The British Ambassador accredited to Liberia, H.E. David Belgrove, was recently a guest of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA). The Ambassador’s visit was in response to an invitation to witness the opening of a two-day training session (Nov 17-18, 2016) organized for selected interviewers of a planned public perception survey ahead of the popularization of the newly enacted Firearms and Ammunition Control Act across the country. The ‘Firearms and Ammunition Control Act Popularization Project’ is being implemented by LiNCSA with funding support from the British Government.
Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Belgrove said he was pleased that his government would support the program of popularizing the Liberia Firearms and Ammunition Control Act, considering its importance to the work of the Commission. He noted that the Act was a milestone for Liberia’s post conflict history and an important foundation to ensuring continued peace and stability. “It will help control access to illicit weapons which fuel conflicts and destroy lives,” Ambassador Belgrove indicated. He said the project was important as it will fill in the gap to ensure that the Act is implemented, stressing that the Firearms Act is useless and just a piece of paper unless it is implemented. The British Ambassador then lauded the Commission for its efforts towards the implementation of the Act and said he was proud to be a part of activities leading to its implementation. He thanked the participants and wished all a successful training.
For his part, Chairman James Fromayan of LiNCSA thanked Ambassador Belgrove for his government’s support to the project. He acknowledged that the Firearms Act was indeed a milestone in the history of Liberia to ensure that the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons is minimized if not eradicated. He noted that people needed to know the Act in order to appreciate its usefulness. Chairman Fromayan concluded his remarks by acknowledging the commitment of the LiNCSA staff and his confidence in the level of work done so far.
Speaking earlier, LiNCSA Program Director Mr. A. Blamoh Sieh provided a brief background to the training. Mr. Sieh said the training was part of activities leading to the conduct of a perception survey which would serve as a baseline to gauge the level of public understanding of the Firearms Act at the beginning of the project and to also enable the Commission track progress along the way. Mr. Sieh said the survey will be conducted in three sampled counties, including Grand Bassa, Bong and Montserrado.