Liberia: Sweden Supports LNP to Combat SGBV

With support from the Swedish Police, the Liberia National Police (LNP) has concluded a three-day refresher training on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention for key actors.

The training, which brought together more than 50 participants (44 being females), including nurses, police officers and social workers, covered topics on Psycho-social Counseling, Human Rights and Peace Model Investigation. It sought to derive a coordinated approach amongst law enforcers, health and social workers, to provide services for survivors of sexual violence as well as strengthen mechanisms to prosecute perpetrators of SGBV in the country.

"The huge turnout of female participants shows a fundamental push in our quest to increase women's participation in the protection of human rights," said Assistant Commissioner Varney Ali Sheriff, head of the Project Unit at the LNP.

The participants, according to Sheriff, were drawn from the LNP Women and Children Protection Section (WACPS), Social Workers and Nurses assigned at the five One-Stop Centers (Redemption Hospital, Hope for Women International, James David Hospital, Star of the Sea in West Point and the Duport Road Clinic in Montserrado County.

Sheriff said that the training was in continuation of the Swedish Police Authority's three-year capacity-building for LNP officers assigned with the Forensic and Gender sections.

"The Swedish Police Authority has been strategically supporting the LNP and partners in an effort to enhance the peace and the rule of law/justice," Commissioner Sheriff said.

He said that this is in sync (agreeing, coexisting) with the concept of building strong institutions to actualize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Inp. Mulbah addresses the participants and partners during the closing exercise.

The participants applauded the Swedish Police Authority and the LNP for the training, describing it as a monumental drive towards combating SGBV.

An assigned nurse at the James David Hospital, Elizabeth Kerkulah, appreciated the LNP and the Swedish Police for the exercise.

"This training will further enhance our ability to support SGBVs' survivors and deliver quality services to them," Mrs. Kerkulah said on behalf of the trainees.

She recalled how the Swedish Police Authority renovated the Duport Road Clinic between 2017 and 2018 at the cost of US$2, 500.

"In fact, they gave us some Christmas gifts, including many other materials, to work with," added Mrs. Kerkulah.

Nikolas Jerkedal, Desk Officer of the Swedish Police Authority Project for International Development Cooperation, recognized the collaboration between the LNP and the Swedish Government, through which he encouraged the trainees to improve their coordinating skills by performing beyond expectations at their various workplaces.

Prince Bokawoe Mulbah, Deputy Inspector General of Police for Crime Services Department, Intelligence and Interpol (103), spoke on behalf of the Inspector General, Patrick T. Sudue.

Mulbah extended gratitude to the Swedish Police and the Swedish Embassy for their continued support in building the capacity of the LNP.

"Sweden has continued to be Liberia's strong and strategic partner in the operations of the LNP. We are therefore grateful for this friendship," Mulbah said.

He thanked the participants for taking in such knowledge at the expense of partners, but challenged them to make the best use of what they acquired from the training exercise.

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