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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs