Small Arms Commission Holds Official Turn Over Ceremony For Their New Chairperson.


Cllr. Musa Dean, Minister of Justice, Hon. Bennieta T. Jarbo, Vice Chair of LiNCSA; Hon. Marvin Sarkor, Outgoing Chairman of LiNCSA and current Deputy Inspector General; The Chairman and Honorable Members of the Senate Committee on Defense, Security and Intelligence; The Chairman and Honorable Members of the Committee on Security; Other officials of Government present; His Excellency Babatunda Ajisumo, ECOWAS Ambassador; His Excellency the Resident Representative of the Manor River Union; His Excellency the Ambassador of Great Britain; His Excellency the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Representatives of the United Nations; Representative of the African Union; Representative of the European Union; Representative of ICRC; Representative of Civil Society organizations; Other Development partners present; Mrs. Jeneba Zeinabu Kaindii-Grigsby; The President Members of the Press; Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen;

Today marks the official handover ceremony and taking of office of the fourth (4th) Liberian to be appointed by the Head of State, Commander in Chief and President of the Republic of Liberia as Chairman of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA).

The day is not only historic because of the appointment of another Chairman to lead the charge and execute the mandate of the Commission to eradicate proliferation and illicit trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) within and across the borders of Liberia but that a product of the young generation who are the most affected victims of the civil crisis mainly perpetrated with the use of Small Arms, Light Weapons and other materials. The adverse impact of the use of small arm during war and its illicit trade and proliferation within the territory limits of Limits cannot be overly emphasized.

Notwithstanding, It will be very unkind of main to exclusively concentrate on the challenges of arms control and weaknesses in the full execution of the relevant protocols and convent of ECOWAS, the Arms Trade Treaty, Fire Arms Control Act (FACA), the act to establish the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms and other applicable laws without acknowledging the accomplishments of my predecessor Honorable Comminy B. Wesseh, current Senator of River-gee County, Honorable James Flomoyan, Honorable Marvin Sackor current Deputy Inspector General for Operations of the Liberia National Police for the tireless effort in establishing the Commission which started as a Technical Working Group, development and enactment of the Firearms Control Act (FACA), active participation and engagement with ECOWAS in the development, signing and domestication of the ECOWAS convention on Small Arms, Light Weapons, Ammunition and other materials.

Hon. Minister, and distinguished colleagues, As Liberia consolidate its peace, it is imperative that attention be paid to the conflict and fragility triggers, including the instruments such as proliferating small arms that have destabilizing effects. Liberians can attest to the destructive impact of small arms; the Mano River Union countries have seen and experienced the devastating and destructive effects of small arms and light weapon.

The proliferation of small arms and light weapon pose a significant threat to peace and stability, not only in Liberia, but also in the sub-region, since they are the weapons of choice and necessity of rebel movement. The Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA) is but one additional step in our effort to control small arms and light weapons and to combat the illicit trade in arms. It is one step toward our commitment to continue to work with other individuals, institutions and countries to robustly combat illicit trade and arms control and to ensure that eradicate the black market sale of weapons that continue to destroy our country and, terrorize and kill our people. The commission with membership in regional and international organizations and its influence in Africa and the world at large will be used to continue to advocate for comprehensive controls on the trade and availability of these weapons.

 

Let me  assured you that under my leadership of this commission Liberia will remain an ardent advocate for the control of small arms and light weapons and will continue to engage our partners both locally and internationally.

We are witnessing many conflicts and instabilities in various forms in Africa and around the world because of the sale of illicit weapons across borders. The ever increasing availability of small arms and light weapons has been a major contributing factor to the increase in conflicts and instabilities, as well as hindering the rebuilding and development efforts. The illicit small arms proliferation is a big concern at national and international levels. In an effort to address this problem which is prevalent in Liberia, this commission under my leadership is making every effort through collaboration with state and non-state actors to combat such menace. In doing so, my leadership will among other things concentrate on the following:

  1. Education and Sensitization programs- Implementation of relevant community-based micro projects in exchange for arms collected and reported by the host communities.

 

  1. Civilian Arms Registration marking, record keeping, Weapon collection and destruction of SALW
  2. Networking and collaboration with Mano River Union Counterparts
  3. Decentralization
  4. Deterrence
  5. Capacity Building

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the team of my predecessors for the LiNCSA’s contribution to the Liberia Arms Trade Treaty ratification and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of National Defence on Arm Marking responsibility.

As we begin the process of my leadership strategic partnership with you our development partners, it is our ardent wish that we will give this responsibility our best only with your technical and financial support to the many programs and activities we will want to embark on.

Thank you for your attention.