-Senator terms Global Witness’ report
The Senate´s Chairman on National Security, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs has described the recent Global Witness Report as a national embarrassment. According to Senator Steve Zargo of Lofa County, the report could undermine the progress made so far.
Senator Zargo told a news conference on Monday in Monrovia that the report has a serious security concern that Liberians should not take lightly, urging them to be cognizant of the fact that lots of gains have been made in the national security arena of Liberia.
He warned that if the country did not conduct the affairs of the state cautiously, there was a probability of reversing the gains achieved in the national security sector. “Liberians will have the responsibility to handle the mantle as it relates to our own security – this being a result of UNMIL’s drawn down. The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on 25 May, 2016, to lift the last remaining sanctions on Liberia as a sign of support for the government ‘s progress toward peace,” he said.
He then called on all the actors, especially the Executive Branch of Government, which enforces the law, to be a little mindful in handling the Global Witness Report, with specific reference to the rule of law and public order.
Zargo made it emphatically clear that no one was above the law, and that they were in no way against bringing to justice anyone said to have violated any of the laws. “We would never support any process that can be proven to be procedurally erratic, and has the propensity to stir up tension and threaten public order. Let’s keep at the back of our minds that the possibility of terrorists taking advantage of any public disorder and chaotic situation cannot be ruled out,” the Lofa County Senator indicated.
He said the country takes note of the Security Council, Secretary General and U.S. Envoy’s comments that Liberia works to improve its security is not finished. “Rather, we should endeavor to provide training, logistical and other capacities of the national security sector in general to enable them adequately and professionally respond to any situation that would threaten the peace and security of our country,” he told the news conference, saying the final report of the United Nations panel of experts also underscored this, when it expressed concern about the vulnerability of West Africa, particularly Liberia, following upsurge in recent terrorist attacks.
The report further states that the country´s security apparatus remains weak, and is undermined by operational difficulties, budgetary constraints and lack of adequate equipment, which undercuts el spirits de code.
He quoted the Security Council, Secretary General and U.S envoy as stressing that Liberia‘s work to improve its security was not finished.
He called for a national security dialogue, wherein former and present elements of the national security sector on one hand, and current actors from sisterly national security entities on the other hand, can sit and dialogue with the view of taking charge of state´s security responsibility at this critical moment of the security and political transition.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor