UN Deputy Envoy, Mr. Moustapha Soumaré says Liberia’s security services must earn the trust and respect of all Liberian citizens, if the Liberian National Police (LNP) is to remain the vanguard of basic security for local communities.
Mr. Soumaré made this statement when he handed-over a newly-constructed Police Headquarters and a barracks in Barclayville, Grand Kru County in the remotest southeastern part of Liberia, to the LNP to enhance its activities. He also handed-over another Police barracks in Harper, Maryland County.
“I encourage the Liberia National Police both here in Barclayville, and throughout Liberia, to serve with professionalism, act without impunity and remain true to the fair and non-arbitrary application of the law,” asserted Mr. Soumaré who is also UNDP’s Resident Representative.
Expressing satisfaction over the completion of these projects, he pointed out that much more need to be done to enable the Liberian National Police to fulfill their responsibilities to serve and protect residents of Grand Kru County with honesty and integrity.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Recovery and Governance, emphasized the importance of capacity, which he noted remains a pressing issue for Liberia’s police, as it is throughout the public service sector.
“The Liberia National Police continues to need financial and material support in order to extend its presence throughout the country; police coverage in many counties is still inadequate; a lack of trained officers, equipment and barracks, hampers effectiveness, and mobility challenges persist,” the DSRSG indicated.
Reminding his audience that the actions of all security actors, especially the LNP, will ultimately ensure peace and security and long-term development in Liberia, the UN Deputy Envoy acknowledged the value of the Emergency Response and Police Support Units of the LNP as a basis for peace-building in Liberia. “Developing the Police Support Unit and “operationalizing” the Emergency Response Unit are among the immediate priorities of the LNP,” he stressed.
The UNDP Resident Representative then commended the German and Norwegian governments for continuing to be key contributors to LNP development.
Through the German Government’s funding of US$69,000, LNP officers now have barracks necessary to house permanent officers based in Barclayville and, importantly, to support Emergency Response Unit and Police Support Unit officers when the need occurs.
Similarly, approximately $70,000 from the Norwegian Government was provided for the Grand Kru Police Headquarters building, which will enable more effective county-wide policing.
The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany accredited to Liberia, Mr. Herbert Staudt assured the audience that his Government will continue to support the LNP to strengthen its capacity to serve Liberians. He cited the presence of German Police Officers serving the UN Mission in Liberia who are assisting the Liberian Police in training. He thanked all those who contributed to the success of the projects in Maryland and Grand Kru counties.
Deputy Director of Police for Operations, Mr. Al Karlay who represented LNP Director Marc Amblard thanked the UN and the German and Norwegian governments for making these projects a reality.
He expressed delight, and was appreciative that the initiative will enhance the LNP’s ability to deliver services and reduce incidents of crime.
The LNP Deputy Chief called on all LNP officers to help restore the organization’s authority and create a stable environment. Attending the ceremony were UN Police Commissioner, Mr. Gautam Sawang; Assistant Superintend for Development of Grand Kru County, Mr. Benedict Sayeh; Rev. Joseph Kpannie, County Development Officer and other local and traditional leaders.