Defense Minister, SamoukaiThe Minister of National Defense, Brownie Samukai, said recent allegation made by him against the management of ArcelorMittal that the company has hired foreign security with arm guards to protect the Port of Buchanan has been dropped and it is no longer an issue to discuss.

Minister Samukai noted that recent statement made by the Minister of Justice, Christina Tah regarding his allegation should be considered legal.

He made the statements Thursday when he addressed the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism at the ministry in Monrovia.

According to him, once the Minister of Justice speaks, she speaks for the government as the legal advisor so he cannot go about discussing the issue.

In another development, Minister Samukai said government has launched an investigation into the recent plane crash that killed eleven Guinean military officials while en route to Liberia to form part of the 156th Armed Forces Day celebration.

He also disclosed that the AFL platoon scheduled to leave for Mali has already been identified.

He said pre-deployment training is currently ongoing at the Camp Sandi Ware Military Barracks in order to enable the soldiers know the geographic location of Mali.  

According to him, the US Government has pledged its support to the AFL deployment to Mali.

 When asked as to why there has been mass exodus of soldiers from the barracks, Minister Samukai attributed the situation to accommodation and ‘normal practice’.

The National Defense Minister further disclosed that the government has initially provided US$1,000,000 for the rehabilitation of the Camp Todee Military Barracks. He noted that the process will commence with the rehabilitation of six bridges leading to the barracks.