The Liberia National Police (LNP) has received US$2 million from China. This was disclosed Tuesday, October 4, by Mr. Zhang Yue, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Liberia at the signing and exchange of notes between both governments for the provision of a consignment of police supplies.
According to the Police Inspector General Gregory B. Coleman, the donation will boost the nation’s security sector as it is coming at a time when the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which used to be in charge of the country’s security, has turned over all security activities to the Liberian government’s security sector, of which the LNP is a prime actor.
Col. Coleman, who was last evening commissioned by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf following his confirmation a few days ago, spoke after Acting Foreign Minister B. Elias Shoniyin and Ambassador Zhang had signed the notes.
The Police IG stated that the Chinese have again proven that they are indeed standing with Liberia in sustaining its fragile peace.
“We are very thankful for this gesture. I can assure you that it will be accounted for and used for its intended purposes,” Colonel Coleman stated.
He assured the Chinese diplomat that as UNMIL transitions, his administration will do everything to take care of every item that is provided to assist LNP in creating a safe environment.
He told this newspaper in an exclusive interview after the ceremony that LNP had earlier sent a list based on its needs assessment to the Chinese who approved the request. However, he added that when the approved list arrives back from the Chinese, the LNP will know what will be contained in the donation.
“But I know for sure they are things that are most needed by the LNP to create an enabling environment to foster economic growth and development and the safety of the state,” he added.
He boasted that the donation, which is so far the largest from the Chinese as it relates to the security sector, will not be the last and that many goodwill contributions are forthcoming.
IG Coleman lauded the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for coming in with a US$800,000 project focusing on Community Policing.
“We look forward to a lot of donors coming back as we continue to strengthen our accountability in our administrative system,” he said.
Before Min. Shoniyin and the Chinese Ambassador had signed the notes, Emmanuel Munyeneh, Assistant Minister for International Cooperation and Economic Integration, said the signing was a historic moment which represented another milestone achievement in the friendly cooperation subsisting between the PRC and Liberia.
“It also signifies the firmness and longevity of our bilateral relationship,” he added.
Mr. Munyeneh stated that the note, which is the result of an agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation, was signed between the two governments in November 2015.
In his remarks, Amb. Zhang stated that “China as a strong partner of Liberia has helped Liberia to first maintain peace and stability. Everything can’t be done without peace and security. From the very beginning of the post-war recovery process, our peacekeepers have been on the ground to help maintain peace.”
He stated that the supplies reveal that China was not only standing with Liberia during peacekeeping, but it is still with Liberia even after UNMIL draws down.
“This is the largest donation that China is making in the security sector; and it comes at a time when Liberia is about to go to elections for the smooth transfer of power,” he added.
Also speaking, Acting Foreign Affairs Min. Shoniyin stated that China has always been a very great partner in Liberia’s post-war economic development.
“Mr. Ambassador, we just want to thank you and your government for this gesture. Now today, after signing yesterday, we have come again to sign another extremely important instrument, which facilitates our post-UNMIL convergence and activities of the government of Liberia.”
Min Shoniyin said the donation is very important because for the last 13 years, the security of the state has been shouldered by UNMIL while the Liberian government restructured its security sector.
“Now, we believe that if we can assert the rule of law not by force but by the convergence of thoughts, comprising of many tools, including community policing and logistical support that allows police to respond to calls and also to strengthen our deterrent modality by ensuring that the police is present everywhere, we would be able to avert crimes,” he stated.