By Alex Yomah
The Republic of Ghana has agreed to help Liberia through collaboration to restructure Liberia Army’s Air-Wing.
The restructuring of Air-wing is in compliance of the new Defense Act that was passed by the Legislature giving the Army the legal authority to establish Air-Wing aimed at protecting Liberia’s airspace so as to shun terrorists from using the airspace.
Liberia had Air-Wing prior to the civil war but was formally dissolved in 2005 as part of the armed forces demobilization programme.
The decision was made over the weekend following an indoor meeting between Ghana’s Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Ernest B. Asre-Asiedu and AFL Chief of Staff, Gen. Prince C. Johnson at the Ghana Embassy in Sinkor.
Speaking to newsmen following the meeting, Gen. Johnson informed that the collaboration is in continuation of Ghana and Liberia collaborations-especially in the area of strengthening the Liberian army.
He said the meeting which led to the consummation of the collaboration followed his visit to Ghana in October of this year aimed at exploring avenues to seek opportunity from Ghana to contribute in restructuring of the Armed Forces of Liberia Air-wing which was dissolved in 2005.
“While In Ghana, we toured the Ghanaian’s Aircraft facility and sought the country’s help to guide Liberia to restructure ours,” he said.
According to him, Liberia selected Ghana to guide Liberia because Ghana has one of the best Aircrafts facilities in Africa.
Gen. Johnson explained further that if the Air Wing is restructured and functional it would help to protect Liberia’s airspace in terms of security; help the National Elections Commission during electioneering periods to transport electoral materials when needed; and also aid NaAFA in combating illegal fishing in Liberia’s territorial waters and among others.
Stating the importance of the Air Wing, General Jonson told newsmen that the current Army is providing full security within 43,000 square miles land covered by Liberia but unfortunately, none is in the airspace because of the lack of Air-wing or Air-force-something he described as worrisome.
For his part, Ambassador Ernest B. Asre-Asiedu said Ghana and Liberia are best friends in Africa, noting that they will not hesitate to help Liberia whenever Ghana is called upon.
He stated further that during Liberia’s 14 years of civil upheaval, Ghana and Nigeria played a pivotal role in restoring peace in Liberia and both sisterly countries have been working together in diverse roles.
According to him, Liberia is one country in Africa where more Ghanaians want to be in Liberia and freely do their businesses which is clear demonstrations of the strong ties that exist between the two countries.
The Ambassador appreciated the Liberian government for the peace in Liberia and also noted that Ghana is proud of Liberia for sustaining the peace in the absence of foreign and regional troops.
“ I am also happy that Liberia has been able to sustain peace and is not paying dues thereby deploying troops on peacekeeping missions as part of peacekeeping venture; please remember Mali as well. During your days of civil crisis, Mali had troops here,” he said.
According to the Ambassador, the conversations between two countries aimed at guiding Liberia in restructuring Liberia Armed Forces Air-wing will boost the country’s army in the region in terms of providing maximum security in West Africa against intruders.
He said to have a complete security for any autonomous nation like Liberia, the citizens must be protected by both land and sea and airspace of which Liberia is now seeking.
He asserted further that guiding Liberia to have Air-Force or Air-Wing as member of the United Nations peace-keeping not only boost Liberia’s army but also boost Sub-region in terms of providing maximum security against intruders
He also indicated that selecting Ghana to help Liberia in restructuring the Armed Forces of Liberia’s Air-WING demonstrates strong ties that have existed between the two countries.
The Ambassador also indicated that Liberia‘s history –particularly the civil upheaval that led to the deaths of over 250,000 citizens will not be replete without Ghana’s contribution being mentioned.