The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Coordinator of the United Nations Operations in Liberia, Madam Karin Landgren, has called on the Liberia National Police (LNP) to engage in community partnerships as UNMIL drawdown approaches in 2016 June.
At a special press briefing held at the UNMIL headquarters in Monrovia, SRSG Landgren stressed the need for the police to have strong engagement with communities as part of its responsibility in maintaining peace and stability in the country.
According to her, the police needs to be effective in all counties, and have the trust and cooperation of the people they serve.
Strengthening security mechanisms in the counties remains vital for the country and its people, she added.
Madam Landgren disclosed further that the formation of County Security Councils (CSC) is underway, and these would enhance the relationship between communities and the various security institutions.
She explained that “The UN Security Council’s decision to resume the UNMIL drawdown reflects the progress Liberia has made in the past 12 years of peace. The Council was gratified that Liberia is meeting the Security Transition Plan’s initial benchmarks, including ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty on April 21, and taking over responsibility for marking and registering arms.”
According to her, the Security Transition plan focuses on Liberia taking over tasks still performed by UNMIL and also addresses needs and capacity gaps across the security sector.
“Some of the tasks that have to be handed over by the 30th of June are the destruction of explosive remnants of war, which will be transferred to the AFL, security at the two largest prisons, which will be the responsibility of LNP and BCR, and guard duty at several locations,” she said.
Madam Landgren emphasized that UNMIL will continue to work closely with the Liberia National Police, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and the Ministry of Justice to strengthen capacity throughout the transition period.
The SRSG stressed that the UN will remain very close to the development of Liberia even after the drawdown of the UNMIL. Other UN institutions, including World Food Program; UNICEF, among others, will continue to support other projects cardinal to the development of Liberia.
Speaking of her recent briefing with UN Security Council, Madam Landgren said, “I described Liberia’s success in beating back Ebola, government’s plan to assume full responsibility for Liberia’s security by June 30th 2016 and the resumption of UNMIL’s gradual drawdown. These are all very encouraging developments for Liberia.”
She explained that some of the progress made in Liberia in recent time, including the successful senatorial elections in December and Liberia’s historic reform in decentralization. These comprise positive news coming from Liberia, she said.