A top French Foreign Ministry official has told President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that the UN will ensure the establishment of a standby force for Liberia that will respond to crisis that may arise in the wake of UNMIL drawdown.
“We are interested on working with Liberia to sustain the gains that have been made”, Mr. Jean- Pierre Lacroix, the Director of United Nations organizations, International Organizations, Human Rights and Francophone Directorate of the French Foreign Ministry told President Sirleaf Friday at her Foreign Ministry office during a courtesy call.
Mr. Lacroix who is in the country to follow up on the ongoing UNMIL drawdown and Liberia’s peacebuilding processes said the UN is keen in having Liberia among its success stories. Before meeting with President Sirleaf, the French Diplomat had already met with several stakeholders including the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Liberia.
He, however, paid tribute to Liberia for its involvement in maintaining peace in Mali adding that this has made the country to be among the global providers of security. Earlier President Sirleaf had informed the French official that despite the smooth UNMIL transition plan so far, there have been constraints and challenges, which are been worked on.
She named some of challenges as urban congestion, youth unemployment among others as issues with security implications that must be given attention as the drawdown and peacebuilding processes continue.
President Sirleaf also told the visiting Diplomat that the Liberian Government is also keen on accelerating the training of more personnel of the Liberian National Police.
The French official was accompanied to President Sirleaf by the French Ambassador to Liberia, Ambassador Joel Godeau and Mr. Mohammed Bouabdallah of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.