Cablegate: Inl Monrovia Monthly Reports for December and January
DE RUEHMV #0264/01 0582215
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R 272213Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MONROVIA
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INFO RUEHMV/AMEMBASSY MONROVIA
UNCLAS MONROVIA 000264
DEPT FOR INL-CIV-DL
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT ASEC SNAR KPKO LI
SUBJECT: INL MONROVIA MONTHLY REPORTS FOR DECEMBER AND JANUARY
1. (U) SUMMARY: This report covers December 14 to January 31.
Report for February will be sent septel. The Emergency Response
Unit (ERU) continued the transition from police headquarters to the
new ERU Command Center. ERU training continued with the added
development of more "train the trainer" ownership by the ERU.
UNPOL Advisors completed their thirty-day out-of-mission and
returned to their duties in UNMIL. JSSL Advisor Bratten continued
her work with the Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Unit and
the renovations to the Temple of Justice are ongoing with minimal
delays. END SUMMARY
2. (U) GENERAL HOUSEKEEPING: Civilian Police and Judicial Affairs
Officer (CPJAO) departed Post for annual leave on December 13.
January 7 to 10, CPJAO had consultations in Washington, DC with
INR, AF, S/CRS, INL and participated in an intel briefing hosted by
S/CRS in preparation for the Interagency Conflict Assessment
Framework (ICAF) for Liberia scheduled for March. CPJAO returned
to Post on January 14. CPJAO represented the ambassador at the
Liberia National Police graduation ceremony in January.
3. (U) EMERGENCY RESPONSE UNIT (ERU): In December, training for ERU
continued, with the fifth and final class of ERU candidates (46
males and 1 female), ERU driver's training and an in-service
communications refresher course. ERU instructors also began
developing their own ERU Driving Instructor course to "train the
4. (U) In December, three teams of ERU were deployed throughout
Liberia - one team (10 ERU members) to the Firestone Plantation in
response to criminal activity and threats against company
employees; one team (18 ERU members) along with two (2) UN Police
(UNPOL) Advisors to Sinoe County Rubber Plantation to quell
potential unrest due to a change in management and one team (10 ERU
members) to Sanniquellie for a Presidential visit. By the end of
January all three teams had successfully completed operations and
returned to Monrovia.
5. (U) ERU Advisors and ERU Commanders planned and implemented an
operation to curb a crime spree by a local gang. Sixty-five (65)
subjects were arrested in the operation. Eighteen (18) suspects
were later formally charged and taken to Paynesville Magisterial
Court for prosecution. The others were released after meeting
with community leaders and LNP to identify the specific
perpetrators within the community.
6. (U) The new ERU HQ was formally handed over to ERU supervision
in December. Finishing touches to the compound (pavers laid,
generator housing and ammo depot constructed, concrete poured for
parking area) were completed on December 31. The radio towers at
the new HQ and the National Police Training Academy were made
functional and communication has been established with units in the
field. LNP Director/Inspector General of Police Marc Amblard
toured the new ERU Headquarters and was reported to be pleased and
satisfied. ERU-LNP Commanders, UNPOL ERU Advisors and Trainers
moved furniture from LNP Headquarters into the ERU Headquarters.
7. (U) U.S. ERU Advisors supervised ERU armorers during regular
maintenance of excess weapons secured at the German Embassy. ERU
Project Manager Damon Brown ended mission in December and returned
to the U.S. for thirty day rest and relaxation and INL retraining.
Damon returned to mission in mid-January and resumed his duties as
ERU Project Manager.
8. (U) In January, a Swiss delegation visited the ERU Command
Center and a Norwegian delegation met ERU Project Manager, Command
Staff and Lead ERU Trainer at the LNP National Police Training
Academy (NPTA). ERU Commander Sebastian Farr (Liberian) narrated
ERU demonstrations and Lead ERU Trainer Amos Williams (Liberian)
briefed the delegations with little or no assistance from UNPOL
9. (U) The ERU-LNP Amory team continued the process of recording
ERU weapons with LNP forensics which is creating a central weapons
database for Liberia. Weapons are test fired at LNP HQ (in the
first ever test firing tube constructed in Liberia) and both the
bullets and shell casings are placed on file along with the weapon
identification number. As of January, 50 ERU weapons (39 M-4
rifles and 11 Smith & Wesson 9mm pistols) had been test fired and
documented. All ERU weapons will undergo this exercise. The plan
is for weapons currently utilized by all Liberia's security forces
(LNP-ERU, LNP-Police Support Unit/PSU, Special Security
Service/SSS) to be catalogued in this manner.
10. (U) SENIOR ADVISOR TEAM (SAT): In December, SAT members were
invited to sit on a subcommittee with members from the Ministry of
Justice and LNP designed to address pre-trial detention issues.
Central Prison in Monrovia is currently 300% over capacity. The
majority are pre-trial detainees.
11. (U) SAT assisted the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) training
on new, standardized LNP forms on December 9 and 10. This is a
project that has been ongoing with Justice Sector Support for
Liberia (JSSL) Advisor Cecilia Bratten (see JSSL section below).
