Police authorities in Monrovia have bestowed the Liberia National Police (LNP’s) highest honor on Liberia’s Foreign Minister Dee – Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., gowning and pinning the Dean of the Cabinet as Honorary Police Chief for his remarkable moves that have resulted to LNP officers’ deployment on United Nations peacekeeping mission.
On Thursday, 14 January, four commissioned LNP Officers including their team leader Chief Superintendent Togba J. Massaquoi, Chief Superintendent Anthony Blaye, Superintendent Rachel Briggs Harris and Sargeant Abdullai Dukuly, Jr. were scheduled to leave Liberia for deployment to South Sudan on UN Peacekeeping mission, the first time ever for Liberian police.
South Sudan faced a civil war, which broke out on December 2013 and lasted up to February 2020 before a unity government was formed between President Salva Kiir and rival Riek Machar.
Liberian police authorities say 34 LNP officers comprising 31 malesand 3 females were certified by the UN Peacekeeping Department after successfully completing the United Nations Required Test conducted by Successful Selection Assistance & Assessment Team (SAAT). Of that number, the first batch of four officers are being deployed to South Sudan.
The police here indicate that while Mr. Kemayah served as Liberia’s Ambassador to the UN in New York, he paved the way within the UN system which now makes it possible for Liberia to send its first batch of police peacekeepers on a UN peacekeeping mission.
The first four of Liberian police are being deployed to South Sudan on a peacekeeping mission with the UN, and the mission is expected to last for a year after which a new batch of officers may be dispatched to Southern Sudan based on the prevailing security situation.
During a dinner held in honor of the four departing LNP officers Wednesday night, 13 January at a local bar on Capitol Hill, Minister Kemayah was gowned and pinned with a police batch with the inscription “Chief of Police,” thereby making him an honorary police officer.
While gowning the honoree, Col. Sudue notes that Minister Kemayah has done it for LNP, declaring that “Honorable Kemayah is a Chief of Police, we will pin him as a Chief!”
Col. Sudue asks Minister Kemayah to extend to his wife that the Liberia National Police appreciates her, noting that it’s because of her that the Foreign Minister is here.
“Thank you, thanks to your family, thanks for all that you have done for LNP. We’ll always remember you,” Col. Sudue says.
Following the gowning ceremony, Minister Kemahay indicated that he was surprised that he had been gowned at the dinner, saying the police’s communication inviting him for the program had not stated that he was due to be honored.
“All I know from the letter he wrote is that I am coming for a dinner, farewell dinner in honor of our officers leaving for this historic mission,” Minister Kemayah says.
Notwithstanding, the Foreign Minister dedicates the honor to his boss, President George Manneh Weah who has given him the privilege to serve.
In remarks, the Security Advisor to the President Mr. Jefferson Karmo says it’s a privilege to join his colleagues in participating in the ceremony held in honor of the departing officers.
Mr. Karmo thanked Col. Sudue and the leadership of the LNP for this great exercise, saying the realization [commissioning] of the first batch of officers to a peacekeeping mission is very heartwarming.
He describes them as pioneers of an endeavor in ensuring that from their effort, history will beacon to a glorious tomorrow for the men and women in the force. Mr. Karmo concludes that he expects nothing from the officers but their best and quality output from the training they obtained and their experiences from the Liberia National Police.
UN Chief Security Advisor to Liberia Senyo Kufe cautions that when you go on peacekeeping, you go to learn and work with professionals from other countries and bring that experience back to your country.
He expresses happiness that LNP is going out there to work with other nationals, to see how they work, both from advanced and developing countries and bring that experience back home.
By Winston W. Parley