Amos B Nyenatoh, Chief of Public Safety in the Liberia Police force, has told his counterparts from the MRU basin that corruption has been institutionalized in the MRU border crossing points and that this is a threat to the security in the MRU basin.
Making a presentation on cross border security at a just concluded conference on civil society and security sector cooperation in Freetown, the Liberian Chief of Safety said the borders within the MRU basin were porous and that officers within the MRU were normally not patrolling the borders, thus bringing the three countries to eminent security danger.
He revealed that there were no uniformed charges along the borders as officers charge people the way they feel and that there was no distinction between traders and civilians with regards payment of charges along the borders. “Police and immigration officers along the borders charge very exorbitant fees on civilians and since some cannot afford to pay, they ended up sleeping with these officers”, he alleged.
Proffering solutions to these problems, Amos Nyenatoh said government should provide better equipment and logistics as well as better working conditions for officers at the borders and emphasized that, “if governments make things hard for their security officers, they will in tune make things difficult for the people that voted them into office’’.
He also called on governments within the MRU basin to enforce monitoring mechanisms for security officers and also create uniformed charges for traders and make officers transparent.
Amos Nyenatoh also called on civil society groups within the MRU to be challenging the culture of corruption.
Sahr Bandabla from Search for Common Ground Sierra Leone, made a presentation on information flow between civil society and the security sector.