June 6, 2024

Participants at the election security after action review

Joint Security agencies including the Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Services, Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Liberia National Fire Service on Monday, June 3, concluded a nationwide “After Actions Review” of the Joint Security Operational activities implemented during the 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections.

The event, supported by UNDP and partners European Union, Ireland, and Sweden was conducted from May 20 to June 3, 2024, in Harper, Zwedru, Gbarnga, Buchanan, Tubmanburg, and Monrovia.

Speaking at the close of the exercise in Monrovia, the Governance Program Officer of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, Ms. Maria-Paule Neuvillie, expressed gratitude to the Joint Security for their unwavering dedication to overseeing the security of the 2023 elections.

Miss Neuvillie praised the cooperation and collaboration between various government security agencies during the process and urged other government institutions to follow the example of the joint security forces.

“The European Union does not only provide support to the National Elections Commission (NEC) but also supports other electoral stakeholders and initiatives to ensure peaceful and trustworthy elections are conducted in Liberia,” Ms. Neuville said. 

She also named support to conflict management and peacebuilding through early warning and early response systems; assistance to the media in combating disinformation and misinformation; development of a code of conduct and the establishment of Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for media and law enforcement; implementation of measures to prevent violence against women in elections and politics; training for election security officers as areas in which the EU channel support to the electoral process. 

Ms. Neuwille said the after-action review was useful not only for the Joint Security but also for the EU and its partners. The EU, she said, looks forward to more collaboration with the Joint Security.

Police Inspector General Gregory Coleman thanked UNDP and its partners for the support of the joint security during the elections, emphasizing that the after-action assessment was necessary to plan for future election security operations in Liberia effectively.

“The outcome of this exercise must accurately represent genuine lessons learned, successes, challenges, and recommendations, as the right information will inform the right decision going forward," IG Coleman said.

UNDP Liberia Elections Support Programme (LESP) acting Chief Technical Advisor, Zage Filiposki, recognized the crucial role of the security forces in safeguarding the electoral process and maintaining peace.

The regional “After-Action Assessment” evaluated the security measures adopted and reflected on the operational activities of the security sector before, during, and after the election process. The security agencies also documented lessons learned, successes, challenges, and proffered recommendations to inform security plans for future elections.

The Joint Security, under the supervision of the police, provided security at over twenty thousand voting precincts, covering over 5,000 polling places across the country, as part of the security plan for the elections.

The primary responsibility of election security officers is to create a safe and favorable voting atmosphere, ensuring that eligible voters and candidates freely exercise their democratic right to vote without any obstacles. They were also tasked with safeguarding election materials and personnel during and after the elections.