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Irish Aid support to the security sector in Liberia

Participants of the four-month post-graduate course at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, sponsored by Irish Aid. Credits: Collins Kingsford, Deputy Commissioner of Police

Fourteen senior officers from the Liberia National Police, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and the Drug Enforcement Agency have been sponsored by Irish Aid to attend a four-month post-graduate course at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

The training will give them the opportunity to learn about a range of subjects, such as public policy and communication, strategic management, public finance and accounting, public administration system and law, economic, development planning, human resources, human rights and gender issues in development. Successful candidates will be awarded the post-graduate Diploma in Public Administration.

Ireland has a long history of supporting the efforts of the security sector in Liberia, from contributing to the early stages of the UN Peace-keeping Mission to Liberia (UNMIL) through the deployment of the Irish Defence Forces, to strengthening the Emergency Response Unit and the Police Support Unit of the Liberian National Police through training and procurement of equipment. In 2013-2014 Irish Aid funded the training of sixty-four senior and middle police officers at the GIMPA, which resulted in the promotion of graduates to strategic leadership and management positions.

This project aims at professionalising the security sector and strengthening its effectiveness and accountability, in view of the increasing role of the Liberian security forces in the coming months as the UN mission (UNMIL) scales down in Liberia. This is a critical moment in Liberia’s history, with the UNMIL drawdown and the resumption of all security responsibilities by the Liberian government by June 2016.

At the pre-departure briefing for the new batch of GIMPA trainees, representatives of the Liberian security forces and of the UN Peace-keeping mission commended Irish Aid for supporting this project and urged the fourteen officers to take advantage of this unique opportunity, trying their best to achieve good academic results and working as a team to overcome difficulties. The Irish Aid Programme Officer, Elena Gromme, thanked the security institutions partners in this project and praised the UN Peace-keeping mission for its strategic role, wishing success to the GIMPA trainees in their studies and in their professional development. “May you come back with new useful skills and competencies to be put at the service of your respective institutions and the Liberian people at large”, she concluded her remarks.