Attorney T. Maxwell Grigsby, the newly appointed chairman of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LINCSA), has warned against the reported proliferation of small arms in the country.
Grigsby warning was contained he a statement he delivered on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 in Monrovia, shortly after he officially took over as the new chairman of LINCSA. The handover ceremony was attended by representatives from the UN office, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Manor River Union (MRU, as well as some civil society actors.
He said Liberia cannot be a better place than the young generation representing the country in a forum where peace and security is a concern.
Grigsby said unregulated flow of illicit firearms undermines national security and the rule of law, something which he said will will not be tolerated under his administration.
“I am glad today that a product of the generation, who suffered poverty, excruciating pains and affected by the war situation for over 14 years, is now in a position to help sustain the peace and security in the sub-region,” he said.
He said for the country to consolidate its peace, it is imperative that attention is paid to conflict and fragile triggers, including the instruments such as the proliferation of small arms that have a destabilizing effect.
Grigsby said that Liberians can attest to the destructive impact of small arms, adding, “The MRU countries have experienced the devastating and destructive effect of small arms and light weapons, posed significant threat to peace and stability, not only to Liberia but in the sub-region.
He assured partners that under his leadership LINCSA will take additional steps ensuring the control of small arms and light weapons, as well as combat the illicit trade in arms in the region.
The Commission, with membership in regional and international organizations, with influence in Africa and the world at large, will be used to advocate for comprehensive control on the trade and availability of these weapons.
“Let me assure you that under my leadership at the Commission, Liberia will remain an ardent advocate for the control of small arms and light weapons, and will therefore continue to engage partners in the fight of our determination,” he said.
“In an effort to address the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, which we believe is prevalent in the country, this Commission will make every necessary effort with other security agencies through collaboration with state and non-state actors to combat such menace,” Grigsby said.
Marvin M. Sarkor, former Chairman LINSCA, now deputy inspector general (102) of the Liberian National Police (LNP), said it was important for him to turn over the functions of the Commission to his successor.
The Commission has the statutory mandate to assign agents in the 15 counties.
Sarkor said cross border arms transaction has affected Liberia and other MRU countries, adding, it is LINCSA’s duty to ensure that policies are formulated to combat the flow of illicit arms into the country.
He encouraged the new administration to ensure the establishment of a small arms taskforce to patrol the country’s porous border and also coordinate its activities with the office of the Minister of Justice as one means of gathering enough intelligence.