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MOJ Records Success against Armed Robbery:But Decries Crippling Challenges

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Liberia’s Justice Minister, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh says the country recoded a significant reduction in incidences of armed robbery in 2014.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing in Monrovia on Thursday, Cllr. Sannoh said public confidence in the Liberia National Police (LNP) significantly increased during the same period.

He said the successes are worth noting as they are show that the government in collaboration with partners is working to maintain peace and stability in the post- conflict nation. The Justice Minister who is also Liberia’s Attorney General noted that significant progress has been made in reforming the country’s security and justice system.

However, Cllr. Sannoh said the Ministry of Justice as the prosecuting arm of the government, is faced with barrage of crippling challenges.

He noted, for example, that the prosecutorial capacity of the ministry needs to be built and strengthened to enable it speedily prosecute cases, stressing that the ministry is operating below the capacity required to prosecute serious offenses including corruption cases.

The Justice Minister told newsmen in Monrovia that Liberia has become an “attractive point” for illicit drug trafficking because of the porosity of the country’s borders.

He said the ministry is in dire need for support and capacity building in order to effectively deal with evolving challenges, as well as prosecute serious crimes, including economic crimes.

Minister Sannoh said the need for adequate support to the Ministry of Justice cannot be over stressed especially in the face of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) draw down.

He said Liberia is expected to take charge of the security of the state as the multinational UN mission face-off in 2016.

He added that the government of Liberia has drawn up a plan for UNMIL draw-down which has already been validated by stakeholders. But he gave no details about the plan.

Meanwhile, Cllr. Benedict Sannoh has disclosed that the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia Ant- Corruption Commission (LACC) are working to establish a fast- track court to prosecute corruption cases in the country.

He also disclosed that the ministry plans to shortly set five new prosecutorial divisions at the Ministry of Justice including a division to investigate economic crimes.