Nigeria Army War College Conducts Strategic Study Visit To Liberia By: Julius Konton

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The Army War College of Nigeria (AWCN) has embarked on a strategic study visit to Liberia under the theme “Protection of Solid Mineral Sector for Enhanced National Security.” The delegation from the AWCN engaged with key officials and institutions in Liberia, aiming to foster collaboration and share insights on the critical intersection of natural resource management and national security. The visit featured a significant interaction with the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of Liberia. The engagement among other things underscores the commitment of both nations to address common challenges and leverage shared experiences in the protection and management of solid mineral resources. In response Gabriel H. Salee, Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Liberia, extended a warm welcome to the Nigerian delegation. He emphasized the importance of international cooperation in safeguarding vital sectors that contribute to national stability and economic prosperity. “The protection of our solid mineral sector is not just an economic necessity but a crucial aspect of our national security and we are honored to collaborate with the Army War College of Nigeria to enhance our strategies and ensure sustainable development,” stated Mr. Salee. Elsewhere, Brigadier General Aminu Mohammed Umar, who led the Nigerian delegation, highlighted the objectives of the visit and the significance of the theme in contemporary security discourse. “Our visit to Liberia is part of a broader initiative to understand and develop comprehensive strategies that integrate solid mineral sector protection with national security imperatives and we also  believe that through mutual exchange of knowledge and best practices, our countries can fortify their defenses against threats that jeopardize our valuable resources,” said Brigadier General Umar. During the visit, the AWCN delegation engaged in a series of discussions and workshops with officials from the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute. The sessions covered various aspects of mineral resource management, including legal frameworks, security measures, and sustainable practices. Experts from both Nigeria and Liberia shared their perspectives on how to mitigate risks such as illegal mining, smuggling, and environmental degradation, which pose significant threats to national security. One of the highlights of the visit was a roundtable discussion on the role of regional cooperation in protecting mineral resources. Participants at the same time acknowledged that transnational collaboration is essential to tackle the sophisticated nature of threats facing the solid mineral sector.  The discussion also underscored the need for joint intelligence-sharing, coordinated enforcement actions, and capacity-building initiatives to enhance the resilience of both countries against exploitation and security breaches. The AWCN’s visit to Liberia also included field trips to key mineral extraction sites and facilities.

These visits provided the delegation with firsthand insights into the operational challenges and security measures in place. Brigadier General Umar commended the efforts of the Liberian government in managing their mineral resources and assured of Nigeria’s support in sharing technical expertise and enhancing bilateral ties. On the other hand, Deputy Minister Salee reaffirmed Liberia’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with Nigeria, especially in areas that have far-reaching implications for both nations’ security and economic well-being.  “We look forward to deepening our collaboration with Nigeria.  This visit marks the beginning of a series of engagements that will focus on building robust frameworks to protect our mineral wealth and ensure it contributes to 6national growth and security,” he remarked. The strategic study visit concluded with a lecture series between the AWCN and the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute.  The lecture series covered the following topics: Radiation and Nuclear Security; The Importance of National Resources Governance and security among others.  And a roadmap for continued cooperation, including joint training programs, research initiatives, and policy development efforts aimed at enhancing the security and sustainability of the solid mineral sectors in both countries. The program was graced by several dignitaries to include, Dr. Ibrahim Al-bakriNyei, Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs;  Reginald B. Goodridge, Sr., Director General of the Foreign Service Institute;  Saywhar Nana Gbaa, Assistant Minister for Public Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs;  Karishma Pelham-Raad, Assistant Minister for International Organization, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; SirajoDogondaji Abubakar, Second Secretary, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nageria among others. The Army War College of Nigeria’s visit to Liberia represents a significant step towards reinforcing regional security and economic stability. By addressing the complex challenges associated with the protection of solid mineral resources, Nigeria and Liberia are poised to set a precedent for other nations in the region to follow. The AWCN is a premier military institution dedicated to developing strategic leaders with the expertise to address contemporary security challenges.  Through rigorous academic programs and practical engagements, the AWCN fosters the development of comprehensive security strategies that integrate various sectors critical to national stability. The Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, is a leading institution for diplomatic training and international relations. The Institute plays a vital role in shaping Liberia’s foreign policy and fostering international cooperation.

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