The Analyst (Monrovia)

8 February 2013

Liberia: Peace, Security Hub for Countryside - Gbarnga Version Set for Dedication Soon

Liberia's trajectory from the tumultuous seas of war and mayhem to the solid sunshine shores of stability is being jealously guided by the country's first democratically elected leadership with the aid of well-meaning international actors, who have been spending every ounce of their energies and resources to plant the cornerstone of peace and justice. As if the Government was not satisfied with the enormous process made in the last ten years, it is putting into place what is considered "regional peace and security hub" in key counties to ensure prompt and unbiased justice and order in rural Liberia. The Analyst reports.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to lead an array of government officials to dedicate Liberia's first ever Regional Peace and Security Hub next Tuesday in Gbarnga, Bong County, Justice Minister Christiana Tah has disclosed.

Speaking in Monrovia on Thursday, February 7, 2013, when she addressed the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) regular press briefing, Minister Tah said the Hub will serve as a core for peace and justice in Lofa, Bong and Nimba counties.

The Justice Minister told journalists yesterday that the regional Hub was designed, situated and constructed in Gbarnga to serve Lofa, Nimba and host Bong counties.

She indicated that the coming to existence of the Regional Hub is only one of several major projects initiated by the government to save Liberians from conflicts and create a forum intended to dispense justice and build the peace.

Minister Tah further asserted that the Hub is aimed at ensuring the availability of quality justice and security through a decentralized and affordable means.

The Gbarnga Hub is the first of five to be constructed in Zwerdu, Grand Gedeh; Buchanan, Grand Bassa; Tubmanburg, Bomi, and Greenville, Sinoe counties.

Giving a snapped shot of how the Hub was designed to function, Minister Tah noted that it will be operated by an Inter-Agency Committee with up to 10 prosecutors that will help to strengthen justice and peace institutions in the rural areas.

According to her, "The Hub incorporates an Outreach Department manned by officers charged with the responsibility of going out to local community dwellers and explaining to them how the Hub works."

She clarified that the Hub will not in any way interfere with the operations of local police and other distinguished security functions, but serves cases of emergency.

The Liberian government is making an initial deployment of at least 50 personnel of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Police Support Unit (PSU) and 45 officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) in a joint operation at the Hub.

US$3.9 million was spent to erect the Hub which consists of 10 structures, occupying 29 acres of land in Central Liberia (Gbarnga).

Upon a 70% completion of operation at the Gbarnga Regional Hub, the remaining four hubs will be constructed across Liberia in succession, according to Minister Tah.

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