BARCLAY TRAINING CENTER, Monrovia: The attention of the authority of Ministry of National Defense has been drawn to the New Democrat Newspaper, Thursday, June 22, 2017 edition, Volume 24, N0.132, under the banner headline “Brumskine’s ‘Zogoes’ Army.” The article, quoting Cllr Brumskine, stated inter alia that, “We will use the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as a vehicle to assist with the development of our country. We will establish auxiliary units, such as the Agriculture Battalion, the Engineering Battalion, and the Medical, in which Zogoes and other troubled youth, as well as average young Liberians, who may so desire, to be trained as carpenters, painters, masons, electricians, plumbers, farmers, among others.”
The Ministry of National Defense totally disagrees with any and all future Commander-In-Chiefs who harbor the desire of conducting political recruitment of “Zogoes” into the Armed Forces of Liberia. Such action on the part of any future leader has the propensity to dampen the professional content of the force and it points to a deliberate breach of the legal requirements for eligibility for service in the AFL and the Method of recruitment as articulated in sections 7.2 and 7.3 of the New National Defense Act respectively. Additionally, applicants have to be approved by the Joint Personnel Board (comprising One representative each from the Civil Society, the U.S. Government, the United Nations Mission in Liberia and chaired by the Minister of National Defense).
The Ministry of National Defense further views the call for recruiting Zogoes into the AFL by the Political Leader of the Liberty Party as a flagrant disservice to the efforts of United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States as well as other bilateral partners, particularly the United States Government which have over the years invested both human and material resources aimed at creating a professional, properly trained and equipped security apparatus that is apolitical and subordinated to the constitution of Liberia.