Approximately 90 LNP investigators attended the training. The
training is the culmination of a three-month effort on the part of
LNP, UNPOL, JSSL, and NRC. The emphasis of the training was
documentation to achieve probable cause prior to arrest utilizing
the new forms.
12. (U) Senior Advisor Mike White ended mission and returned to the
U.S. for his thirty day rest and relaxation and retraining. Jack
Nielsen returned from his thirty days out of mission on January 16
and resumed his duties as SAT Team Leader.
13. (U) Initial meetings were held with the Deputy Inspector
General for Operations and the newest Senior Advisor (Frank Rowe).
Deputy Inspector General Tarpeh discussed his desire to review the
status of the Emergency Plan for the LNP HQ, and the standard
operating procedures (SOP) for LNP PSU and LNP Communications and
voiced his support for a way forward.
14. (U) In January, the SAT met with the Traffic Court Judge to
discuss the handling of traffic tickets. The court is currently
unaware of who is issued a ticket by the LNP. There should be a
court disposition on each case. SAT began working with the
ticketing section, the court liaison officers of the LNP and the
Traffic Court to devise a system that allows the tickets to flow
through the court unheeded.
15. (U) SAT facilitated the printing of the standardized forms for
LNP in January and began devising a distribution plan with the LNP.
16. (U) Justice Sector Support for Liberia (JSSL): In December,
JSSL Prosecution Advisor Cecilia Bratten, along with SAT member
Mike White, continued their work with the Norwegian Refugee Council
(NRC) to design improved reporting forms, investigative checklists
and evidence collection envelopes for police and to develop
training programs for introducing these items to LNP.
17. (U) On December 9 and 10, JSSL Advisor Cecilia Bratten and
Senior Police Advisor Mike White delivered training to 72 Liberia
National Police (LNP) line managers. Training exercises introduced
participating officers to a new case incident report form, a case
file jacket preprinted with an investigative check list and diary
and pre-printed evidence collection envelopes. These items were
developed for LNP by Advisors White and Bratten and Anna Stone of
NRC with input from the UN Police (UNPOL) Commissioner's Office.
The lecture content and exercises used during the two day training
session were designed to review and build upon the content
delivered in Sessions One and Two of the NRC training program, as
well as introducing the evidence collection envelope and the new
form and file jacket. Advisors White and Bratten will be
continuing to work with NRC and will be designing and delivering
training components for the next four monthly sessions.
18. (U) JSSL Adviser Bratten began working with members of the
Ministry of Justice Pretrial Detention Task Force subcommittee on
process and procedures for the Magistrate Sitting Program, the
sessions of the Magisterial Courts held at Monrovia Central Prison
to address the pre-trial detention overcrowding issues. Advisor
Bratten began working with Resident Legal Advisor Tracy Johnson to
discuss how to include plea negotiation in discussions of
strategies to reduce the number of pretrial detainees.
19. (U) In January, Advisor Bratten continued her work with the
Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) Crimes Unit, including
facilitating a planned study visit for the Chief SGBV Prosecutor to
the South Africa Sexual Offenses Court that provided the model for
Liberia's Sexual Offenses Court (Court E) and meetings in
Washington, DC. Advisor Bratten is preparing the curriculum for the
next Quarterly Prosecutors Training to be held in early February
and curriculum for the next session in the series of training
programs for Liberian National Police Women and Children Protection
Services Line Managers sponsored by Norwegian Refugee Council
20. (U) Advisor Bratten continued her work with the NRC in January
on a three day workshop to be held from the 25th to the 27th. The
multi-disciplinary workshop will introduce a team approach to
responding to sexual offenses and will bring together judges,
prosecutors, police, health care providers and social workers from
every county in Liberia to develop a coordinated response to sexual
assault and abuse cases.
21. (U) Advisor Bratten began working with Solicitor General
Wilkins Wright to develop record keeping and reporting mechanisms
for the County Attorneys that will allow cases to be tracked to
avoid cases going over time standards, being compromised or
becoming lost in the system. The reporting forms will also provide
data on the number of cases entering the criminal justice system
and the number of cases being disposed of.
22. (U) Adviser Bratten continued her service on the Board of
Governors for the James A. A. Pierre Judicial Institute (JI).
23. (U) TEMPLE OF JUSTICE (TOJ) RENOVATION: Renovation of the
Temple of Justice began in early December. To facilitate the
beginning of the renovation, TOJ staff removed all computer
equipment from the basement of the main building but left multiple
boxes of court documents behind. PAE staff secured the documents
and requested guidance from the Office of the Chief Justice on
where to deliver them. As of January 2, 99% of the demolition for
the entire project had been completed and all the debris had been
removed from the site.
24. (U) In January, a plumbing leak that had the potential for
holding up the project was fixed by TOJ workers. Electrical wiring
and plumbing installation continued. At the end of January,
plumbers were three days behind schedule but electrical
installation was ahead of schedule.