ECOWAS Consultant visits LIBERIA.


The Liberia National Commission on Small Arms boss has reiterated calls for more concerted efforts in the fight against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Liberia and the sub-region.

Atty. Teklo Maxwell Grigsby, II made the call when the Commission received a visiting ECOWAS’ Consultant, Mr. Koffa Marc Kouadio, who is also the Program Officer of the Physical Security and Stockpile Management on Small Arms and Light Weapon Division.

 The Chairman acknowledged the pivotal role of ECOWAS in Liberia and member States in terms of maintaining peace and security.

Chairman Grigsby appealed to the West African body to provide or solicit more capacity building training for staff of the commission, members of the Technical Committee on Arms and the small arms control Unit of the Liberia National Police so as to enhance the work of the Commission. He expressed his gratitude to the visiting ECOWAS Consultant and welcome his stay in Liberia.

 

For his part, Mr. Koffa Marc Kouadio said, the purpose of his visit is to identify gaps and weaknesses in the security sector as it relates to physical security and stockpile management, and mobilize resources to address them. As part of his mandate, he will conduct evaluation on compliance by Liberia as a member of ECOWAS, as well as military inventory of our armories.

One key area of priority according to the Consultant is to update the road map based on development by member states, put in place guidelines in line with international best practices when it comes to physical security, stockpile management and systems to protect and safe the ammunitions and weapons.  

 

Mr. Kouadio further stated that part of his visit will consider the visitation of armory sites and evaluate the needs of those sites. He informed the Commission that the project on Peace and Stability funded by the European Union, which has lasted for 3 years with a remaining 8 months. He mentioned that the project offered a lot of support for National Commissions of member states of ECOWAS in the areas of training and physical stock pile management. Additionally, Mr. Kouadio noted that ECOWAS is working on providing capacity support to the commissions by the provision of CCTV Camera, computer accessories, servers, weapon destruction machine, among others to make the National commissions of member states effective and efficient. He stated that the bidding process is up and in 3 months’ time, the equipment will be ready for distribution.

 

In his briefing to the Commission, Mr. Kouadio said, that there will be a training in ammunition storage conducted in November of this year by ECOWAS for member states to address this capacity need and Liberia will have the opportunity to nominate 2( Two) persons for the training this year. He mentioned that the ECOWAS Commission aim of the training is to have a pool of experts in ammunition and storage management.

 

While in Liberia as guest of the Commission, Mr. Koffa Marc Kouadio will visit the National Security Advisor to the President, National Security Agencies and their armories and hold key discussions with them.

The commission under the leadership of Chairman Teklo Maxwell Grigsby, II has received several congratulatory messages from ECOWAS, UNDP, MRU and Civil Society Organizations for his position to eradicate illicit trade and proliferation of small arms, light weapons, ammunition and other materials within and across the borders of Liberia and the sub region.