Amid lingering security fears in the country, especially as UNMIL’s mandate comes to an end next month, the United States and the Liberian governments continue to institute measures aimed at not just securing Liberia’s borders but also preventing internal threats.
The two governments on Monday launched a new joint partnership to develop what is termed “The National Security Radio Communication Network” to further strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of Liberian civilian security agencies.
The network was launched at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and US Under- Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield. Secretary Greenfield is a former Ambassador to Liberia, who formed a close bond with the locals while serving in the country.
The partnership is expected to provide public servants with the necessary communication infrastructure to help protect Liberians and bring perpetrators of violence to justice.
President Sirleaf described the launch of the network as another milestone for Liberia as UNMIL’s drawdown ends. She said Liberia is striving to meet a lot of milestones to take the country along the path of readiness to take over the security of the nation.
The National Security Advisor to the President, Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh Jr., attended the launching which was also attended by security chiefs from the National Security Agency (NSA), Liberia National Police (LNP), Liberia National Fire Service, Executive Protective Service (EPS), Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), among others.
Ambassador Greenfield, who is on a visit to the country, said the launch represented a strong partnership in the US-Liberia relationship.
She indicated that the U.S is interested in seeing effective communication services for Liberia and has committed US$5.5 million as part of the United States government’s support to making the system effective.
The US diplomat noted that one of the responsibilities of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led administration is to safeguard the peace and stability of Liberia, adding that the US government has been a long time true partner of Liberia.
“The project is for Liberia,” the Ambassador said. “Therefore the government should continue to invest in it and make it sustainable to protect Liberia from all security threats.”
Dr. Fahnbulleh is the man at the center of the project. He said the ceremony was launched in line with the drawdown plan of UNMIL.
He said a key component of the launch is to ensure that the nation’s civilian security radio communication covers the entire country. This process, he said, will upgrade the rule of law and the communication services of Liberia.
He disclosed that the first phase of the service will be to link up Liberia from the north to northwest, and then move onto covering the entire country.
Dr. Fahnbulleh said with the launch, Liberia will have an effective and efficient security system, which will build the public’s confidence.
The second phase will cover the entire southeastern region of Liberia, and further connect to the northwestern parts of Liberia thereby bringing the whole country within reach of the National Civilian Security Radio Communications Network.
The US government, through its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, is in the final stages of awarding a multi—million dollar contract to rehabilitate the national security radio communications system of the government of Liberia.