GBARNGA – The Office of the High Commission for Human Rights and its partners have begun the training of over 40 top security officers including regional and county commanders of the Liberia National Police, the Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency and the Liberia National Fire Service on election security management ahead of the October 10 election.
Launching the start of the training, the deputy commissioner for human resources at the Liberia National Police has cautioned all security actors to provide equal and Impartial protection for all political parties and citizens during the ensuing October 10 election.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitzgerald Biago reminded fellow security officers that the primary concern of all state security agencies is to provide maximum protection for all citizens including candidates and election actors
He made the statement on Thursday, August 10, 2023 at the opening ceremony of a two-day election security management training for senior LNP, LIS LDEA and LNFS at the Regional Security Hub in Gbarnga, Bong County.
“The will of the people is the authority of government, and it that will we are called to respect and protect,” the DCP said.
He stressed that October 10 is a litmus test for Liberia security officers since the departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia that hugely supported the 2005, 2011, and 2017 elections.
“We must not underestimate how important this election is, that is why we must exhibit a very hard standard of integrity, and professionalism; must act in a way that promotes human rights in the discharge of our duties,” the police officer added.
He however praised regional and county commanders for the sacrifices they made during the Biometric Voter Registration to ensure that the process was peaceful.
“I must thank you for the level of work you did during the BVR process. Some of you spend your personal finances to deploy officers in the field. Some you chatter bikes and other vehicles. I must thank you for that. All these sacrifices are for the Liberian people who are our priorities,” Officer Biago said.
Speaking on behalf of the Country Representative, Christian Mukosa, Atty. Roosevelt Jayjay told participants that the October 10 general and presidential election will be the first post-war election that is primarily organized and administered by Liberia without large-scale international support.
He noted that the election present a significant opportunity to not only consolidate Liberia’s democratic gains but to entrench and build on them.
“In the electoral context, it is required that security forces strive to ensure that all citizens benefit from elections that are administratively sound and free of any disruptive forces that seek to undermine the expression of popular will,” the OHCHR human rights officer noted.
He informed the participants the OHCHR, UNDP and partners intend to provide election management training for the LNP and other joint security officers on effective elections security management to enhance their capacity to prevent, manage and respond to potential security threats before, during and after election processes in order to prevent gross human rights abuses and violations.