Jens Toyberg-Frandzen, Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), last Wednesday handed over more than US$64,000 worth of UN communications equipment to the Inspector General of Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Francis Alieu Munu, in Freetown to support the efficiency of the police force.
The container included over 50 VHF/HF radios and repeaters, associated antennas, masts, cable, microphones, speakers, power supply stations, telephone hardware, cables and other communications accessories.
“With UNIPSIL leaving, we hope that these tools will help the police in its important task to maintain the safety of the people here in Sierra Leone,” Jens Toyberg-Frandzen stated during the handover ceremony. “The police force has my huge admiration and respect and I can assure you that the specialized UN agencies will continue to support it however they can.”
Inspector General Munu expressed his gratitude for the United Nations investment in security institutions and assured that the Sierra Leone Police will do its best to maintain the country’s peace and security. “We look forward to continue our strong partnership with the United Nations in reforming the security sector,” Munu said, adding that there was always room for improvement.
Since it was established in 2008, UNIPSIL has helped to strengthen the SLP through setting up the first Transnational Organized Crime Unit (TOCU) in West Africa, trainings of police officers – and it helped create an Independent Police Complaints Board. Together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Sierra Leone, the mission has developed a security sector support programme, focusing on key areas and gaps, including cross-border security and transnational organized crime, that will be implemented following UNIPSIL’s drawdown.
During his recent visit to Sierra Leone, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, praised Sierra Leone as one of the world’s most successful cases of post-conflict recovery, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
After fifteen years of UN peace operations, the last peacebuilding mission (UNIPSIL) will formally close on 31 March 2014 and transfer its responsibility to the UN Country Team, which consists of 19 agencies, funds and programmes, based on the UN Development Assistance Framework, known as UNDAF.