Liberia: Center for Justice and Peace Studies Conducting Training for State Security in Nimba County Ahead of October 2023 Elections

Ganta — In preparation for the upcoming Presidential and Legislative elections on October 10, 2023, the non-governmental organization known as the Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CJPS) has launched a training program for joint security forces assigned to Nimba County.

The two-day training is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund. It is being implemented by the Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CJPS) and focuses on a community engagement initiative titled “Promoting a Peaceful Electoral Environment and Community Security in the Country” as well as “Strengthening Community Action for Peaceful Elections and Development.”

The training has brought together officers from various organizations, including the Liberia Immigration Services, the police, the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA), and the Community Watch Team, among others.

Mr. Francis Konyon, Program Manager for the Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CJPS), spoke to reporter Mr. Franklin Doloquee and referred to the training as a crucial component of their program, sponsored by the Peacebuilding Fund and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The focus is on promoting harmonious coexistence between community and state security during and after elections.

Konyon explained that the training aims to equip security authorities with a comprehensive understanding of various aspects, including the Liberian electoral procedures and regulations, the role of security personnel in elections, effective mitigation of electoral violence and human rights abuses, including violence against women during elections, among other important topics.

The CJPS Program Manager emphasized that their organization engages with all sectors of the community and has successfully implemented similar programs in Monrovia, Lofa, Bong, and Nimba, among other areas.

Konyon added that the training will provide security personnel with essential skills, as they play a significant role in maintaining security at various polling centers. He encouraged participants to apply these skills effectively in their respective assignments during and after the elections, thereby fostering peace among security personnel and community members.

Nimba County Police Commander Dixon Kemokai, Chief Inspector for the Ganta Police Department Dellin S. Fallah, Malison Gaylah of the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA), and Stanley Vonzeah, County Commander for the Community Watch Team, all expressed gratitude to the Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CJPS) for conducting such a valuable training. They viewed the training as enlightening and pledged to implement the knowledge gained. Additionally, they committed to engaging in community policing, highlighting its potential to enhance community relationships for the betterment of all citizens.

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