The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in collaboration with the government of Japan, has donated 16 vehicles to the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) as part of their commitment to support various institutions.
At the turning over ceremony held at LNP headquarters on Thursday, October 15, UNDP Country Director, Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen said the ceremony marks another milestone and partnership between the United Nations and the governments of Liberia (GOL) and Japan.
He said the donated vehicles are intended to help enhance border surveillance in eight of the 15 counties and to beef up the capacity of security officers assigned to those areas.
Dr. Kamaluddeen said that the milestone has initiated the joint effort between the government and its partners to work together for the good of the country, including security and development, which has continued in a peaceful and orderly manner.
He urged the public and the recipients in particular not to see the donated vehicles as just vehicles, but as another step towards strengthening the services and institutions responsible for their deliveries, especially those that are basic to human development, security and critical importance.
“We are just getting out of the Ebola virus disease, and must remain at zero. We want to keep the various borders safe so that we can continue to be saved. We need to have the best in terms of equipment for surveillance, for communication, to reach out to those areas that are hard to reach,” he said.
“Ebola has taught us lessons that allowed us to be on our toes every day. The government of Japan in collaboration with UNDP is proud to have aligned with the GOL and people. We will continue to work together to support you in everything that is required.”
Dr. Kamaluddeen then charged the LNP and the BIN to continue doing a good job to claim the needed benefits.
He described the donation as an important milestone in the context of the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to beef up the capacity of the various security agencies and strengthen their institutional capacities to get them ready at all times for any eventuality.
For his part, Minister of Justice, Cllr. Benedict F. Sannoh, said the Ebola virus taught the government a lesson to appreciate not only doctors and nurses, but also the police.
Sannoh reorganized the important role the LNP, the BIN and security officers played during the national health crisis, adding, “It was important to build the capacities of the LNP and BIN to add to the mechanisms put in place…to address everything, including accommodation at the various borders…”
He noted that any country emerging from war must have the rule of law as the foundation of peace, charging the government to create an enabling environment where the law can be respected and to also protect the defensible interests of all citizens.
He urged the two security agencies to focus on the maintenance of the donated vehicles to motivate the donors to provide more support to the government.
BIN Commissioner Lemuel Reeves and LNP Deputy Director for Administration, William Mulbah, pledged their commitment to maintain the donated vehicles at all times.