Says National Security Reform Coordinator
Attorney Samuel Dakana, coordinator of the National Security Reform, on Wednesday informed a gathering of national security personnel that the officers failed to professionally perform because former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s government failed to raise the US$104 million budgeted to fill security vacancies created as a result of United Nations Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) transitioning.
This situation created serious impediments to the national security operations, Dakana explained, adding that before UNMIL’s departure, the government developed a roadmap and security gap analysis that would define what the security would look like in the interim of the departure.
According to him, it was during the roadmap and the gap analysis that the government budgeted US$104 million to fill the security gap that would be created following UNMIL’s departure.
He said since they were sure of raising the US$104 million, government set up a project implementing unit that was controlled by the ministries of Justice (MOJ) and Finance.
“We wanted to identify the various security operations that UNMIL was involved with, and to look into the security sector statutory responsibilities, and define each role and function on which the US$104 million would be expended,” Dakana said.
Dakana made the clarification when he served as one of the panelists at the 22nd Edition of the Wilfred E. Clarke Lecture Forum on Social Justice and the Rule of Law that was hosted in Monrovia on Wednesday.
The forum, under the theme, “Prospects and Challenges of Enacting Key Security Related Legislation,“ was organized by the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA), with support from the National Empowerment for Democracy (NED).
Dakana continued, “We resolved to do the roadmap to take us to a point where we could equip our security whenever UNMIL finally departed the country.”
Unfortunately, Dakana told the gathering comprising security officers, it was at that time when the government started to experience a budget shortfall.
“This shortfall made it difficult for us to achieve UNMIL’s transitioning plan,” Dakana said.
Since government could not raise the US$104 million at the time UNMIL was ready to leave, Dakana said the government provided an initial amount of only US$10 million.
“The US$10 million could not meet all of the priorities vacancies that we anticipated to fill,” Dakana said.
Dakana also said that because of the huge challenges, government presented an additional amount of US$5 million for the reform process, which increased the amount to a total of US$15 million that went into UNMIL’s transitioning plan.
“We also resolved that having developed the roadmap and identified the task each security institution would play, there was a need for us to match that with the cost and the budget shortfall again,” Dakana emphasized.
Dakana informed the gathering that the current government was reviewing the roadmap and security gap analysis, to take the necessary step that would improve the country’s security sector.