By Bill W. Cooper
The Minister of National Defense, Daniel Ziankahn says the continuous aggressions being carried out by military revolutionists in the region is as a result of poor cross-border relationships between member countries.
According to him, the Liberian civil war occurred because of those that were charged of governance who he said failed to ensure that Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone, trusted and assured them security.
Minister Ziankahn, a retired Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), made the assertion on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, when he appeared as guest on one of Liberia’s popular evening talk show, the Spoon Talk, on Spoon Radio in Congo Town.
“This is why Guinea, Ivory Coast and, at another time, Sierra Leone, provided the environments for dissidents to train and invade Liberia as rebels. We were at war with each other and that was not good for our region,” he noted.
The Army former Chief of Staff explained, “Our borders are porous. If we do not have a good relationship with our neighbors, we will be exposed to serious security threats.”
“This is why we should keep participating in peacekeeping missions in other countries. If we fail to do so, other countries might never want to risk the lives of their citizens, military or not for us,” he stated.
Minister Ziankahn further indicated that another factor responsible for peace among the military personnel, and the governments of the day, is due to better the welfare of the military, noting, “I don’t see our military emulating our Guinean or Malian counterparts who staged coups and overthrew their leaders. The conditions that necessitated those actions are not prevalent in Liberia.”
“There are challenges ranging from lack of twenty-four hour electricity supply in our barracks to logistical issues but, again, there are some gains made over the years since our country returned to democracy,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, commenting on the Army’s budget, the Country’s Defense Minister said AFL’s current budget is US$3 million, stressing that he hopes it increases in the next fiscal year.
He explained further, “And the beginning amount as salary for soldiers is US$125 or US$150 plus a 25kg bag of rice per soldier, but again, I am hopeful that there will be some improvement.”
Ziankahn Speaks On Porosity Of Liberia’s Borders
By Bill W. Cooper