Imploring authorities of the Liberia National Police for increased female inclusion into international police operations

Police authorities announced here last week that on Sunday, 14 November 2021, a second batch of officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) comprising three males and just a female, had been vetted and qualified to represent Liberia on a peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The vetted officers, according to police authorities, include Chief Superintendent Patrick B. Kormazu, Superintendent Alfred Gonlee Yormie, Chief Inspector Cooper Medekamue, and a lone female, Superintendent Elfreda Dennice Stewart.

We are reliably informed that the decision for the selection of the three males and one female for the South Sudan international police mission was made as a result of a vetting process and subsequent training exercise conducted by the LNP Peacekeeping Desk.

We are told that with oversight inputs from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, through Liberia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the LNP Peacekeeping Desk vetted and trained some100 police officers, for international police operations, and that out of such number, 34 officers comprising 31 males and just a fragment of 3 females were certified to participate in international police operations following the United Nations Required Test conducted by the Special Assistance and Assessment Team (SAAT).

We are also reliably informed that at the central Monrovia National Headquarters of the LNP, on Friday, 12 November 2021, during a farewell ceremony held in honor of the four officers now off to South Sudan, Police Inspector General Patrick Toe Sudue called on females in the police force “to take advantage of the UN Mission.”

In lieu of the police IG’s call and due to the very low number of women listed among a huge number of men on the LNP’s roster for international police operations, we from the Women Voices are imploring authorities of the LNP to go beyond mere words of encouragement to females in the police regarding being part of international missions, and make their inclusion into these operations, a priority by taking deliberate actions to making same a matter of policy and not just a thing of mere words.

We are of the conviction that an increased inclusion of females into the LNP’s international police operations will go a long way into empowering female police officers, who like their male counterparts, we believe, are up to the task to serve on the international stage to protect lives and properties, and by doing so help bring pride not only to womanhood collectively serving in the professional sphere globally, but to their nation as well.

What this will also do, we believe, is that it will no doubt engender into females in the police and those desirous of joining the force, the spirit of belongingness and will in no small way motivate them to aspire above their best, knowing that equal opportunities are not being denied them but are being made available to them as in the case of their male counterparts in the LNP.

 It is our ardent hope that as the South Sudan’s mission is for an expected duration of a year, following which a new batch of LNP officers would be dispatched to that troubled south African nation based on the prevailing security situation there, that authorities of the LNP will take the steps necessary in mitigating the huge difference in the ratio of male to female representation on international police operations in the police force, to be reflected in the LNP’s next international trip.

We also look forward to the police authorities acting swiftly in regards to increased female inclusion on international police missions, as they shortly make a decision regarding the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS’) recent opportunity availed the LNP to commit 140 Formed Police officers to participate in the ECOWAS Standby Force.To this end, we reiterate that we implore authorities of the Liberia National Police for increased female inclusion into international police operations.

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