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“AFL Needs Adequate Budgetary Support” … BWI Principal Asserts

By Kingston S. Kolleh

The principal of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County, Attorney Harris Fomba Tarnua has stressed the need for the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) be allotted adequate budgetary support.
He said that the AFL and the Ministry of National Defense (MoD) must engage the Liberian Legislature pursuing the agenda through programmatic approach saying, “If Liberia’s Army- Military role in the democratization of its post conflict peace building nation-state must be enhanced and or solidified, then the legislative’s interaction must yield tangible budgetary support to the AFL.

Attorney Tarnue made these assertions recently while serving as one of the panelists at a symposium that preceded the commemoration of the 64th Armed Forces Day celebration on February 11, 2021 at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Liberia held under the theme “Enhancing Military and Legislative Interaction In a Democracy,” adding that enhancing military and Legislative interaction in strengthening Liberia’s democracy requires the democratization of the military, the Army and the Criminal Justice System.
He maintained that the myth of the past history of Liberia’s civil conflict and the euphoria of the present day’s reality must serve as a defining and teachable moment for the emerging contemporary Liberian Army in democratization as it has moved 21 years into the 21st century and going beyond.
According to the panelist, requisite budgetary support to the AFL will create the necessary condition for the force to up-scale the Reserved Training Officer Corps (ROTC) Program to all secondary schools and tertiary institutions in the country in order to strengthen discipline and leadership skills for the youthful population as well as the re-introduction of the training of technically proficient service men and women of the AFL at BWI through the Army Student Training Program (ASTP).
“They can acquire skills in Agriculture, Electricity, General Building Construction Technology, Automotive and Heavy Equipment Operations and maintenance as well as Road construction and maintenance among others,” he disclosed.
Speaking further, the Executive Officer (EO) of BWI stated that the school will continue to play its traditional role through educating and training career-oriented Liberian Youths in the Army and Law Enforcement sector recalling that the institution has been training men and women who have rendered distinguished services in the AFL prior to the Liberian civil upheaval, like Michael Sackor, Gray Tarlue and others who graduated with some technical skills like A. Gray Doe, Tommy Ranes and Colonel Jackson J. Paye who became Assistant Minister of National Defense (MoD) for Civil Works, Superintendent of Nimba County and later rose to the positions of Deputy Minister of National Defense (MoD) and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) for Community Services just to mention a few.
He then commended the Commander-In-Chief of the AFL, President George Weah for his positive leadership role, and noted that, that has boosted the morale of the AFL in the sub-region. Additionally, he lauded the immediate past and present leadership of the MoD for the re-introduction of the ROTC Program at BWI since 2017 which he admitted is helping in forging the school’s goal ahead relative to instilling discipline and leadership skills in the youths of the country.

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