Remarks by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tobin Bradley during the handover of the Liberia Security Radio Network
Notes to Liberia Security Radio Network
Tobin Bradley Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, United States Department of State
Honorable Minister F. Musah Dean, Minister of Justice,
Honorable Jefferson Kanmoh, National Security Advisor,
Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia
Please allow me to rely on the existing protocol.
I am pleased to be with you today to mark another milestone in the strong and historic relationship between Liberia and the United States. Our two countries share common values and our partnership is strengthened by our shared commitment to strengthening democratic institutions and providing security and stability for the benefit of our citizens.
A commitment further reinforced by the participation of our countries in the Democracy Summit, and the recent publication by President Weah of the nine (9) associated interventions from Liberia.
The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, commonly referred to as the INL, is delighted to see the Liberia Security Radio Network contributing to these efforts by enabling civilian law enforcement and their partners to respond quickly and effectively to threats.
Because at its core, government is about protecting its citizens and keeping the nation safe. And it is a responsibility that my Office, the INL, takes seriously.
On behalf of the U.S. Department of State, INL works to keep citizens safe by engaging with partner governments to combat crime, illicit drugs, and instability, and by implementing programs in approximately 90 countries around the world. We work with partner governments to address common threats – such as corruption, violence and transnational organized crime – and lend our expertise to strengthen criminal justice systems. For the past 17 years, INL has worked closely with the government of Liberia. Our first engagement began in 2005 with the secondment of police advisers to the United Nations Mission in Liberia, or UNMIL, police contingent. As UNMIL withdrew its forces, INL expanded its support and today INL works closely with the Liberia National Police, the Liberia Immigration Service, the Liberian Drugs, the Office of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Department of Justice and the Judiciary.
Our efforts in Liberia range from combating human, narcotics and wildlife trafficking, to supporting the advancement of women in law enforcement and to promoting trust and accountability between police and Civil society. This type and level of engagement is unique to Liberia, which has one of the largest INL programs in the Africa region. The Liberia Security Radio Network is also a unique INL-funded project in Africa that began with conversations dating back to 2009. But it was in 2013 that INL and the Government of Liberia committed to building the network you see today, and 9 years later, we are here to celebrate this momentous achievement.
Through this network, law enforcement officers in Monrovia can call their counterparts in Voinjama. If there is a border security threat near Ganta, this information can be shared immediately with other downwind agents to facilitate a response. This capability has the potential to completely transform the way Liberia reports and responds to emerging threats, which ultimately enhances the security of not only Liberia but the region as well. For the INL, this is of the utmost importance as the security threats that arise on the coasts of West Africa continue to evolve. We know that Liberia is well positioned to deal with these threats and we look forward to seeing how Liberia uses this network in the years and decades to come.
In light of the successes we are celebrating today, we must remember that security and stability are goals that we must intentionally work towards every day and that cannot be taken for granted. We also cannot ignore the role that corruption plays in reducing success.
Corruption destabilizes governments, undermines democracy and opens doors to dangerous groups such as criminals, traffickers and terrorists. It is important that we confront this truth and act on it, as if our future depends on it. That’s why US taxpayer dollars go to INL, and then to our partners, to help countries fight corruption.
We also need to do this to honor the people who made this network a reality, especially those who are no longer with us. The INL wishes to acknowledge the support of the Department of Justice, the National Security Agency and the Center of Technical Excellence, and in particular Mr. Dyeu Allen, who passed away in 2020. In addition, the INL will commemorate Timothy Huff, a technician at Olgoonik Solutions who contracted COVID while working on this project and died in 2021. INL will add his name to the INL Memorial Wall in Washington, DC to honor his contribution to this project, INL and Liberia.
Last but not least, we would like to thank Bruno Ciapparelli [chop-AH-reL-ee], the Senior Radio Communications Adviser who has supported the Liberia Security Radio Network since its inception. Words cannot capture the dedication and support Bruno has brought to this project, and the importance of his involvement in moving us from concept to reality. Bruno – thank you for your years of hard work, technical expertise and commitment.
As Ambassador McCarthy said, this step represents years of hard work and sacrifice. The INL knows that Liberia has the potential to be a regional security leader and we look forward to seeing what Liberia will do with that responsibility. With that, I share my sincere gratitude to Minister Dean and Ambassador McCarthy for their commitment and support. Thanks.