On Friday 20th March, the European Union Ambassador, Mrs. TiinaIntelmann was invited by the Mr. James Fromayan, Chairman of Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA) to attend the Closing Ceremony of a four day programme of Arms Marking training at UNMIL Starbase.
The training was being conducted for the Government of Liberia Security Agencies and included the Ministry of Defence, Liberia National Police, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), National Security Agency (NSA) and the Executive Protection Services. The Arms Marking training was under the guidance of LiNCSA in collaboration with UNMIL, United Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) and the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms. The reason for the training was to ensure that all state owned firearms in Liberia are to now be distinctly marked, in compliance with the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and the United Nations Programme of Action (UNPoA).
The EU was greatly acknowledged for their funding, which has enabled two arms marking machines to be purchased, the first of their kind in Liberia. TiinaIntelmann stated that “the whole International community including the EU, UN and ECOWAS are behind LiNCSA and hopes that the people trained through this new initiative will help Liberia to flourish – this country is in your hands and it is now down to you to train others and continue with your hard work and I wish you every success in this venture.”
The Deputy Minister of Defence, Hon. St. Jerome Larbelee was also in attendance, representing the Government and said “This is the start of us showing more accountability of arms; as research has shown, illegal arms have found their way through to Liberia, due to there being no accountability and no one can over emphasise the importance of this training”. This positive step forward has been taken and together, everyone can build on this momentum.