Posted by: africanpressorganization | 21 October 2009

Infrastructural development essential for Liberian justice system, says UN Deputy Envoy as she hands over new prison annex




Infrastructural development essential for Liberian justice system, says UN Deputy Envoy as she hands over new prison annex



MONROVIA, Liberia, October 21, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for the Rule of Law, Ms. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, says the United Nations recognizes that infrastructural improvements are essential components in the reform and strengthening of the Liberian justice system. Ms. Mensa-Bonsu made this remark in the seaport city of Greenville in southeastern Sinoe County, when she handed over to the Liberian Government a newly-constructed annex of the Greenville Central Prison. The UN Deputy Envoy described the new facility as “an example of Liberia’s growing need for corrections infrastructure”. Funds used for the project were made available by the Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) programme of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).


“The corrections sector plays a vital role in ensuring rule of law and security; it provides a secure environment for convicted criminals to pay their debt to society; and it allows for the successful rehabilitation of many offenders back to their families and communities thus preventing further offending”, the UN Deputy Envoy noted.


Stressing the commitment of the UN family to remain a true partner of the Liberian Government, Ms. Mensa-Bonsu pledged her organization’s continued support to the Ministry of Justice’s reform efforts envisaged under the Ministry’s recently developed strategic plan. The strategic plan provides the way forward for the corrections sector to contribute to the security, growth and development of Liberia within a structured and organized framework.


The DSRSG emphasized that the rule of law remains a priority area for the United Nations. UNMIL through its QIPs scheme, she pointed out, “has collaborated with the Government on a number of projects in the rule of law sector to construct courthouses, police stations, detention facilities and Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization depots across the country”. Additional rule of law QIPs projects are planned for the coming year, the UN Deputy Envoy revealed.


While in Sinoe Ms. Mensa-Bonsu held meetings aimed at enhancing rule of law activities in the County. Participating in these meetings were local county authorities, members of civil society organizations, rule of law actors and traditional leaders.


Deputy Justice Minister for Administration and Public Safety, Ms. Eva Mappy Morgan commended the United Nations for the newly-constructed annex to the Greenville Central Prison. She said the extension will create decency for inmates and will ensure basic human rights and rehabilitation of inmates while they are in the Government’s custody. The new prison annex is one of 12 correctional facilities in 11 counties in Liberia. It has two additional cells with a capacity for 20 inmates, a kitchen, perimeter wall, improved sanitary facilities that reduce health concerns, and better security.


The hand-over ceremony was also attended by the Resident Circuit Judge of the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Sinoe County, His Honour Albert C. Dweh, magistrates, UNMIL and local county officials, and civil society actors in the county.



Mission of UN in Liberia


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