Monday, April 16, 2012

GOL Braces for UNMIL Departure

Starts to Decentralize Justice and Security Services With the departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) drawing closer, the Government of Liberia (GoL) has begun building several Regional Hubs around the country in efforts to decentralize justice and security services to all parts of the country. The Regional Hubs (Justice Centers) are being built with support from the United Nations peacebuilding fund and other partners who have pledged unweavering support to the infant peace and democracy the country has enjoyed since 2003. Accordign to the Cllr. Christiana P. Tah, Minstier of Justice, there are going to be five regional hubs which will have a Criminal Court and a Circuit Court built across the country in about three years when the UNMIL will be leaving the country. She said the hubs will also include a Liberia National Police (LNP) office, a Bureau of Immagration and Naturalization (BIN) office, and a public outreach and service office where Public Defenders, County Attorneys, Corrections and Human Rights officers will be deployed. The Attorney General of Liberia added that the effect the hub will have on the communities, justice, and security system include: fostering linkagages among rule of law actors, increase security response capacity, strenghten command and control, foster community security initiatives and increase public access to security and justice accountability mechanisms among others. She said that it was about time that the justice system spread out of Monrovia which has been the custodium of justice in the republic of Liberia for ages. Cities targeted for the constuction of the significant justice centers are Gbarnga, Bong County (ongoing); Harper, Maryland County; Zwedru, Grand Gedeh; Tubmanburg, Bomi County; and Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. Each of the hubs will be providing services to the counties that are in proximal to the county it is station. The Harper will provide services to Grand Kru, River Gee and Maryland; the Zwedru will provide services to Sinoe and Grand Gedeh; Tubmanburg will provide services to Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, and Bomi; Buchanan will provide services to River Cess, Margibi and Grand Bassa while Gbarnga will provide services to Lofa, Nimba and Bong Counties. Asked how much each of the hubs will cost, Minister Tar put the funds expended on the Gbarnga hub alread at about US$4.2M for the structure and furniture. She said in the next three years the Government is looking forward to doubling the strenght of the LNP because it will be taking over most of the tasks UNMIL will be abandoning.

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