The New Dawn (Monrovia)

8 November 2012

Liberia: FIND Trains S.K.T. Residents

The rights group Foundation for International Dignity or FIND has ended one-day training on reporting crimes and human rights abuses for residents of Sergeant Kollie Town in Suakoko, Bong County.

The SKT Community, which has a long history of entrenched criminal activities, is noted by the police for recording one of the highest numbers of crimes reported in the county. FIND National Supervisor Aaron Juahkollie said the training was aimed at educating community members on how to report crimes and aid security officers in arresting criminals.

Mr. Juahkollie expressed the institution's commitment to helping to transform town, adding that after the training, a community action committee will be established to foster the process. He said it is time that citizens work along with security apparatus to get rid of criminals in the community. The program is expected to last for two years under the auspices of ICCO.

Some of the participants, who spoke to this paper, expressed delight for the program and said they were ready to collaborate with the security apparatus in providing information on criminal activities.

Sergeant Kollie Town is noted for hosting huge number of ghettoes. Some residents of the town sell narcotic substances at their residence, including cocaine, marijuana and other harmful pharmaceutical products. Most of those taking the narcotic substances are young people between ages 15 and 35.

However, some of the residents, who continue to express fears about the increased number of ghettoes in the town, are calling on the Liberia National Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency Bong detachments to pay regular visits there to arrest the situation before it goes out of hand.

They said if nothing were done to arrest the situation, the image of the town will be destroyed. Most of ghettoes are being operated by notorious drug traffickers many of whom are not citizens of the area. Drug addicts are seen daily at ghettoes on the outskirts of SKT.

Despite the high rate of crimes in Sergeant Kollie Town, it has hosted senior UNMIL officials, including staff of Sector "B" since the start of the UN mission here in 2003.

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