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UN intervenes in cross-border operation

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Three Liberian security institutions including the Police, Immigration and Drugs Enforcement Agency have received a UN donation of 30 motorbikes valued US$60,000 to improve cross – border security operations with neighboring Cote d’Ivoire.

Receiving the donation at the Liberia National Police (LNP) Headquarters in Monrovia Tuesday, 20 March, Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue said the cross – border cooperation between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire can “and will be sustained if we receive such gesture from our partners.”

“Because without mobility it’s difficult to even patrol the borderline, it’s difficult to even make acquaintances because the border is so porous, you’ll have to walk miles before you get to your counterpart,” he says.

Mr. Sudue says donation will really go a long way in sustaining the peace and cohesion between Ivory Coast and Liberia, and expresses thanks to the donors for the kind gesture that he says will improve border patrol here.

He thanked his Liberian security counterparts on the Ivorian side of the borders for the relationship the two sides over the years, and notes that the bikes will be used to reach out to their Ivorian counterparts to increase the level of social cohesion between the two countries.

Earlier, Acting UNDP Country Director Mr. Cleophas Torori said the donation comes as part of the agency’s program that works with Ivory Coast and Liberia on a cross – border project aimed at enhancing security for people living on the both sides of the border.

He says a similar project is in Cote d’Ivoire, and the total value for the Liberia – Cote d’Ivoire program is about US$3m, out of which Liberia has a share of US$1.5m that has been ongoing for the last one year.

Mr. Torori says the donation to the LNP, Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) and Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) is part of the partnership to enhance their operation capacity in securing the border.

He puts the total value of the donation at about US$60,000, adding that the UNDP is also providing support to ensure that the donated bikes reach the counties they are intended for, which include River Gee and Maryland.

According to Mr. Torori, through the Peace Building Funds, they have managed to secure grant that is seeking to build the border security and friendship between the two nations, promote peaceful coexistence, resolve conflicts and build sustainable peace and social cohesion among the people.

He concludes that the overall objective of the program is to strenghten border security and to reduce inter – communal conflict between the two nations.

For his part, Deputy Police Inspector General for Operations Mr. Robert Budy expressed thanks to UNDP and the Japanese Government, assuring that the bikes will be used for the intended purpose.

By Winston W. Parley

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