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Project for more safety and reintegration: BTFS and Liberia National Police Launch Community Engagement in Liberia

As LNP Promises Good Relationship with Locals

Willie N. Tokpah/0777039231(willie.tokpah@frontpageafricaonline.com)

Bowier Trust Foundation and the Liberia National Police have kick up partnership in ensuring a better relationship between the community and the LNP personnel.

The community and police have not had a cordial relationship over the years, with some members alleging that some police officers exercise wrong behaviours while performing their duties.

As a means of addressing that the BTFS and the LNP have developed an idea of moving into various communities in Liberia to explain the importance that citizens and the LNP work in safeguarding their environs.

During Sunday’s engagement, Police Inspector General Patrick took a back on misconduct of police personnel and act of bribery while performing their duties.

Inspector Sudue said, the issue of bribery and misconducts of some police personnel contravenes police code of ethics, a deed he said his administration will not encourage.

Addressing locals in Samukai Town, upper Montserrado County at the start of the week, he named drunkenness on jobs, consumption of narcotic substances while performing their duties and extortion of money from citizens to perform their role as vices his administration will kick against.

“We are talking to our officers to be peaceful, we are talking to them not to use force unless at a constraint where all options are being observed.

If there is any police officer is involved is harassing citizens for money or abusing them when complaint is carried to police station, reports that officer and we will take action”

“If you see any police officer in uniform and drinking alcohol or in ghettoes taking in narcotic substances, report them to us.

There are some bad apples in the police, but under this administration, if we will be left with ten good police officers, so be it. But any police man who will be caught in act of brutality or drunk in uniform, you don’t have a police job to protect anymore,” Inspector Sudue said.

While he want personnel of the LNP too conduct themselves positively, the LNP Boss also called on community members to respect enforcers of the laws of Liberia.

Inspector Sudue statement comes in the wake of series of concern raise during a town hall engagement with members of various communities in Caldwell about misconduct of some police officers.

The engagement was initiated through a partnership between the Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland and the Liberia National Police in building relationship among the two sectors.

During the dialogue Sudue noted that the LNP is faced with some challenges in perfectly executing its duties due to limited resources.

“Right now the government don’t have anything; they are starting on a bad footing and this is the reason why we are coming to the community to assist us,” Inspector Sudue stressed.

The LNP Inspector General further noted that the current strength of his men is not encouraging to provide complete security service for Liberia’s current population.

He placed the total numbers of LNP Personnel in Liberia at approximately 5,000; a figure he believes cannot serve a population of approximately 4.5 Million people.

However, the police chief wants citizens to exercise restraint until government have the capacity to improve the manpower of the police force.

Until that happens, he wants the community join the LNP in curtailing crimes.

As an initial process, LNP new administration headed Inspector Sudue has at the same time begun initiating new approach in improving on Police relationship with various communities across Liberia.

In a wake of strengthening this relationship, the police boss has embarked on dialogue with community members on issues affecting them and how both parties can work in mitigating crimes.

“We are coming to you the community, to help us fight crime. You can help us to fight crime, by giving us the necessary information that we need. If you give us that information, people will be arrested and criminals will leave your areas,” Inspector Sudue noted.

He them named peace and conflict resolution as a hallmark of his administration activities as a means of peacefully working with the community.


LNP are servants, Respect Community

For his part, Assistant Police Inspector for Operation, Nelson Freeman noted that the LNP is working for community and should not create fear among its members.

According to Freeman, complaints from citizens about the misconducts of some police officers are true but promise them that the leadership of the LNP is working in improving on that.

Freeman however stated that the LNP administration is considering monitoring and evaluation of its officers in the good interest of the force.

Inspector Freeman also noted that it was good that community members voice out their disenchantment of the LNP, as a way of helping to build a bridge between them.

“I like the way she puts it because the problem will not be solve if the true is not said. Sometimes we sit in our officer and don’t know everything happening in the communities. Some of us are decent people and only you can help us to make the police a good police,”

It’s only because of you we are in this uniform, don’t be afraid of us. We are working for you and we will leave our numbers with you to report any officer found in bad behaviour.

Inspector Freeman further admonished citizens to respect officer of the LNP as well.


BTFS Name Security as Cardinal Tool

During the occasion, Bowier Trust Liberia Management Team Administrator Hamnson Gaye said the current engagement by the LNP is an issue of interest to his organization.

Mr. Gaye said the LNP decision to have a community to community engagement is necessary in creating a cordial police-community partnership.

“Seeing our police coming down to our people is a good thing because manpower is an issue and the community will help to secure its self in the absent of that if they and the police work together,” Gaye averred.

