Japan/UNDP Builds Capacity of Border Actors

Sep 9, 2016

A group presenattion being made by one of the Participants at the 4-day training

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Government and people of Japan has conducted a 4-day training of at least six-hundred and eighty (680) border actors.

These include officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), National Security Agency (NSA), Community Watch Forums and community members in eight border counties.

Under the ‘Enhance Ebola Surveillance Security project’ the training targeted eighty-five (85) participants per county (35 security officers and 50 community watch members).

The refresher training was intended to build the capacities of these border actors to enhance ebola surveillance security at the different border posts of the country, mainly Lofa, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu, River Gee, Maryland, Bong and Grand Gedeh.

The training also focused on the dos and don’ts of community policing, integrated border management approach and how to properly share sensitive security information to ensure community participation in the security of their respective counties and communities.

Speaking at the opening of the exercise in Grand Cape Mount County, Robertsport City Mayor Hannah K. Stewart said the training methodology which seeks to bring together security officers and other justice actors and community members was very important.

“We have got a problem here in Robertsport. The drug business, our children have gone beyond, they don’t even regard us in the home…. They have left and gone to the boat that sunk here in the county, they are now living there, and they come, commit crimes and go to hideout in the boat…” Madam Stewart said.

The Robertsport City Mayor said she was also pleased that community members and security officers in the county would jointly discuss security and other issues affecting the communities and to strategize on how to combat crimes, mainly drugs proliferation in the county especially Robertsport City.

She said the issue of drugs proliferation was a serious crime that was polluting the minds of young people in Grand Cape Mount County and needed collective action from the security forces and community members.

Chief Superintendent and General Commander of the Grand Cape Mount County Police Detachment, Jacob G. Comehn, told his colleagues to collaborate with the community in order to be effective and efficient in the discharge of their duties.

“We shouldn’t be so pompous and boastful in the community, because if you hide yourself from the community, it would be impossible to get information from community members,” Chief Superintendent Comehn said.

He noted that it was equally important for security officers to constantly engage community members in discussions in order to jointly strategize on how to deal with crimes and crimes related issues in the county and their respective communities.

The Grand Cape Mount County General Police Commander lauded the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Japan for the continued support to the Liberia National Police and other security apparatus in Liberia.

For his part, Col. Isaiah B. P. Chea, Grand Cape Mount County BIN Commander pledged to collaborate with the community in combating crimes and securing the different border posts.

Grand Cape Mount County Attorney G. T. Harris Wowoah told the officers to always abide by the rule of law in the discharge of their respective duties.

“Wherever you are, you have to bear in mind that you are agents of the government of the Republic of Liberia and you must, at all times, show respect for the rule of law,” Atty. Wowoah said.

He told security actors to ensure that the law is enforced at all times without favor.

Abraham Balo, Chairman of the Grand Cape Mount County Community Watch Forum called for more collaboration among the security, community members and the watch forum in the county.

“The police cannot do this alone; we have to help them as they, too help us to secure our community and our county”… Mr. Balo said.

During group presentations, the security actors revealed that of the over fifty (50) crossing points in Grand Cape Mount County, only five had security presence. According to them, some residents also use their different farming sites along the river as crossing points.

Contact

For further information, contact:

Eric Opoku-Community Engagement Specialist/e-mail... eric.opoku@undp.org Tel; +231 770003839

Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.org Tel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425

Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: zotasam@gmail.com Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162

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