A three-day reflection and planning meeting on regional security has opened in Ganta, Nimba County.The meeting brings together security sector, rural women heads, chiefs and elders from Maryland, River Gee, Grand Gedeh and Nimba Counties, respectively, funded by the United Nations Development Program [UNDP].
Addressing the opening session, Assistant Internal Affairs Minister for Technical Services, Elvin Frank, says the forum is intended to review draft work plans from the final communique’ signed between the Governments of Ivory Coast and Liberia to combat violence between the two countries.
Assistant Minister Frank notes that the Ganta meeting would review minutes of past meeting held in Guiglo, Ivory Coast and a follow-up that is expected in Sanniquellie, Nimba County shortly.
Elvin continues that the three days meeting will also focus on challenges faced by chiefs and elders residing near the borders on both sides, and achievements made since they returned from Guiglo, including challenges faced by state securities, among others.
Security apparatus attending the meeting complain of bad roads in southeast Liberia and lack of vehicles, including manpower. Delegates from River Gee County complain that only 12 officers of the Drugs Enforcement Agency are assigned to the county and they lack access to transportation with similar situation in Maryland County, where only five DEA officers are assigned.
State security officers at the workshop note that drugs users are undermining peace in the county.Attorney Samuel F. Dakana, who is coordinator for national security sector reform explains to the New Dawn that the meeting is intended to educate participants, mainly chiefs and elders, women groups, and State securities assigned in all four counties how to help in combating violence by promoting peace and unity.
Meanwhile, the County Commander for the Liberia National Police in Nimba County, says regular meetings among security apparatus in the County are held with the citizens to help reduce mob violence.
By Franklin Doloquee in Nimba-Editing By Jonathan Browne