According to him BTFS remains committed in working with the LNP on mitigating crimes in the community and building a vibrant relationship.

“BTFS is an international NGO that is trying to work with the Liberia National Police on issues that deal with crime and security as well as other issues like sanitation and empowering our young girls and women around here, and we are happy today to see our LNP here,” Gaye maintained.

Mr. Gaye believes a better collaboration between the community and the police will enable them have a safe environment.


Community Welcomes LNP-BTFS Approach

At the same time, some community members have expressed gratitude for the engagement and lauded the LNP for the level of security provided the community thus far.

The Youth Chairman of Samukai Town, Nana Oliver Dangbuah told the gathering that limited logistic and support to police depots within the Caldwell belt is contributing to poor performances of LNP officers assigned there.

Dangbuah however wants the police do a proper monitoring and evaluation of its officer in time.

“Monitoring and evaluation has to be actually done by the police, there are people in the police who have different attitudes and some of them do not work according to their duty manual.

Danguah in the same time called on the LNP to help empower members of the community watch force in the area with trainings.


Female Community Dweller Frown on Police Misconduct

 

Ruth Sayndee complained of several misconducts exhibited by some police officers in her community.

She said some of the police personnel assigned at the depot in Samukai Town lack good manner of approach something that scare them away from engaging them on security matter.

“Sometimes when we go at the depot for any case, police officers there shout at us and sometimes abuse us like we are living with them. We are responsible people, so if they abuse us at time, we do the same to them and it turns out in confusion. We don’t want that to happen again,” Madam Sayndee said.

Madam Sayndee has also pleaded with LNP authority to take measures against LNP Officers involved with such act.


Frontpage Africa:

Swiss-Based NGO Help Forge Police, Motorcyclists Collaboration


 

Successful first workshop and permanent working group in close cooperation with Liberia National Police from LNP Zone 8 Base, Motorcyclists  with their Union Leaders* and BTFS

On Thursday, February 8, 2018, a workshop with around 40 motorcyclists took place. The workshop was jointly led by the local Liberia National Police (Zone8 Base),  commanded by C / Supint. Tarneu Kerkula and the “bosses” of Motorcyclist, moderated and supported by our Foundation BTFS. The motorcylist and police shared discussions, aiming to find a common ground  how to:

  • jointly plan actions to mitigate and reduce crime in our ICA School target area
  • improve Security within our Pilot Project area for the sake of community dwellers and namely girls and women
  • establish a constructive and working relationship, based on mutual understanding and respect
  • As a result, it was decided to establish a permanent dedicated working group, composed of:

Motorcyclists, Police as operational actors and BTFS (Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland) as coordinator, facilitator and supporter to:

  • analyze state of the local safety & security on a regular basis (weekly or biweekly)
  • prioritize common topics and matters of mutual interest
  • transform these issues into jointly executed actions and campaigns

The public was informed via radio about the meeting and on Tuesday, 13th February 2018, UNMIL Radio was on air to promote the successful outcome of said training. In addition, a report was published in the newspaper Frontpage Africa. The audio recordings were secured by our media advisor Wiliy Tokpah and are made available for our homepage soon.

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12. Februar – RED HAND DAY

International day against the use of child soldiers

In Liberia gehört der 14 jährige Bürgerkrieg hoffentlich für immer der Vergangenheit an. Dieser dauerte von 1989 bis 2003. Nach dem Bürgerkrieg und der Ebola-Epidemie haben dieses Jahr die ersten demokratischen Präsidentschaftswahlen stattgefunden. Dennoch werden hunderttausende Kinder und Jugendliche auf der ganzen Welt dazu missbraucht, als Soldaten in Kriegen und bewaffneten Konflikten zu kämpfen. Auf ihr Schicksal macht jedes Jahr am 12. Februar der Internationale Tag gegen den Einsatz von Kindersoldaten aufmerksam. Bitte lesen Sie dazu den ganzen Bericht auf der Homepage der deutschen  Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Die Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland setzt sich als NGO aktiv für die Reintegration ehemaliger Kindersoldaten in Liberias rechtsstaatliche Gesellschaft ein. Taylors ehemalige Soldaten sind heute zwischen 25 und 35 Jahren alt, teilweise wurden diese ehemaligen Kindersoldaten bereits mit 9 Jahren zwangsrekrutiert.  Links: EDA – Schweizer Einsatz für Kindersoldaten EDA: Schweizer Aktionsplan für den Schutz von Kindern: EDA_Strategie_Kindersoldaten_141007_DE Child Soldiers International deutsche Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung United Nations – Uniting for Youth

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