Ahead of Liberia’s presidential and legislative elections in 2023, Jawarlah Tonpo, Liberia’s deputy minister for public affairs, has urged security agencies to redouble their efforts to contain small arms proliferation.
On Monday, Mr Tonpo made the call in Monrovia while delivering an address at the opening of a five-day in-country training in Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) for state security personnel.
He wanted his message to be extended to other ECOWAS countries, including Nigeria, scheduled for general elections in 2023.
He noted that the call was important, considering the recent political instability in some member states, which frequently begin with electoral violence.
Mr Tonpo, representing Liberia’s information minister, Lederghood Rennie, at the event, said President George Weah remained committed to securing lives and properties.
He also commended ECOWAS institutions, in partnership with the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC), for their foresight and, more importantly, the support to strengthen Liberia’s peace and security.
“The training could not have come at a better time than now. As you assemble here today to begin this in-country training in Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) for state security personnel, you have made no mistake,” stated Mr Tonpo. “I urge all teams to be up at their games, especially as the 2023 presidential and legislative elections beckon. As we draw closer to the 2023 legislative and presidential elections, there are visible early warning signs that your commission must not overlook.”
He added that it was important that governments emphasise that the lack of adequate and effective training for state security personnel could have devastating effects and be a recipe for problems, thereby causing a setback to peace and security in our sub-region.