The Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army, Lt. Gen. L.N. Yusuf has disclosed that the Nigerian troops would remain in Liberia after the departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
He said Nigeria would ensure that Liberia is capable of defending itself before it pulls out of Liberia.
Lt. Gen. Yusuf spoke Thursday following program marking the medal presentation to officers of the Nigerian Contingent serving in UNMIL. The program was held at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, near Monrovia.
He said Nigerian foreign policy calls for the support of black cause, and as such, his country feels obliged to support Liberia in sustaining the peace.
The Nigerian Army Chief of Staff disclosed that UNMIL has begun expanding the Nigerian Contingent controlled areas from Montserrado County to other counties including Rivercess, noting “as UNMIL carries out its drawdown plan, Nigerian troops would fill those areas.”
Lt. Gen. Yusuf said Nigeria’s support to Liberia is not aimed at getting any economic benefit, but to support the black cause which is stipulated in the country’s foreign policy.
The Nigerian Army Chief of Staff said, “we strongly care for Liberia not because we want something, but for peace; we want the people of Liberia to forget about war and help sustain the peace they are enjoying.”
He said based on Nigeria’s commitment to assisting Liberia defend itself, several personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia were currently undergoing intensive military training in that country geared towards preparing them for the task ahead.
According to him, these AFL officers are undergoing jungle training which is intended to make them operate in the most difficult areas and withstand any given task adding, “when these soldiers complete their training, they would overcome issues or things that people think are impossible.”
He said given the huge task ahead of personnel of the AFL, they have to undergo diverse military training to enable them cope with the task.
Lt. Gen. Yusuf called on the Liberian government to equip personnel of the AFL so it can adequately defend the war-wrecked nation.
He said no matter the training personnel of AFL might have, if they are not equipped, they would not be able to perform their duty, adding “we hope that the government would equip the AFL to deal with any force.”
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