The Chairperson of the National Arms Commission of Liberia, Atty. Maxwell Grigsby has announced that the commission is expected to destroy over 255,000 weapons and ammunitions in Liberia.
However, the burning of the weapons and ammunition which is expected to take place at the Edward Beyan Kesselly (EBK) Barracks on October 27, 2022 in Monrovia is valued at US$5 million.
Addressing the Ministry of Information regular press brefing Thursday, October 6,2022, the Commission on Arms boss further their decision to burn the weapon and ammunition is intended to prevent them from getting in to the wrong hands.
According to him, in order to ensure transparency and fairness of the exercise, they have sought the supervision of the Ministry of defense, and has since been granted.
“We have as well consulted the office of the President through the security advisor because this destruction is a national event. We have also contacted the Police through their boss Patrick Sudue and they too consented,” he maintained.
Atty. Grigsby who described the process as historic on grounds that it would be the first time in 30 years, emphasized, “We have consulted the U.S. Embassy because we do not want a destruction exercise where arms and ammunitions that are taken from these facilities end up returning to the communities.”
“And as Chairperson of the Commission, I also asked the NSA to provide support to the exercise because this process is also meant to keep the country save from now up to 2023,” he intoned.
He named the United Nations Office on Disarmament Affairs in New York represented by the officer in charge, the Regional Center on small Arms based in East Africa, ECOWAS Technical Arm group providing training to technicians, ECOWAS and the Regional Arms Office under ECOWAS Project are the groups that will be present during the destruction exercise.
Meanwhile, Atty. Grigsby has at the same time called on all unlicensed arms holders to voluntarily report to the commission and ensure ther arms are recorded between now and December.
“We will take the arms from those who will bring them to us temporarily. But those who feel they still want them can make an application and they will be heard and if their reasons are justifiable they could be licensed.
“We saying this because after December, the commission will proceed on a rigorous search and seizure warrant to ensure those in possession with arms illegally are in adherence with the commission,” he warned.
He added, “So, I am using this medium to reecho this so that in January when we start to run after people to arrest and prosecute them, Liberians will not say they were told or inform by the commission.”
“Because even government officials or members of the ruling parties who illegally possess firearms will also be arrested and prosecuted,” Atty. Grigsby intoned.
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