Authorities at the Liberian National Commission on Small Arms (LINCSA), a civil society network organization focusing on gun control, have disclosed that the country is to shortly benefit from a two-year European Union funded ‘small arms’ project.
The project, according to LINCSA Chairman, James Fromayan, begins next year.
He disclosed that the project is part of a broader initiative by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The objective is to maintain peace and security in the Mano River basin, which includes: La Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.
The exercise would also support community-led development projects in exchange for arms.
“Several border communities, particularly in the Southeastern counties of Grand Gedeh, River Gee, and Maryland, are expected to benefit from the project,” Mr. Fromayan was quoted as saying through a release.
“The modalities of the project,” he explained in the release, “were concluded during a recent ECOWAS-United Nations Development Program (UNDP) joint assessment and validation mission hosted in Monrovia.”
Chairman Fromayan disclosed in the release that the mission held a series of consultations with high level government officials, diplomatic missions, security sector agencies, and civil society organizations (CSOs).
“The mission,” he continued in the release, “held specific meetings with the ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs, the UNDP Country office in Liberia, the EU delegation in Monrovia, the ECOWAS Liaison Office in Monrovia, and his fellow representatives of the Liberia Action Network on Small Arms.
“Several security sector agencies including the Liberia National Police (LNP), Ministry of National Defense (MOD), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Executive Protection Service (EPS) and the Customs Bureau at the Ministry of Finance also met with the mission.”
According to Chairman Fromayan, the consultations focused on variety of pertinent issues including management and specific operational requirements for the project roll-out, confirmation of the target communities, and specific training and capacity needs for security sector and agencies, civil society and the national small arms commission.
He said that the project implementation is expected to address the problem of armed violence and related crimes through the collection of hidden arms in the target communities, effective border management mechanisms, community monitoring systems for illicit arms trafficking, and enhancement of the legal frameworks for the control of small arms and light weapons in the country.