over the years.

Report by Edwin G. Genoway – [email protected]

He said Liberia is grateful to ECOWAS for being involved in the peace keeping process by always providing troops when needed at the time.

“We owe you gratitude for the sacrifices you all have made in bringing us this far and we want to ensure that our region remains peaceful and stable,” he said.

The Defense Minister said the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) has grown in its reform process and ECOWAS continues to play a pivotal role in the reform of the Liberian army.

He was speaking at a program marking the 7th Ordinary meeting of the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defense Staff in Liberia that is expected to conclude today September 8, 2017.

Mr. Samukai said the holding of the 37th Ordinary meeting of the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defense Staff in Liberia validates the trust and progress made by the government in the maintenance of peace.

According to him ECOWAS has been able to settle disputes not only in Liberia but the sub-region.

He noted further that through ECOWAS, a lot has been achieved in improving Liberia’s defense sector by building the capacity of men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

“Through the support of ECOWAS, Liberia has had two of Nigeria’s finest generals who have served over the leadership of the AFL, through their mentorship and training and the support from Ghana, Sierra Leone Benin, other countries in the region.”

“Today Liberia has its own Chief of Defense Staff that is now steering the affairs of the AFL,” he noted.

Minister Samukai also vowed to relinquish his post even if he is appointed Defense Minister following the ascendency of a new president.

The Defense Minister noted that a lot has been achieved over the years in improving the country’s defense program through the efforts of ECOWAS.

The outgoing Chairman of the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff of ECOWAS, Major General Daniel Zainkahn, of the AFL has stressed the need to tackle military threats in the sub region.

Major Zainkahn said the meeting is aimed at tackling current security issues and exploring ways of collectively promoting peace and stability in the sub-region. 

He noted that the proposed structure of the ECOWAS standby force will be discussed and expected to be approved to enhance security in the gulf of Guinea and the Maritime exclusive economic zones.

Major Zainkahn noted that though the security situation in the South region has been restored, much still needs to be done.

According to the Chief of Defense Staff of ECOWAS, member state countries need to work together to uphold peace in the South Region.

Commenting on the role played by ECOWAS troops in the Gambia and Yaya Jammeh saga, the Liberia’s Chief of Defense Staff said the role the military played was very professional and there was no bloodshed in the process.

“The action or military involvement in the Gambia was due to the refusal of the former president to have left power and head of states decided at the time that the military played a role, and like I said the military played their role well and there was no bloodshed or casualty,” he noted.