Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) led by the 23rd Infantry Brigade Commander at the Edward Beyan Kesselley (EBK) Barracks, Colonel Prince C. Johnson, were elated yesterday when they witnessed the inauguration of the first ever turning over of weapons marking equipment.Shortly after the equipment were turned over by authorities of the Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LiNCSA), the process of marking arms assigned to each of the soldiers immediately got underway.Yesterday’s event came barely two weeks after authorities of the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) and LiNCSA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).Under the MOU, both parties recognized the need to put in place a mechanism to control and properly account for weapons by supporting an effective arms marking and recordkeeping for tracing regimen.In the MOU, the LiNCSA and the MOD/ AFL both members of the Peace, Justice, Security and Rule of Law Pillar, recognized the need to implement arms marking to control and avoid proliferation of unregistered weapons across the sub-region.The parties also recognized the obligation of Liberia to adhere to Article 77 of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Treaty relating to sanctions applicable in cases where a member state fails to fulfill its obligation to the country.Yesterday’s ceremony coincided with the turning over of a set of computers to the AFL by LiNCSA represented by Commissioner Benoni Knuckles. In remarks, Michael Page, an Advisor to the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General assigned with UNMIL Security Sector Reform (SSR), described the event as an important step towards achieving both the Government of Liberia’s plan for the security transition and also the requirements expressed in UN Liberia Sanctions Review of September 2014.“We welcome the start of the marking of the AFL weapons as this is an important obligation Liberia entered into when it ratified the 2006 ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the Arms Trade treaty,” Mr. Page asserted.According to him, the arms marking exercise will allow the government to ensure that it is able to mark and trace all government owned weapons not only to ensure that there is no misuse of weapons, but also to better manage its arms stocks.He said while this is a significant step it is also important to recognize that there is still more to do with regards to achieving the recommendation of the UN Sanctions Review. The Review noted the urgent need to implement a firearms regulatory regime across the country, which at the moment is largely absent.“Importantly,” he said, “the Legislature still needs to pass the Firearms and Ammunition Control Act, which is due to achieve its second reading in a House Plenary soon.”Mr. Page urged the Senate Committee on Defense and Security to review the Act as soon as possible.The Review, he said, calls on LiNCSA to be fully operational to prioritize the Agenda for Transformation Pillar One on firearms management and urged that as the new budget is debated that LiNSCA receives the resources needed to fulfill its role in coordinating firearms management in Liberia.Earlier in their respective comments, AFL Deputy Chief of Staff, Eric W. Dennis and Deputy Defense Minister for Operations, Saint Jerome Larbelee, underscored the importance of the exercise. They also expressed gratitude to the LiNCSA authorities, noting that it would also signify that Liberia is in the vanguard of the peace march in the sub-region. This is evidenced by ensuring that arms currently assigned all security sectors including the Liberian National Police as well as agents of the National Security Agency are registered and marked in keeping with the MOU. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Controversial former Executive Protection Service (EPS) Director, Daniel Othello Warrick, has died. He took his last breath early Saturday, August 1, morning, less than 24 hours after he reportedly experienced a brain aneurism (brain disturb or blood filled in the brain) at his home in Monrovia, a former colleague said.Our Executive Mansion source said the deceased had undergone brain surgery, while serving with the US Armed Forces, but departed against medical advice (AMA) to seek a job opportunity in his native home, Liberia, in the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.The late Warrick gained notoriety for his aggravating remarks toward Liberian journalists, in his capacity at the time as Director of the Executive Protection Service – the presidential guard – invoking the power of his gun against the power of the pen, should they publish any content that he was not satisfied with. “Be careful,” he told a forum of journalists in his keynote address at the 2013 celebration of World Press Freedom Day in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, “because you have your pen and we have our guns. And if you incriminate the character or integrity of Liberians, like myself, we will come after you.”Under intense pressure to retract his remarks or resign, he later commented that his remarks were quoted out of context.Responding to media blackouts against the President for not reprimanding her chief bodyguard, President Sirleaf in apparent defense of Warrick said, “The blackouts can continue as long as they want,” adding, “I like it that way.”Mr. Warrick spent his final hours at the Aspen Medical health facility in Sinkor, awaiting a transfer abroad for further medical attention concerning his condition.Our source said friends, family members and loved ones; even the Executive Mansion, where he last worked, made last minute efforts to airlift him to Dakar, Senegal on Friday, July 31, for an emergency procedure, but weather conditions prevented them from doing so until the following day, Saturday, when he expired.“The medical chopper was due in Monrovia early Saturday morning, but the former the EPS director did not survive and was pronounced dead early Saturday morning,” our source said.In 2005, Daniel Othello Warrick ended a 10-year career in the United States Navy, where he served with distinction, bearing several meritorious awards. He served as a recruiter; participated in several missions; and served on several US Naval ships as a gas and turbine engineer.A year later, Warrick returned to his homeland, Liberia to serve in the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, first as Deputy Defense Minister for Administration. Drawing on his experience as a former recruiter in the US Navy, he played a key role in the restructuring and policy design of the new Armed Forces of Liberia.Warrick obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland, University College (USA) and subsequently a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the same institution. He also obtained two prestigious certificates: one in Budgeting and Management from the United States Naval Postgraduate School; and a certificate in Leadership in Development from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.Since his departure from the presidential guard in early 2014, Warrick devoted his time to his family, and a few private sector pursuits, particularly in agriculture and real estate business.Surrounded by his close relatives and friends at the time of his death, Warrick, a son of Grand Bassa County, is survived by his wife Marjay, two beautiful children and a host of relatives and friends both at home in Liberia and the Diaspora.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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