6 March 2013

Liberia: U.S. Pumps Support in Liberia's Drug War

The United States Government, through its Narcotics Department, Tuesday (March 5) donated logistics including cartoons of flashlights and handcuff to the Liberia's Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) to enhance the capacity of the agency in tracking down narcotic drugs' smugglers, dealers, and abuse.

Ronald Fleming (Courtier Narcotics Advisor) and Randy Wilson (Senior Police Advisor) presented the donations at the DEA's new head office in Sinkor and respectively pledged their country's unflinching support to Liberia in the battle against drugs and illegal substances.

An enthusiastic DEA Director Col. Anthony Souh applauded the U.S. Government for the donation and declared that it would significantly impact the work of the agency. "Most of our work is done at night, so the flashlights will be very helpful, and when we arrest these drug dealers we will use the cuff to put them under control to take them for investigation," he told journalist in a interview after the ceremony witnessed by staffs of the agency.

Souh said he took over the agency only seven months ago and has been able to institute reforms, found a suitable office space and won the support of partners including the U.S. "Today, we are proud to openly articulate that we are in the middle of the struggle and our hope of getting to where we belong is high. Our hope is high because our plea for partnership has been falling on the fertile ground especially so when Liberia, vulnerable in the absence of a strong drug law, is being used as TRANSIT POINT for drug trafficking to other parts of the world," he pointed out.

He said "For instance, a practical intervention has been made by the Government of America including seconding an international narcotic advisor who is charged with the responsibility to help DEA succeed in the process of vetting its personnel, restructuring of the Agency, capacity building and operationalizing all of its activities."

The gesture of the American Government, he noted, suggests that Liberia is not alone in the fight. "It speaks to the fact that the drug issue in Liberia is not Liberia's problem alone because drug abuse anywhere is drug abuse somewhere."

The excited drug fighting chief stated that he was happy to inform the Liberian public that the United States Government, through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, has been gracious to donate several operational items to enhance the work of DEA. These items, some of which were presented yesterday, he said include handcuffs, flashlights, and drug test kits, among others.

"We are particularly grateful to Madam Sally Schlegel for all these achievements we are receiving today.

It is in this light that we wish to welcome Mr. Rolnald Fleeming officially on behalf of the DEA family and the Government of Liberia, hoping that his stay with us would help shape the destiny of DEA in the best way possible."

Souh vowed that the die is cast and the fight to make Liberia drug free must continue, saying, "We intend to fight drug without fear or favor because we cannot allow drug war to overcome us. We accept this donation and hope more will come." The DEA Chief said preparation for this battle had involved vetting and restructuring measures, deployment of prepared officers to strategic ports of entries, relocation of our offices in an ideal place, forging of partnership to concerned international bodies as far as the global fight against drug is concerned.

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