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2023 Liberian Election: Minister commends ECOWAS, calls for control of small arms



2023 Liberian Election: Minister commends ECOWAS, calls for control of small arms

By Lizzy Okoji

Ahead of Liberia’s presidential and legislative elections in 2023, Mr. Jawarlah Tonpo, Liberian Deputy Minister of Press and Public Affairs, urged the country’s security agencies to step up efforts to contain the flow of small arms and small caliber.

Tonpo made the roll call Monday in Monrovia while delivering remarks at the opening of a 5-day in-country physical security and inventory management (PSSM) training for security personnel from the ‘State.

The address, which was made available to the Nigeria News Agency , requested that the message be extended to other countries in the ECOWAS sub-region, including Nigeria, which is also scheduled for general elections in 2023.

He noted that the call was important, given recent political instabilities in some member states which often begin with electoral violence.

Tonpo, who represented Liberian Information Minister Lederghood Rennie at the event, said President George Weah remains committed to protecting the lives and property of citizens, a commitment that spawned the formation of the security personnel.

He also commended the ECOWAS institutions, in partnership with the Bonn International Conversion Center (BICC), for their foresight and, most importantly, their support in strengthening peace and security in Liberia.

“The training couldn’t have come at a better time than now. As you gather here today to begin this In-Country Physical Security and Inventory Management (PSSM) Training for State Security Personnel, you did not go wrong.

“I urge all teams to live up to their games, especially in the run-up to the presidential and legislative elections of 2023. As the legislative and presidential elections of 2023 approach, there are visible warning signs that your commission should not ignore.

“The government trusts you and your team to support the efforts of the security sector in ensuring that the illegal handling of small arms and light weapons is addressed without compromise.

“Your vigilance and relentless pursuit of alleged troublemakers, illegally in possession of small arms, should not be taken lightly as you strive to make our society a safe and peaceful place.

“On behalf of the Government of Liberia, special thanks to the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs (GFFO) for funding this training.

“Liberia will always remain grateful to ECOWAS and our international partners for their support. You have always been by our side and I do not need to refresh our minds regarding your role played during the dark days of Liberia’s history, ”said Tonpo.

Tonpo stressed the importance of the PSSM program which, he explained, could help prevent tragedies, by keeping ammunition and weapons in safe and secure storage areas.

He added that it was also important for governments to stress that the lack of adequate and effective training for state security personnel could have devastating effects and be a recipe for problems, thus causing a decline in peace. and security in our sub-region.

Tonpo assured that the government of Liberia fully supports this initiative; an initiative that will improve our technical security know-how to protect government stocks from falling into the wrong hands or being diverted to the black market.

reports that the capacity building and 5-day training aims to improve Liberia’s national capacity to prevent the proliferation of small arms and light weapons as well as reduce the possibility of them falling into the wrong hands.

Source: NAN

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