Liberia Officially Becomes UN Peacekeeping Contributing Country, Signs First-Ever MOU on Partnership

MOU signing ceremony

(New York)  The Government of the Republic of Liberia and the United Nations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), formally acknowledging and declaring Liberia as an Official United Nations Peacekeeping Contributing Country.

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes administrative, logistics, and financial terms and conditions to govern the contribution of personnel, equipment and services provided by the Government of Liberia in support of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); and specifies United Nations Standard of Conduct for personnel provided by the Armed Forces of Liberia.

Liberia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations, His Excellency Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia; while His Excellency Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Department for Field Support,  signed on behalf of the United Nations.

Ambassador Kemayah described the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a significant milestone for the Government of Liberia; and in particular, the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). “It has been a long process; leading up to this day; a long time coming; and we are ecstatic and grateful that the first ever Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Liberia and the United Nations to fortify the support of the Armed Forces of Liberia  in the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), has finally been realized through the support and astute Leadership of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia; and the Leadership of the United Nations.” Ambassador Kemayah emphasized.

Both officials in handshakes after the signing

Ambassador Kemayah further stated that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will mutually reinforce the commitment between the Government of Liberia and the United Nations to the peacekeeping initiatives in the Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and further enhance the capacity of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to adequately provide personnel, equipment and services; in support of its Military Mission in Mali.

The Liberian Envoy expressed appreciation that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) supports the expansion in the remuneration or re-imbursement capacity of the Armed Forces of Liberia; in relation to the Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Ambassador Kemayah recalled that Liberia’s contribution to the Peacekeeping efforts in Mali was a conscious decision, propelled by the good will of the global community in their assistance and resolve to ensure the restoration of peace, security, and democracy in Liberia after a protracted civil conflict.

“The Republic of Liberia first deployed in Mali in 2013 as a platoon-size infantry of Forty-five (45) officers; embedded within the Nigerian contingent; under the Africa International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA); and subsequently; under Tactical Control (TACON) of the Togolese Battalion (TOGBATT)” Ambassador Kemayah explained.

Today, the Liberian contingent stands at One Hundred and Five (105) Officers– a feat that Ambassador Kemayah attributes to the commitment of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, the Government and People of Liberia to the cause of restoring peace and security in Mali.

Said Ambassador Kemayah: “The February 11, 2018 pronouncement by His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL); during Liberia’s Armed Forces Day commemorative ceremony; which subsequently actualized an increase in the size of the Liberian Contingent in the Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); from Seventy-eight (78) to One Hundred and Five (105) Officers; is evidence of the steadfast and unwavering commitment, under the dynamic Leadership of His Excellency President Weah, that the Government of Liberia affixes to the advancement of peace and security in Mali; and in Africa at-large; and globally. The current composition of the Liberian contingent which also comprises of Twelve (12) Military Staff Officers serving in various positions within the Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), is testament of the level of skills, knowledge and experience the Liberian Soldiers and Officers have acquired over the years; developing the Liberian battalion into a “Force for Good”; in the United Nations Super Camp in Timbuktu, Mali”

Ambassador Kemayah used the occasion to pay tribute to the memory of fallen officer of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Private First Class (PFC) Ousman Sheriff; and other soldiers who sustained injuries in the line of duty in Mali. ” As I sign this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on behalf of the Government of Liberia, I do so, paying tribute to the memory of our fallen officer of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Private First Class (PFC) Ousman Sheriff; and honoring the courage and bravery of our injured; and our gallant men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia who, in the line of duty made; and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice for peace and security in Mali; and the world in general. I also sign this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); paying tribute to all fallen men and women; and honoring all the injured; and those currently serving in Mali and other Peacekeeping Missions around the world; in pursuit of the much needed global peace and security.” Ambassador Kemayah emphasized.

Ambassador Kemayah also used the occasion to extend special commendation to the Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the Armed Forces of Liberia, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, the Minister of Defense of Liberia, Maj. Gen. Daniel Ziankahn, Jr. (Rtd.); the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Maj. Gen. Prince Charles Johnson, III; the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO); in particular, the Force Generation Service (FGS) Unit for the Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); and the staff of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations; for their tireless work in making the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)–one of the key priorities of Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; in particular, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations, a reality. The Liberian Envoy also thanked the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, Hon. Gbehzohngar Milton Findley for his support throughout the negotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Said Ambassador Kemayah: ” We are grateful for your support towards making this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) a reality. With the achievement of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as one of the key priorities for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and in particular, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations under my Leadership as its Ambassador and Permanent Representative; let me also commend the Staff of the Permanent Mission for their diligence and commitment in ensuring the accomplishment of this objective. As I stressed repeatedly to my staff at the Permanent Mission, the Minister of National Defense and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia; upon assuming my duties and responsibilities as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations; working towards; and ensuring that there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or a formal Agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Liberia on the service of the Armed Forces of Liberia in the Multi-dimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was, and is paramount.”

The Liberian Ambassador to the United Nations then affirmed the unflinching commitment of the Government of Liberia to the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and pledged Liberia’s continuous contribution to ensuring peace and security in Mali and to the sustaining peace & security architecture.

For his part, His Excellency Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Department for Field Support,  declared that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was an acknowledgement that Liberia has formally transitioned to a Peacekeeping Contributing Country with a deployed Force Protection Unit Company in Timbuktu, Mali.

Under-Secretary-General Khare thanked the President, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah and people of the  Republic of Liberia for the great contributions the country is making towards the attainment of international peace and security; and expressed gratitude that Liberia–a country which recently hosted peacekeeping operations, is now repaying by contributing to restoring peace in Mali. Mr. Khare also made special recognition of His Excellency Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., and thanked him for his leadership in the negotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Mr. Khare  paid homage to the brave women and men of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) for their significant contributions in Timbuktu. He also paid special homage to Private First Class (PFC) Ousman Sheriff, who sacrificed his life to help restore peace in a strange land-Mali.

Under-Secretary-General Khare then assured that His Department will now begin calculating  for reimbursement purposes, to cover the cost of Liberia’s contribution of troops and strategic equipment, as contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Lt. Colonel Daniel Holman Jr. of the Armed Forces of Liberia, and officials of the United Nations Department for Field Support and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations.

(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 13507 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, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.