Monrovia - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield have launched a new joint partnership to develop a “National Security Radio Communication Network aimed at further strengthening efficiency and effectiveness of Liberian civilian security agencies.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader and Ambassador Greenfield launched the Network on Monday, May 16, 2016 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. President Sirleaf said the launch was another milestone for Liberia amid UNMIL drawdown plan. According to her, Liberia is striving to meet a lot of milestones in that direction that will take the country along the path of its readiness to take over the security of the nation. President Sirleaf used the occasion to commend all those who helped in starting the process and bringing it to fruition. The Liberian leader described the launching ceremony as an important event that is expected to safeguard the country in the country in the next 5 to 6 years. The United States, through its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, is in the final stages of awarding a multi—million contract to rehabilitate the national security radio communication system of the Government of Liberia, through the augmentation of existing infrastructure. The contract is expected to include extensive technical training for a team of Liberian civilian security who will be given the skills and capabilities to maintain network and mobile communication equipment. The Government of Liberia is establishing a Technical Center of Excellence, which will serve as a hub for this new network and technical team and has committed itself to funding the ongoing costs of running the new network. The National Security Radio Communication Project represents a strong long-term United States government’s commitment to Liberia and signifies ongoing partnership in strengthening the security sector to ensure a safe and secure Liberia. Speaking earlier, the National Security Advisor to the President, Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh Jr., said the ceremony was meant to launch Liberia’s security radio communication network which is in line with the drawdown plan of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which according to him means that Liberian security forces and their security radio communication are available and serviceable to maintain the peace and stability of state and its citizenry. Dr. Fahnbulleh said a key component of the launching ceremony is to ensure that the nation’s entire civilian security radio communication covers the entire country. He said the process will upgrade the rule of law and the communication services of Liberia. He noted that the First Phase of the service will be to link up Liberia from the North to the Northwest, and then move onto covering the entire country, through radio communication. Dr. Fahnbulleh informed President Sirleaf and Ambassador Greenfield that with the launch taking place now, its means Liberia is going to have a very effective and efficient security system, which will be confident-oriented. The National Security Advisor said the Bureau of Immigration, the Liberia National Police, Personnel of Correction Officers, the Executive Protective Service among others are going to making use of this new service. Besides, he indicated, that the Second Phase will cover the entire Southeastern Region of Liberia, following which everything will be connected to the Northwestern parts of Liberia to bring the whole country within reach of the National Civilian Security Radio Communication Network. Dr. Fahnbulleh said with the putting into place of this effective security system for the safety of Liberia and its neighbors, the Government of Liberia was delighted to commend all of its partners, including the United States of America for assiduously working in this direction to make the nation a safe place for all. Dr. Fahnbulleh made specific reference to the head of the U.S International Narcotics Substance Control, including all those who worked closely with the security sector from the Liberian and U.S. Governments’ sides in capturing Liberia into the system. He said unlike in the past, when personnel of the Liberian security sector were called to come to Monrovia for consultations, with the new system in place, heads of security agencies can sit in Monrovia, call their regional offices and information needed will be provided promptly. For her part, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield who is currently visiting Liberia said historically, Liberia and United States of America have some similarities in their existence together. She said one of safest responsibilities of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led administration is to safeguard the peace and stability of Liberia. Ambassador Greenfield recalled that the United States Government has been a long time true partner of the Government and people of Liberia. She said the U.S is interested in seeing effective communication services for Liberia and has committed US$5.5M as part of the United States Government’s support to making the system effective and to enable security agencies share and coordinate information better. She said the project is for Liberia and therefore government should continue to invest in the project and make it sustainable in protecting Liberia from all security threats. Ambassador Greenfield said despite the system put into place now, she was confident that Liberia can take control of its security challenges across the country. She commended President Sirleaf for appointing security officers based on merits, not on the basis of partiality. The U.S. diplomat said this will inspire future security to hire the services of good people into the system. Ambassador Greenfield said she was moved by President Sirleaf’s desire for de-politicized the security sector and make it professional. Ambassador Greenfield said the launch of the National Civilian Radio Communication Network represents a very strong partnership of the US-Liberia relationship. The partnership is expected to provide public servants with the necessary communication infrastructure to help protect Liberians and bring perpetrators of violence to justice. The ceremony was attended by security chiefs from the National Security Agency (NSA), Liberia National Police (LNP), Liberia National Fire Service, Executive Protective Service (EPS) Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) among others.