An official of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has called on the Government of Liberia (GoL) to invest in the training of more police officers as UNMIL transitions. According to Mr. Napolean Abdulai, the Liberian government needs to beef off the number of police officers as part of its readiness to provide national security, stressing, "It is important to look at UNMIL transition more seriously."
Mr. Abdulai observed that the current size of the Liberia National Police (LNP) is too small to provide security for the country when UNMIL draws down completely. The UNDP official made these comments Thursday, February 21, 2013 at a handing over ceremony of a vehicle donated by the UNDP-Liberia to the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LINCSA).
Ceremony marking the handing over of the vehicle was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia. The vehicle, according to Mr. Abdulai, costs US$53,000.
"Government needs to put more money to the training academy. More police officers must be trained because the state needs adequate security personnel," he noted. He furthered that small arms and light weapons can't be controlled in the absence of adequate police officers. The UNDP official pointed out that fighting the proliferation of small arms and light weapons is important for the peace and stability of any nation and that Liberia is not an exception to this.
"The proliferation of small arms and light weapons impedes the peace and stability of any nation. This impedes the development process as well," he stated. "Where small arms dominate, development suffers," he added.
Also speaking, Ambassador Conmany B. Wesseh, Minister of State without Portfolio, and Chairman of LINCSA, lauded UNDP for the donation of the vehicle.
He said arms control must be seen as part of the general national and regional efforts towards peace consolidation, noting, these efforts must continue to cover all aspects of the rebuilding process of Liberia in the context of Vision 2030 and its agenda for transformation and the Roadmap for national reconciliation.
"Thank you UNDP for this gift. It will be used for the purposes for which it was given. The Government of Liberia and our President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will continue to make arms control as one of its pillars in the promotion of peace and security," Amb. Wesseh added.
For his part, Liberia's Foreign Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, said government is committed to the 2006 Convention of Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) on small arms and light weapons control. Commenting on the training of more police, Minister Ngafuan said the government is exerting all efforts to increase the current size of the LNP.