30 June 2012

Liberia: Partners Fail Gov't - Wesseh

Liberia's Minister of State Without Portfolio Commany Wesseh says the U.S. and other international partners may accept that they've failed Liberia if they, who participated in the training of the police and the military here are still judging the entire security sector as corrupt and inefficient.

Amb Wesseh noted that the international community and the U.S .Embassy here have made grossly unfair assessments of the police, other security services and prison commissioners, among others.

"... They are saying to themselves that they have failed; you didn't do a good training and so you have to take the blame first. I think we should say, that we have trained them, but overtime, they are developing; progress have been made and that six years is not enough to say that they should have attained all of the standards that police ... in the United States and other places have attained," said Amb. Wesseh.

Commenting Thursday during the formal handover of the National Police Barracks renovated by the Japanese Government on Camp Johnson Road and Horton Avenue respectively, he said considering where Liberia comes from and where he sees it now, international partners have unfairly judged the country's progress.

"I think it's fair to mention Liberia's progress not from the height, but from the depth we've come..." Wesseh argued.

He further lashed that Liberia was deep underground; system completely broken down - no police force, no security services, but government in the last six to seven years, has made consistent and sustained efforts in revising the country.

Wesseh cautioned Liberia's partners against highlighting only some of the weaknesses as the standards of how Liberians should be judged, saying, "If you are not going to help us anymore, if you're tired, say so."

The Liberian envoy said Liberia needs international partners' cooperation to achieve a sustainable progress that everyone operating here from various countries will be remembered and appreciated for their contribution in the development of the country.

The Minister's comments were in apparent reaction to US and other international partners' assessment reports on Liberia in which they reportedly indicted the security sector and other areas with numerous weaknesses in the discharge of their duties.

Gracing the handover of the Police Barracks were the Director of Police Chris C. Massaquoi, and his principal deputies, UNDP SSR Advisor Napoleon Abdulai, UNDP Country Director Dominic Sam and UNPOL Commissioner John Nielsen, among others.

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