Addressing the Ministry of Information press conference Tuesday in Monrovia, Reeves said ahead of the June 30 U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) drawdown deadline, the bureau has conducted both regular and in-service training in several areas.
Following the passage of Security Council Resolution 1509 in 2003, 15,000 military personnel, 250 military observers, 160 staff officers, 1,115 police officers, including formed units, and the appropriate civilian component of UNMIL were deployed in the country.
For the past year, the mission’s strength has been reduced considerably with its mandate set to expire on June 30 this year.
By statute, the BIN has the responsibility to protect and manage the borders of Liberia, monitor the entry of aliens and Liberian citizens, monitor citizenship as well as ensure that non-Liberians who enter the country do so legally.
“Let me assure you that with the support of our international partners we are far off with preparations in terms of taking over our statutory responsibilities,” the BIN Commissioner said.
He lauded the support from the Government of Liberia, UNMIL, UNDP, U.S. Agency for International Development and other international partners and the local joint security apparatus.
Commissioner Reeves said as a major player in government’s transition plan for the UNMIL drawdown, the bureau has embarked on a number of reform initiatives, cardinal among which is ensuring capacity building for staff.
“Between 2009 and 2011, as part of the first training for the entity after the war, 150 officers were trained at the Ghana Immigration School Academy in diverse disciplines and also as Trainers of Trainers (TOT), while five middle-level officers were also sent for training at the Koffi Annan Peace Institute for middle-level
immigration training in 2014,” Reeves said.
He noted that several senior BIN officers have been trained in Ghana in exit and entry administration, counter-terrorism and public sector management, while the bureau is poised to train an additional ten senior officers.
Commenting on local training, the BIN boss said since the inception of the Unity Party-led government in 2006 to present, the bureau has trained more than 750 officers, many of whom have been deployed across the country.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Reeves has indicated that while the bureau is yet to reach its target in the provision of services to citizens, it has made remarkable gains compared to where the bureau was three years ago.