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Envoy joins UN, Liberian police on night patrol in the capital

Envoy joins UN, Liberian police on night patrol in the capital

The United Nations envoy in Liberia this week accompanied national and UN Police officers on a special night patrol to some of the most crime-prone areas of the capital, Monrovia, as part of the world body’s ongoing efforts to reassure the community and improve law and order throughout the country.

“We are very much concerned with the safety of Monrovia’s citizens,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Liberia, Alan Doss, as he met with members of the public during the patrol, which marked the end of “Operation Sweeping Wave II” aimed at curbing criminal activities.

Mr. Doss noted that Liberia’s National Police (LNP) is working under difficult conditions, but he said new uniforms had been obtained from the United States and equipment and vehicles had also been ordered through the UN.

UN Police Commissioner Mohammed Alhassan, LNP Inspector-General Beatrice Munah Sieh and other officials also took part in the two-hour patrol, during which Ms. Sieh stressed the importance of the police interacting with the public and urged people to provide the officers with information on crime.

“Everywhere we went, community leaders came out to see us. It shows that the community is now accepting the police. In the past, they were running away from the police,” she said, adding that the police need logistical support to be more effective.

Mr. Doss, who heads the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), also visited the Zone 1 Police Station on Bushrod Island as part of the patrol. This station was the first police facility to be rehabilitated through UNMIL’s Quick Impact Project programme, which has now helped construct and rehabilitate 25 police stations throughout the country.

UNMIL was established in 2003 to support Liberia’s ceasefire and peace process, and currently has over 15,200 uniformed personnel, along with around 500 international civilian personnel, almost 1,000 local staff and 220 UN Volunteers.

Late last month, the Security Council extended UNMIL’s mandate and, citing progress in a number of areas including the re-integration of former fighters, asked the Secretary-General to report on plans to draw down the level of blue helmets in Liberia.