Police Reform: Accra Peace Agreement

ARTICLE VIII: RESTRUCTURING OF THE LIBERIAN NATIONAL POLICE (LNP) AND OTHER SECURITY SERVICES

1. There shall be an immediate restructuring of the National Police Force, the Immigration Force, Special Security Service (SSS), custom security guards and such other statutory security units. These restructured security forces shall adopt a professional orientation that emphasizes democratic values and respect for human rights, a non-partisan approach to duty and the avoidance of corrupt practices.

2. The Special Security Units including the Anti-Terrorist Unit, the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the Liberian National Police Force and such paramilitary groups that operate within organisations as the National Ports Authority (NPA), the Liberian Telecommunications Corporation (NTC), the Liberian Refining Corporation (LPRC) and the Airports shall be disarmed and restructured.

3. Until the deployment of newly trained national police, maintenance of law and order throughout Liberia shall be the responsibility of an interim police force.

4. The Parties call on the United Nations Civil Police components (UNCIVPOL) within the ISF to monitor the activities of the interim police force and assist in the maintenance of law and order throughout Liberia.

5. The Parties also call on UNCIVPOL and other relevant International Agencies to assist in the development and implementation of training programs for the LNP.

6. The interim police will only be allowed to carry side arms.

7. All large calibre weapons shall be turned over to the ISF.

Implementation History

2003

Minimum Implementation

The 2003 agreement required a reform of the police force. The Security Council in its resolution 1509 (2003) also requested such a reform. This resolution requested that the UNMIL assist the NTGL “in monitoring and restructuring the police force of Liberia, to develop a civilian police training programme and to assist in the training of the civilian police, in cooperation with ECOWAS, international organizations and interested States; and to assist the Transitional Government in the formation of a new and restructured Liberian military, also in cooperation with ECOWAS, international organizations, and interested States."1 To facilitate the reform of the police force, the UNMIL and the Secretariat developed a concept of operations that envisaged the deployment of 755 civilian police personnel and three formed police units, each comprised of 120 armed police personnel.2

  • 1. "Secretary General’s Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2003/1175), December 15, 2003.
  • 2. Ibid.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

A training program for a Liberian interim police force of 400 officers was designed to police the capital city of Monrovia until the formation of a new, restructured police force occurred. By 5 March, it was reported that 178 officers had completed the course and 74 were enrolled in the program, which was completed by April.

In his May report, the Secretary General reported to the UN Security Council that the Chairman of the NTGL as well as the spherical representative of the secretary general, had decided to launch a recruitment drive for 3,500 personnel. This group was to be trained over the next two years for positions in the Liberian Police Service. During the recruitment drive, emphasis would be given to ethnic and gender balance. Also, the current members of the Liberia National Police would not be automatically recruited into the new force unless they met the new standard.3

By early September, “some 31 per cent of the 1,839 application forms distributed nationwide (had) been returned for processing and 385 Liberian National Police personnel (had) been identified to undergo the selection process for entry into the Academy."4 By June 2004, the UNMIL had trained some 646 officers to restore law and order in Monrovia. The UNMIL, in coordination with NTGL, completed an extensive recruitment drive. It was reported that 854 screened and vetted recruits had undergone extensive academic and field training. By December, the registration exercise to verify the number of Liberian National Police Personnel was completed. Some 9,353 personnel were registered.5

  • 3. "Secretary General’s Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2004/428), May 26, 2004.
  • 4. "Secretary General’s Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2004/725), September 10, 2004.
  • 5. "Secretary General’s Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2004/972), December 17, 2004.
2005

Intermediate Implementation

Reform of the Liberian police moved steadily forward. The goal of training 1,800 Liberian police officers before the October election was met. In addition, 300 police personnel completed specialized training in Nigeria. It was claimed that this group was to be tasked with dealing with riot controls and violent crimes.6

  • 6. "Secretary General’s Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2005/764), December 7, 2005.
2006

Intermediate Implementation

By 1 December, 2,214 Liberian National Police had been trained and deployed, while 358 Special Security Services personnel and 155 Seaport Police officers had graduated from the National Police Academy. At that time, an additional 566 police recruits were receiving field training, and 454 recruits were undergoing basic training. In order to reach the target of a trained police force of 3,500 by July 2007, the UNMIL and the Liberian National Police intensified the country-wide recruitment drive.7

  • 7. "Secretary General’s Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2006/958), December 11, 2006.
2007

Intermediate Implementation

The July target of training 3,500 police personnel was reached. By the first week of August, 3,522 police officers had graduated from the National Police Academy. Also, to foster the gender balance, the first all-female class, comprised of 110 police recruits, began training on 4 June after completing the special Ministry of Education/Liberian National Police/United Nations police educational support program.8

  • 8. "Secretary General’s Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2007/479), August 8, 2007.
2008

Full Implementation

Significant progress was made with respect to police reform. The UNMIL provided basic training for 3,661 officers, including 344 women. More than 1,000 officers had received specialized training. Nevertheless, significant challenges remained regarding the deployment of the police force.9

  • 9. "Secretary General’s Report to the UN Security Council," United Nations Security Council (S/2008/553), August 15, 2008.
2009

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2011

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2012

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.