Countries in conflict can learn from the peacekeeping success in Liberia

By AFRICA RENEWAL

Retired Lieutenant General Daniel Opande, the UN’s Mission in Liberia first commander. PHOTO | AFRICA

The UN Mission in Liberia successfully disarmed Liberia’s warring factions. The mission’s first commander, Lt-Gen Opande, spoke to Africa Renewal’s Zipporah Musau and Kingsley Ighobor.

What was the security situation in Liberia when you first got there?

I arrived in Liberia from Sierra Leone on October 1, 2003. By then Sierra Leone had established a UN peacekeeping mission. The situation in Sierra Leone had returned to normal: there was a functioning government and peace had been restored countrywide.

But Liberia was the opposite: Nothing functioned, the government had collapsed, without effective security arrangement the entire country was in turmoil and in danger of falling apart. People were moving about looking for safety and food. It was a very bad situation.

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About Cholo Brooks 6916 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.