Justice Minister Cllr. Benedict F. Sannoh has said that Liberians should not be afraid because the government is fully prepared to take over state security following the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
Cllr. Sannoh gave the assurance on Monday, January 11, during a Security Transition Town Hall meeting held in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County.
The meeting brought together government officials including Director of the Liberia National Police, Colonel Chris Massaquoi; Mr. Waldemar Very, Officer-In-Charge of UNMIL; Mrs. Bendu Varney Fania, Deputy Director for Plans, Operations, Ministry of Defence; and Minister Issac Jackson from the Ministry of Information.
Justice Minister Sannoh said that the government has already begun robust measures to ensure that the country’s security is properly handled ahead of UNMIL’s drawdown.
“I can assure you that all of the institutions in the security and justice sector will protect the rights of every citizen residing in our territorial borders when UNMIL leaves,” Cllr. Sannoh said.
He appealed to Liberians to take the lead in sustaining the peace and security of the country.
Cllr. Sannoh named capacity building, the provision of logistics to security personnel, attractive incentives, among others, as some of the measures that are vital to enhancing the country’s security.
He also said that the drawdown plan of government will focus on improved security- community relations.
“Such collaboration between the security and community dwellers is aimed at constructing security councils in county districts and communities throughout the country,” he noted.
He said the UNMIL drawdown plan has set aside a Standard Peace Deployment Force (SPDF) comprising of 1,500 soldiers to reside in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to help Liberia whenever they are needed.
Minister Sannoh further said that agreement has been finalised under the auspices of the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI).
The Director of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Chris Massaquoi, said despite the challenges, the LNP will continue its work and is doing everything possible to safeguard Liberians.
Welcoming the delegates to the county, Mr. James G. Kiazolu, Mayor of Robertsport, lauded the government and UNMIL through the Ministry of Justice for the meeting, adding that he will ensure that Cape Mount is free of violence and will help the government protect its borders.