LONDON, December 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) is ready to take on full responsibility for the nation's security, according to the Nigerian officer overseeing the transition of military power.
Major General Suraj Alao Abdurrahman has been acting as the country's Commander-in-Chief since 2007 while fledgling troops have been receiving training from US contractors amid efforts to rebuild Liberia following two decades of civil war.
"There is a road map for the independence of the AFL to protect the territorial integrity of Liberia," Abdurrahman told Defence IQ. "The road map was outlined two years ago and has been rigidly followed. It will culminate on 11 February, 2014, on which date I will hand over the command of the AFL to a Liberian officer." (The full interview can be found at: http://bit.ly/J9oN03)
Abdurrahman was speaking ahead of his involvement at February's West African Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit (AFSEC) 2014, being held in Morocco, where attendees will take part in senior-level discussions over the region's policies, multilateral cooperation and procurement opportunities.
West African militaries will be looking to private industry professionals to discover cost-effective ways to counter a number of emerging security threats to the region, including the rise of the transatlantic maritime drug trade that is steadily seeing narcotics from the Americas entering Africa in order to transit to markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The defence chief praised the dedication of new soldiers as well as the support the nation has already received from neighbouring states. Such partnerships are looking to be replicated and extended in the coming years, with AFSEC providing the foundation for dialogue.
"I believe this conference will provide the required platform to further examine and improve existing cooperation between our various nations in the quest of tackling of this security menace," Abdurrahman stated. "No country can go it alone. It is only collectively that we can overcome the menace."
Other national chiefs of staff in attendance include those from Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Togo, alongside naval chiefs, large-scale programme managers and solution providers.
AFSEC 14 takes place in Casablanca, Morocco, from February 25-27, 2014. The full agenda and booking forms can be found at http://www.afsecevent.com.
SOURCE Defense IQ