News / Africa

Liberian Legislature Approves Troop Commitment to Mali

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (file photo).Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (file photo).
x
Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (file photo).
Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (file photo).
James Butty
The Liberian legislature has given its approval, in principle, to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s decision to send troops to Mali.  

Sirleaf sent a letter Thursday to the legislative body informing them of her commitment to send a platoon of Liberian soldiers to help in the ongoing regional peacekeeping mission in Mali.  

Some have expressed concern that Liberia, which still has a U.N. peacekeeping presence, is not prepared to undertake such a role.  

But, Senator John Ballout said sending troops to Mali would signal Liberia’s re-entry into international politics, peacekeeping and diplomacy. 

He said the legislature has summoned the ministers of defense, finance, and justice to appear next week to clarify the financial and security implications.  

“The opinion of the Senate is inclined toward supporting the president’s commitment.  Nevertheless, the Senate has to make certain clarifications.  For example, what are, if any, the budgetary implications?  What is the nature of the conflict?  How does it impact our country?  And, why is it that we should get involved?  That type of information we thought to get by citing the finance, justice and defense ministers next week to face plenary and answer these questions,” he said.

Ballout said Mali, like many other West African countries, has been part of a West African and UN peacekeeping effort that helped bring peace to Liberia after nearly 14 years of civil war.

“They have, in one way or the other, contributed to the peace we enjoy today.  So, we owe it to not only Mali but the international community, through their collective decision, to help a country in need,” Ballout said.  

Butty interview with Ballout
Butty interview with Ballouti
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

He said Sirleaf sent a letter to the Senate informing them that the international community is ready to provide logistical support to the peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Ballout said Liberia’s troop commitment will be more symbolic than substantive because the number of troops Sirleaf is requesting would be no more than a platoon.

“I think this marks our re-entry into global international peacekeeping, diplomacy and politics.  This is also good because it shows the kind of solidarity that West African countries need to show toward each other.  And Liberia is proud to be ready to contribute her troops,” Ballout said.

He said those who say Liberia is not in a position to contribute to an international peacekeeping should remember that Mali once stood by Liberia in its time of need.

“We, as Liberians, have the clear understanding of the syndrome that people might describe as ‘being there, done that.’  We know what it means to be waiting for help and hoping that someone would respond.  We know what it means to have a population vulnerable to the threat of soldiers moving with bombs and guns.  So, for those who have those concerns, our peace is not threatened by sending 40 to 50 soldiers to Mali,” Ballout said.

You May Like

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid