Tags: Liberia | arms | crime | fight

Liberians Cheer U.N. Arms Ban Lift

Monday, 04 Jan 2010 10:59 AM


The U.N. Security Council has lifted its arms embargo on Liberia for one year, primarily to allow its peacekeeping mission there to receive military equipment. But it also allows the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to acquire arms and training to fight crime.

Government misuse of force under former President Charles Taylor brought about the arms embargo 10 years ago. Its lifting, even temporarily, has been met with both pride and worry among Liberians still recovering from a long civil war.

Businessman Matthew Wesseh says the move recognizes the progress the government has made to restore security in Liberia.

"It is the constitutional responsibility of the government to protect its citizens against external forces," he said. "We are not opting for external aggression. But it is within the purview of every government the world over to protect its citizens."

More than arms, Wesseh says it is the proper training of security forces that will prevent a repeat of abuses under former President Taylor and former President Samuel Doe.

"My government, the government of Liberia, must be in a position to treat this issue with care and caution so that those who are going to carry arms in this country must be people who are trained, who understand that indeed the issue of human rights is around, and nobody can use their arms to suppress or intimidate any peaceful citizen in this country and think that he or she will get away with impunity," he added.

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2010-59-04
Monday, 04 Jan 2010 10:59 AM
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