Liberia: Nimba Elders Council Calls for Reforms in Security Sector

….Urges President-elect and VP-elect to begin promoting peace and national reconciliation

The Nimba Council of Elders has called on President-elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Vice President Jeremiah Koung to initiate comprehensive reforms within Liberia’s security sector, focusing particularly on the police, immigration, and other non-military forces.

The Council’s call to action follows the recently concluded 2023 general and presidential elections, where security personnel were observed wearing party-affiliated T-shirts and engaging in campaign activities.

In a press statement read by Chairman Wilfred Sei Boayue on behalf of the Council, it was emphasized that the reform would establish a specialized code of conduct based on professional policing ethics, integrity, and non-partisanship.

Boayue highlighted that the security of any state is guaranteed through adherence to the rule of law, emphasizing that no one is above or below the law. Notably, the Council urged the Boakai and Koung administrations to prioritize peace, national reconciliation, unification, integration, and social cohesion throughout the nation.

“We also want the Boakai and Koung leadership to provide equal access to social and economic opportunities and human wellbeing to all Liberians regardless of their ethnicity, age, sex, political affiliation, or religious belief, consistent with the expectations of our people and the international community,” he said.

These reforms, the Elders Council believes, will help pave the way for a brighter future in which the safety and well-being of Liberian citizens remain paramount. The Council stressed the importance of having a non-partisan security force, particularly the Liberia National Police, in line with both the expectations of the people and the international community.

They called for equal access to social and economic opportunities, as well as human well-being for all Liberians, regardless of their ethnicity, age, sex, political affiliation, or religious belief. The Council also stressed the importance of assembling a government of national unity based on merit, integrity, education, professional training, and experience, irrespective of political party affiliation.

Furthermore, the Council emphasized the need for the incoming administrations to protect Liberia’s natural and non-natural resources and the processes of their exploitation. They believe that the protection of these resources will ensure equitable redistribution of revenues, enabling integrated rural development and the creation of a sustainable, democratic Liberian state.

Meanwhile, on behalf of the Council, Boayue commended President George M. Weah and the ruling government of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) for upholding the spirit of the Constitution.

The Elders pledged their support as the nation undergoes a peaceful political transition from one democratically elected government to another, as previously demonstrated in January 2018. 

The Council also expressed appreciation to the people of Liberia and the National Elections Commission for the peaceful conduct of the 2023 presidential and general elections and for upholding the will of the Liberian people.

“We must all endeavor to ensure that the gains we have made in participatory democracy will continue to grow,” the elders continued. “We affirm our support as he steers our nation through this period of peaceful political transition from one democratically elected government to another democratically elected government, as was done in January 2018,” Boayue said.