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Defence Ministry Rebuts Newspaper Report
Date Uploaded: Jun 15, 2016

 AFL Chief of Staff Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankahn



Defence Ministry Rebuts Newspaper Report

MONROVIA, June 14 (LINA) –The Ministry of National Defence (MoD) has indicated that the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) remains professionally focused and committed to executing its mandate within the ambit of the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.

The ministry promised to work in consonance with the United Nations as the UN Mission in Liberia draws down.

The ministry’s assurance is in response to a barrage of publications in recent times by the Daily Observer Newspaper relative to what the paper described in its publication as the late arrival of AFL Chief of Staff Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankahn at an official UN program.

In its defence of the Chief of Staff, Brig./Gen. Ziankahn, the ministry said it was dismayed by the publication, especially when it was followed by series of editorials on the General.

The Ministry in a release said contrary to the publication, Ziankahn arrived half hour ahead of the schedule at the Pan African Plaza for the commencement of a global program to honour peacekeepers.

According to the release, he was received by UNMIL Force Commander Major General Salihu Zaway Uba after which both men proceeded upstairs to Uba’s office, where they discussed UNMIL’s transition and other official matters.

The release indicated that at the appropriate time both generals were advised by UNMIL’s  protocol to move downstairs and as a matter of military courtesy, were rendered the customary ‘military rendition’ by the band and troops and wondered how CoS Ziankahn could be late as reported by the paper and participate in these exercises.

“At no time, neither Brigadier General Ziankahn nor any member of his office staff ever establish any communication link (whether through letter or phone calls) with the Daily Observer Publisher Kenneth Y. Best, inviting or summoning him,” the ministry further clarified.

The ministry named those who contacted Mr. Best for a meeting on the publications as Assistant Defence Minister for Public Affairs, David K. Dahn and later, Deputy Defence Minister for Administration and then acting Defence Minister, Joseph F. Johnson.

“That meeting did not materialize because Mr. Best claimed that he was advised by his lawyer not to do so; he however advised Defence Ministry authorities to do a rebuttal to the publication by the Daily Observer,” the release said.

The MoD release revealed that only Minister Brownie Samukai arrived late as he returned from the funeral of the son of Judge Luvenia Ash-Thompson where he represented President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as acting Commander-in-Chief.

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