Deputy UN Envoy Hands Over Norwegian-funded Police Male Dormitory to Liberian Government

Monrovia, Liberia: July 31, 2009: The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Rule of Law and Officer-in-Charge of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Mrs. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu has handed over a 19-bedroom male dormitory building to the Liberian Government at the Liberia National Police Training Academy (LNPTA) in the Monrovia suburb of Paynesville. The dormitory valued at USD $320,000, was funded by the Government of Norway and will provide accommodation for 150 police trainees at the academy.

Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Mrs. Mensa-Bonsu praised the government of Norway for supporting the security sector reform initiatives in Liberia. She said the impact of the Norwegian contribution of$2 million to assist in the rebuilding of the Liberian National Police (LNP), the Women and Children Protection Units and provision of equipment and generators has helped to raise the profile of the police in Liberia.

She said, “Although it is likely that donor support for the LNP capacity building and institutional development will continue, such support alone will not transform the LNP. This assistance must be reinforced through professional and strategic planning, national ownership and requisite budgetary allocations while internal systems must be in place to ensure discipline, efficiency, accountability and transparency”. The DSRSG called for the deployment of the LNP nationwide to meet the security and safety needs of communities. She assured the LNP of the support of the United Nations family in strengthening its partnership with the donors and the Government of Liberia to support policies and plans identified under the LNP Strategic Plan.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Norwegian Ambassador, Mrs. Merete Lunderno said her government’s support in building a strong security sector in Liberia is fundamental to creating the enabling environment for development and reconstruction to take place. She said the Norwegian Government’s support to the police targets women mainly because they are always the worse affected in times of conflict. She said the involvement of the Norwegian police officers with the UN Police in Liberia since 2003 is indicative of her government’s desire to see a society built on the rule of law.

Liberia National Police Inspector-General, Col. Marc Amblard commended the UN family and the Government of Norway for the level of support to the Liberia National Police over the years. He assured that the facilities will be maintained and drastic disciplinary measures will be instituted against any police officer found abusing the facilities. He maintained that during his administration more women will be recruited in the police force to create a gender balance in the law enforcement industry. Other officials attending the ceremony were Acting UN Police Commissioner, Mr. Gautam Sawang, Mr. Napoleon Abdulai of UNDP, and senior UN and Liberian police officers.