U.S. Govt. Donates Pieces of Equipment to Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency

LDEA acting Director Mr. Marcus D. Zehyou (first from right), UNODC’s Law Enforcement Expert, Mr. Jose Manuel Lopez (second from right), INL Section at the U.S Embassy in Liberia acting Director Mr. Stephen H. Kissik standing in front of the equipment and logistics donated

Monrovia – The United States government through the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Section at the U.S Embassy near Monrovia has donated a huge consignment of logistical and office equipment to the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA, in a bid to help strengthen the agency’s capacity in combating against illicit drug trafficking in the country.

The donation was made by the US government in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) at the LDEA headquarters in Sinkor, Monrovia on Tuesday, September 8.

The items donated include: 20 pieces of tactical vests, 25 pieces of uniform, 25 pieces of boots, 25 pieces of patrol caps, 25 pieces of batches, 25 pieces of Liberian flag and 25 pieces of security belts including expandable batons.

The rest are 25 pieces of handcuffs with the case, eight laptop computers, 13 pieces of ‘all in one’ desktop computers, seven HP color laserjet printers, 25 office writing tables, 25 office chairs, and 10 air conditioners.

Speaking in an interview with FrontPage Africa shortly after the donation, the acting Director of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Section at the U.S Embassy in Liberia, Mr. Stephen H. Kissik, disclosed that the gesture is part of the US government’s regular annual support to the LDEA.

He pointed out that the United States government, through its Embassy near the Liberian capital-Monrovia, has been a strong partner to the LDEA.

“All of this equipment and uniform were handled through UNODC on behalf of the United States government through the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) section at the US embassy. The US Embassy and the US government has been a partner with the LDEA for so many years now”.

“We’ve been here and we are staying here; we are looking forward to continuing the work with the LDEA and with the Government of Liberia in the future”.

Speaking further, Mr. Kissik observed that logistical support remains a challenge to all security agencies in Liberia.

“Each and every one of the agencies here is battling with the need for more support both from the Government of Liberia itself and from international donors”.

He, however, pledged the US government’s commitment and support to working with the Liberian government, to build and strengthen the capacities of its security agencies.

Also speaking, UNODC’s Law Enforcement Expert, Mr. Jose Manuel Lopez, disclosed that funding for the support of projects, including training, being implemented by his group are being provided by the US government, through the INL.

According to him, the projects being implemented with the LDEA are geared towards combating international crimes and drug trafficking.

“We are implementing two projects to support Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency to fight against international crimes and drug trafficking. We are donating these items today to support the combat against drug trafficking”.

Mr. Lopez further assured that more items would be donated to the LDEA next month to beef up the strength and help improve the investigative and operational skills of officers of the agency.

“This is the first type of a whole donation and in October (this year) we will hand over the rest of the items, including drug testing kits, more laptops, desktops, and uniform”.

For his part, the acting Director of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), Mr. Marcus D. Zehyoue, commended the United States government and the UNODC for the donation.

“This donation is not surprising to us as an agency because we know you guys have been there for us always. Your contributions to the agency have been enormous; they have been tremendous and they are uncountable. We are wholeheartedly grateful for this kind gesture and we can assure you that it will be used for the intended purpose”.

He, however, underscored the need for the adequate training of officers of the LDEA to help enforce the laws in a professional manner.

“This will help enhance some of the challenges that we are faced with as an agency to carry on our work smoothly. We look to you guys in the future for better support. Capacity building is very key to law enforcement and you guys have always been there for us and we look forward to you to building the capacity of our officers”.