Liberia is sending five corrections officers to South Sudan under a United Nations operation in that country, in an effort to expose the law enforcement personnel to outside environment.
Meeting with the officers Thursday, 14 September ahead of their departure this weekend, President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf said what Liberia can only hope for is for the Bureau of Corrections and Rehabilitation (BCR) officers to make the country even more proud by the manner in which they would conduct themselves in South Sudan.
While cautioning the officers in the Cabinet Room at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia about the Sudanese environment, Mrs. Sirleaf notes that Liberia is equally a challenging environment, thus concluding that if they can meet the challenges here, they could meet them in South Sudan as well.
Giving an upbeat appraisal about her interactions with prison officers, President Sirleaf expressed commendation to them for being very active at work.
But she notes that they have gone a step further by going to serve Liberia in a different place, having been trained and qualified to take such assignment.
Earlier presenting the officers to President Sirleaf, Assistant Justice Minister for Corrections and Rehabilitation, Mr. Hilary Siakor Sirleaf disclosed that they BCR officers were nominated by government to serve the UN Mission in South Sudan.
Mr. Siakor describes the officers as professionally trained and fine in character, adding that the program will help expose them outside Liberia.
“When these officers leave, they will be serving in the prison in South Sudan, meaning they will be prison officers,” Mr. Siakor says.
Under the UN Mission that is due to last for 18 months, Mr. Siakor says the officers’ assignment can be renegotiated. The BCR officers comprises three women and two men,. They are being led by Liberia’s Correction Officers Training chief Samuel W. Godoe.
While the UN provides for their upkeep in South Sudan, the officers remain on government payroll, according to Mr. Sirleaf.
The officers, in an interview, expressed confidence that they will bring pride to Liberia, vowing to apply years of professional experience they have acquired in the service here.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah