Viewing cable 08MONROVIA476
Title: LIBERIA'S PRS: PEACE AND SECURITY PILLAR - A

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08MONROVIA4762008-06-20 12:42:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Monrovia
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PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHMV #0476/01 1721242
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201242Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MONROVIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0119
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0034
RUFGCIN/USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GE
RUFGAID/USCINCEUR INTEL VAIHINGEN GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MONROVIA 000476 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/19/2015 
TAGS: PRGOV ASEC MARR MASS CJAN KJUS LI
SUBJECT: LIBERIA'S PRS: PEACE AND SECURITY PILLAR - A 
SECURITY STRATEGY IS SLOWLY EMERGING 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Donald E. Booth for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (C) Summary:  The Liberian National Security Strategy, 
upon which the security section of the Poverty Reduction 
Strategy (PRS) is based, has not yet been made public, but 
the GOL is moving ahead on the basis of the strategy.  The 
PRS process has forced the Liberians to begin to plan 
long-term, and while progress has been made, more effort and 
resources are needed to make the Liberia National Police a 
viable force.  The Liberians are working to strengthen the 
greatest weakness of the security section of the PRS -- the 
costing -- but that should not detract from the overall 
success of the process so far.  End Summary. 
 
¶2. (C) Liberia's Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) paper on 
Consolidating Peace and Security is based primarily on the 
National Security Strategy of the Republic of Liberia 
(NSSRL), which has been approved by President Sirleaf, but 
has not yet been published or made public.  However, the PRS 
text was drawn from the draft NSSRL, and the Priority Action 
Matrix is closely aligned with the NSSRL Implementation 
Matrix (NSSRL-IM). 
 
¶3. (C) The relative ease of preparing the security sector 
portion of the PRS compared to the other pillars was the 
result of months of work of the Security Sector technical 
team.  Originally, the task of writing a national security 
strategy was given to the Governance Commission (GC), and 
after months of delay, the GC produced an essentially 
unusable document.  The UN brought in a British security 
expert to work on the strategy, who worked with the Liberian 
technical team to draft a second strategy paper, with direct 
engagement by Ambassador and by former SRSG Doss, the team 
developed a strategy that reflects the proposals contained in 
the Rand report "Making Liberia Safe:  Transformation of the 
National Security Sector."  The technical team then "merged" 
the two drafts, using much of the text of the GC draft, but 
keeping the actual strategy of the team's draft. 
 
¶4. (C) Of greatest contention was the decision to make part 
of the strategy to streamline the law enforcement and 
intelligence functions.  The merged draft eliminated the 
Ministry of National Security, merging those functions with 
the National Security Agency, with the NSA becoming the lead 
intelligence agency.  It also planned for the elimination the 
National Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement 
Agency, and folding those functions into the Liberia National 
Police (LNP).  The GC argued that competing agencies would 
limit the power of any one agency, and in any event, more 
discussion was needed.  However, consolidation of these 
organizations made it into the NSSRL and the PRS. 
 
¶5. (SBU) During the county consultation phase of the PRS 
process, roads, education and health were the main focus of 
discussions.  However, underpinning those discussions was an 
assumption the GOL would provide for security, especially the 
ability of the LNP to enforce the law without abusing human 
rights or corruption.  The Liberians participating in the 
discussions made clear their safety was crucial to their 
well-being. 
 
¶6. (SBU) The Security Pillar includes several agencies and 
services.  The USG has played a major role in three of those, 
with a leading role in The Armed Forces of Liberia and the 
Special Security Service (SSS -- the President's protective 
service), and a contributor to the LNP, and especially a 
leadership role in the formation of a new SWAT-like Emergency 
Response Unit (ERU).  Other agencies include the National 
Security Agency, the National Fire Service, the Bureau of 
Immigration and Naturalization, and the Corrections Service. 
 
--  AFL:  The PRS does not single out contributions of 
individual donors, and therefore does not note the central 
role the USG has played in developing the new AFL.  It does, 
however, keep to the timeline of creating a 2,000 soldier 
force by 2010, and calls for the creation of a Coast Guard 
within the three-year PRS period. 
 
--  LNP:  The PRS calls for the creation of a police Civilian 
Oversight Board by December 2008 as well as the formation of 
the ERU by December 2009. 
 
--  SSS:  The PRS does not provide for any specific goals for 
the SSS, but the agency is included in several initiatives to 
streamline operations and reduce overlapping functions. 
 
¶7. (C) The Security Pillar has moved forward on a costing 
exercise based on the NSSRL-IM, and will present the results 
at the Liberia 2008 Poverty Reduction Forum in Berlin.  The 
 
MONROVIA 00000476  002 OF 003 
 
 
recently completed exercise shows a three-year costing of the 
security sector of nearly $376.8 million, which is 
substantially above the $252.4 million projected in the PRS. 
The new costing exercise, while much more thought out than 
the one-line figure in the PRS, is as much a wish list as an 
analysis of priorities given expected budgetary constrains 
and limits in donor support, or a reflection of existing 
donor commitments, such as for training and equipping the 
AFL.  For example, the National Fire Service costed for six 
fire engines and 10 ambulances, none of which are presently 
funded. 
 
¶8. (SBU) The stark contrast of the two figures should not 
lead one to assume that to PRS itself is flawed.  The PRS and 
NSSRL processes were running in parallel, but in harmony and 
that the Security Pillar was not able to meet the PRS 
deadline is not fatal. 
 
¶9. (C) Several initiatives, such as the consolidation of 
agencies and the creation of a Coast Guard, require 
legislative actions, and both the National Security and 
Intelligence Act and the National Defense Act remain stuck in 
the Legislature.  Several lawmakers have told us they wish to 
see the NSSRL before acting on any legislation, and we 
understand that the Legislature is not happy with some 
aspects of the National Defense Act. 
 
CHALLANGES AHEAD 
 
¶10. (C) The withdrawal of UNMIL is linked to Liberia's 
ability to assume its own security.  Further donor support is 
needed to avoid a longer than anticipated high level UNMIL 
presence, or a departure of UNMIL that results in 
instability.  The NSSRL and PRS processes have been good 
catalysts for planning within Liberian security agencies for 
the next three years. After the Forum in Berlin, the 
Liberians will need to move forward in their planning. 
Specific issues needing to be addressed are: 
 
--  Legislation:  The Legislature needs to move forward 
quickly on security legislations.  Its inaction is holding up 
our ability to begin assistance on creating a new Coast 
Guard.  Efforts to streamline intelligence and law 
enforcement services are also stymied. 
 
--  Prioritization:  Agencies will need to accept that the 
funding for their proposals will not be limitless, so they 
will need to prioritize their needs, and perhaps find ways to 
share resources, such as vehicle repair and communications. 
Capacity building is another area that can be shared.  Some 
skills, like financial management, can be taught through 
existing civil service institutes. 
 
--  Keep the pace up, but do not rush:  Initial Entry 
Training will be completed for all 2,000 AFL soldiers in 
December.  There is some pressure to accelerate the process 
to justify a more rapid UNMIL drawdown.  Moving timelines at 
this point will be only counterproductive. 
 
We see some positive signals these last few weeks that UNMIL 
and the GOL are serious about creating fundamental change in 
the LNP.  Discussions are going on now (that frankly should 
have taken place a while ago) about the way forward.  The UN 
is organizing a workshop in July to follow on the Berlin 
Forum, that should be a good opportunity to begin building a 
strategy.  At the same time, we are cautioning our partners 
not to make hasty decisions that could in fact worsen the 
situation.  All agree that the basic problem is command and 
control, both within the LNP command structure and in tasking 
to the field.  This must be corrected immediately.  We are 
about to arm a highly trained unit of police without the 
requisite command and control to ensure their proper use. 
 
--  Increase Liberian ownership:  The Liberians naturally 
look to partners for assistance in building their security 
apparatus.  They then naturally complain of the powerlessness 
of their position.  The PRS and NSSRL processes, though slow 
and with less than perfect results, is pushing the Liberians 
to think out their own destiny.  We must continue to 
encourage this. 
 
¶11. (U) ERC Pillar 
 
Ministry of Defense (Chair) 
Ministry of Justice 
Ministry of National Security 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
Ministry of Internal Affairs 
Ministry of State 
 
MONROVIA 00000476  003 OF 003 
 
 
Special Security Service 
National Security Agency 
Office of the National Security Advisor 
Liberia Reconstruction 
MOJ/Liberia National Police 
MOJ/Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization 
MOJ/Corrections Service 
MOJ/National Fire Service 
MOD/COIC 
 
U.S. Embassy (Co-Chair) 
UNMIL SRSG (Co-Chair) 
AU 
ECOWAS 
Nigerian Embassy 
Ghanaian Embassy 
EC 
UK 
France 
BOOTH