After many years of turbulence in the Liberian nation, thought in many circles to have thought good and self-learned lessons at justice and security, citizens are still tumbling with the sector(s) as though unimportant to their existence or abilities to live in peace and harmony.
Whilst justice may have been viewed in some past decades to have been jungle-like, with instant remedial actions taken without regards to procedures that must be followed, the security sector too had been viewed in many circles to have been polarized by witch-hunting, consequently contributing to many socio-economic and political anomalies.
More vividly and growing from lessons of past decades in which journalists and other Liberians finding themselves in opposition political camps, as well as students tagged radicals gained insights into the sectors, evolving from illegal detentions and meting of malpractices simply for doing that which was right, it became common particularly amongst those in authority to have called for joint security operations whenever there occur the least suspicion of unusualness in city centers or local communities.
Huge budgetary support from the national coffers soon became allocated until at such time when it became reported that conditions had been normalized.
During the past civil crisis, however, Liberians did not have to be reminded of becoming sensitive to security matters, since non-adherence resulted to instant justice which many greatly feared, with period of the Economic Community of West African States Peace-Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) in Liberia helping to gradually regulate the activities.
Continuously upheld in many circles that “there is no justice for the poor” that is been gradually reversed as an outcome of the involvement of heightened number of human rights and democracy institutions, supported by Public Defender, the nearly eight years of presence of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) continues to experience significant improvement, apparently out of the awareness since provided.
Notwithstanding and with most citizens and residents overly-concerned about the gradual departure of UNMIL, after completion of its mandate, it is at all not surprising that whilst the multinational peacekeeping force’s presence is still been felt nationwide that Liberians have begun fully institutionalizing the justice system, incorporating the Liberia National Police, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Bureau of Correction and Rehabilitation, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), Public Defender, etc., under a Justice and Security Hub, otherwise once known as the Joint Security.
According to Mr. Othello T.K. Yarsiah of UNMIL, who is currently in Voinjama City, Lofa County to create awareness among the population, the Hub, expected to be launched on Saturday, April 28 in Gbarnga City, is intended to help strengthen the justice and security systems in Liberia with assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The pilot project now underway in Gbarnga City as base and intended to serve Ganta and Voinjama will beef up manpower in those areas whenever troubleshooting occurs there.
However indicating that expectations of the population should not be high, since there are personnel already deployed in the region, it is the hope that the sensitization embarked upon would be adequately conducted in the remaining three regions in time, with identical hub constructed in achieving the desired objectives.
Expected that the every step of the Criminal Justice Highway would be expounded upon, given the reality that even some members within the justice system are soon to use same in inventing structures of injustice as is still ongoing to the unacknowledgment of many of our citizens, business cannot continue to remain as usual in the democratic environment as failure thereat will keep the cell phones and internet busy for distant communications in bringing the unusual to halt, something that may have serious backlash. These are the little things that matter.