17 January 2013

Liberia: We're Ready for UNMIL Drawdown

As the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia, UNMIL, undergoes gradual phase out in the country, the Inspector General of police, Col. Chris Massaquoi says the police are prepared to assume their full statutory responsibilities in guarding peace in the country.

"We would like to assure the public that we are prepared to assume our full statutory duties following of UNMIL's transition from Liberia.

"We are doing everything with government's support, buttressed by UNMIL to augment the current strength of the LNP from its present level to be able to occupy those areas UNIML will be vacating," he explained.

Speaking at a joint press briefing with UNPOL Commissioner John Nielson at the LNP headquarters on Wednesday, Col. Massaquoi said proper mechanisms have been put in place with other national security agencies, including the Armed Forces of Liberia, to take over security affairs in the country, especially at the borders.

Concerning the status of security at the Ivorian-Liberian borders, he said ERU officers along with officers of AFL and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization are there to stabilize and maintain security.

But he stressed the need for adequate support for the police in order to enable them effectively and professionally perform their duties as they take full charge of security nationwide.

Meanwhile, Col. Massaquoi reported that total crime rates dropped from 14758 in 2011 to 14388 in 2012, representing 2% in reduction in all categories of crimes committed nationwide in 2012.

Commenting on the statement attributed to deputy police director for administration, Rose Stryker, that the police were corrupt, the police chief said that statement was taken out of context by the media.

"Let us make it very clear that the deputy director's statement was in no way or shape in support of corrupt.

We do not support corruption within the LNP," he asserted.

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