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Depoliticize Security Sector …Expert Security Group Urges Boakai

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By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah

MONROVIA: The Criminal Justice Support Foundation for West Africa has cautioned the incoming government, under President-elect, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, to revamp the country’s security sector by ensuring its de-politicization, neutrality, and professionalism.

The Criminal Justice Support Foundation for West Africa comprises leading security experts.

In its quest for professional state security in Liberia, the Foundation wants the President-elect, upon taking office on Monday, January 22, 2024, to nominate heads of state-owned security institutions to be “meticulously” vetted.

The Regional Security Foundation pointed out that this would ensure that “nominees do not have human rights and criminal records” or corrupt tendencies.
According to the group, such move will not only help to enhance security operational effectiveness but also the necessary public trust.

It will also ensure that the state security sector remains neutral as it relates to the performance of their statutory duties.

The group further recommended to the President-elect to ensure that nominations of security personnel are in line with the laws of Liberia.

Specific reference was made to the Liberian National Police Act of 2015, Section 22.76, which provides that “The Inspector General and Deputy Inspector Generals shall be person (s) of proven integrity, high moral standards and undisputed competence in matters relating to the security sector and a graduate from a recognized university with at least a bachelor’s degree.”

A statement issued under the signature of the Criminal Justice Support Foundation for West Africa’s President, Cecil B. Griffiths, cautioned President-elect Boakai against any politicization of the functions of state security institutions.

“The ruling party should discourage police and other law enforcement officers from lobbying with the Party for appointments in government,” the statement added.

Griffiths also urged the soon-to-be President Boakai to “review, update, and approve a Comprehensive National Security Strategy that seeks to address “our current challenges and future threats.”

He maintains that “to enhance the effectiveness and responsiveness of this critical institution, it is crucial to grant it semi-autonomous status.”

The Criminal Justice Support Foundation for West Africa also calls for National Bureau of Correction (NBC) to be an autonomous agency that will play a regulatory role and institutionalize Gender Mainstreaming and Equality in the national security sector.

The Foundation calls for increased budgetary support for the Civilian Complaints Review Boards of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and Liberia Immigration Services (LNP), to be fully supported and held accountable to the public in the discharge of their duties.

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