Sara Greengrass, Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia, assured Liberians of the United States’ government full support to the professional development of the country’s security sector.
Greengrass said her government remains supportive of the mission of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) as it strives to protect and uphold Liberia’s human rights obligations.
The female diplomat made these remarks as proxy of the US Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder at the official launch of a project to conduct a Baseline Study for the Structural Provision of Human Rights Education to officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP).
The program, which was held yesterday at the LNP Training Academy in Paynesville, brought together representatives from the Ministry of justice, some senior security personnel from the LNP, heads of Human Rights Department of Education, Training and information and other international partners.
“I commend the organizers for undertaking this task at this critical time in Liberia’s history, the partnership demonstrated today is an important one,” Greengrass said.
According to her, the INCHR was established to ensure that the Liberian government, including its security services, would never again violate the rights of its people, adding, “it has the duty of acting as an independent voice within the government to sound the alarm if needed, but the LNP too has the duty to protect the citizenry,” Greengrass added.
She then stressed that security services are essential components of the government to uphold the rule of law.
Due to the need for the LNP authorities to develop courses on the respect for Human Rights and policing in a democratic society in its annual curriculum, the U.S. official said exercises, such as the one yesterday, are essential steps to improve the sector.
Greengrass then lauded the LNP for showing its ability to serve as a neutral police force, because such efforts show how much the officers value human rights.
“The United States will continue to partner with you as Liberia works to create a culture of human rights, where the rule of law is respected and enforced, and where all of her citizens enjoy the protections afforded by the government,” she said.
At yesterday’s launch of the project, House speaker Bhofal Chambers recalled how the LNP has always maintained human rights, noting that human rights issues across the globe do not only rely on a single institution, but a collective effort is required of all irrespective of positions.
As such, the Speaker challenged the police and the INCHR authorities, including other security apparatuses, to work together to achieve this goal.
He then pledged government’s continued support to the INCHR as an institution striving to meet its dream and aspiration that all should be in peace.
Johnny B. White, INCHR head of the department of Education, Training and Information, said the world runs on a single pillar, which involves human rights, so the need to educate, inform and/or train personnel of security-related agencies was paramount.