Liberia: House, Senate Pass Law to Tackle ‘Internal Threats’

The House probe is geared toward seeking answers to the allegation that census money is misappropriation.

Crises are inevitable, whether at regional or national levels, but can be prevented and managed through appropriate response mechanisms when early warning signs are discovered or detected.

Members of the House of Representatives unanimously voted in concurrence to amend the Public Authorities Law of Liberia, following a report from its Joint Committee on Judiciary, Ways, Means Finance and Development Planning and Public Account and Expenditure. The vote created the into law the National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanisms (NCCRM) -- waiting for the signature of President George Weah to become effective.

When the law is approved by the President, and printed into a handbill, the NCCRM, which is also known as the  Early Warning Response Center (EWRC), is aimed at detecting, monitoring, reporting, and averting any activity, condition, or situation which might have the tendency to ignite conflict, regionally or nationally.

The purpose of establishing the Center is also to improve the early warning capacity of ECOWAS and its member states, which allows them to proactively identify emerging crises and improve their response mechanisms once a crisis is about to begin or begins. The establishment of the national centers is conducted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and simultaneously coordinated with ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF) through the financial support of the U.S. State Department. 

With national centers, ECOWAS member states can share information, implement conflict prevention, and manage crises, while protecting human security at the regional and national level. The early warning and response programme addresses human security threats that ECOWAS member states face in the following areas: crime, security, governance, health and environment.

Countries that launched the centers are encouraged to enact them into laws, to be legislated centers. Accordingly, the Early Warning Response Center, shall, in addition to its core mandate vested in its reporting mechanism, have the power and authority to make regulations relative to its internal operations and interactions with domestic and external bodies, individuals, and staff of the Center.

Also,  there shall be a Statutory Board of Directors of the NCCRM, whose members shall be appointed by the President of the Republic of Liberia, consistent with Section 4.3 of the Act. “The Board, which shall be the governing body of the NCCRM, shall report to the President of the Republic of Liberia.”

It may be recalled, the National Center for the Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism in Liberia was launched in 2018. Members of ECOWAS states including Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and other West African countries, also launched the project.