Liberia Will Remain Advocate For Regional Arms Control -Says Maxwell Grigsby; Finally Takes Over LINCSA

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By: Rancy S. Teewia

The Liberia National Commission on Small Arms (LINCSA) has a new Chairman, Atty. T. Maxwell Grigsby, who while taking over the mantle of authority at the commission yesterday, Wednesday July 31, 2019, pledged that the commission under his leadership will ensure that Liberia will remain an ardent advocate for the control of small arms and light weapons while continuing to engage partners both locally and internationally.

Atty. Grigsby was recently appointed by President George M. Weah to replace the Commission’s former boss, Marvin Sackor, who is now serving as Deputy Inspector General at the Liberia National Police.

Turning over the Commission to Atty. Grigsby, the out-going Chairman of LINCSA and Deputy Police Inspector General Sackor said the appointment of Grigsby as a young Commissioner for small Arms, should serve as a challenge for all young people in Liberia, who he advised should also take education very serious.

Accepting the mantle of authority at the Commission, Grigsby promised that his leadership will, among other things, concentrate on education and sensitization programs- implementation of relevant community-based micro projects in exchange for arms collected and reported by the host communities.

He further pointed out that his administration will also focus on Civilian Arms registration marking, record keeping, weapon collection and destruction of SALW, while networking and collaborating with its Mano River Union Counterparts.

Also on the agenda of the new LINCSA boss is decentralization, deterrence and capacity building which he further promised to be of priority.

The newly appointed Chairman of the Commission saluted his predecessors – Senator Conmany B. Wesseh, Mr. James Fromoyan, and Deputy Police Inspector General Marvin Sackor for their tireless efforts at establishing the commission, which started as a technical working group.

He also hailed them for the development and enactment of the Firearms Control Act (FACA); for their active participation and engagement with ECOWAS; for signing and domestication of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms, Light Weapons, Ammunition and other materials.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the team of my predecessors for the LICSA’s contribution to the Liberia Arms trade treaty ratification and the signing of a memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of National Defense on Arm Marking responsibility,” he said.

“As we begin the process of my leadership strategic partnership with you our development partners,” he assured, “it is our ardent wish that we will give this responsibility our best only with your technical and financial support to the many programs and activities we will want to embark on,” he concluded

Commencing his remarks earlier, Grigsby described his takeover of the Commission as “not only historic because of the appointment of another chairman to lead the charge and execute the mandate of the commission to eradicate proliferation and illicit trade of Small Arms And Light Weapons (SALW) within and across the border of Liberia,” he noted that it was also historic because “a product of the young generation who are the most affected victims of the civil crisis mainly perpetrated with the use of Small Arms, Light Weapons and other materials.”

As Liberia consolidate its peace, Atty. Grigsby said it is imperative that attention be paid to the conflict and fragility triggers, including the instruments such as proliferating small arms that have destabilizing effects.

Liberians, he asserted, can attest to the destructive impact of small arms; the Mano River Union countries have seen and experienced the devastating and destructive effects of small arms and light weapon, adding that the proliferation of small arms and light weapon poses a significant threat to peace and stability, not only in Liberia, but also in the sub-region, since they are the weapon of choice and necessity of rebel movement.

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