UN mission lauds Government, people for ‘historic’ handover of country’s security

 [President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (left) with members of the all-female Indian Formed Police Unit serving with the UN Mission in Liberia in February 2016. Photo: Emmanuel Tobey/UNMIL]
[President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (left) with members of the all-female Indian Formed Police Unit serving with the UN Mission in Liberia in February 2016. Photo: Emmanuel Tobey/UNMIL]

 The head of the United Nations mission in Liberia today lauded the people and Government of Liberia for reassuming full control of the country’s security for the first time since its civil war ended 13 years ago.

Calling the day “historic,” Farid Zarif, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), noted that all the main security responsibilities performed by UNMIL have been handed over to Liberian security institutions, “which have executed their duties in an exemplary manner.”

“This achievement is a culmination of the step-by-step rebuilding of Liberia’s security institutions almost from scratch, following the long years of civil conflict,” Mr. Zarif said alongside President Johnson Sirleaf at a ceremonial handover held at Monrovia City Hall.

Since Liberia’s civil war ended in 2003, UNMIL has been supporting the West African nation to rebuild its institutions so it can maintain stability without its presence. In 2015, Liberian authorities launched an undertaking to assume full responsibility of the country’s security by the end of June.

In September 2015, Security Council resolution 2239 (2015) affirmed the world’s confidence that Liberia had made sufficient progress to assume full responsibility for security and set 30 June as the deadline.

The Special Representative noted that over several years, Liberia’s security institutions took on ever more responsibilities as the Mission drew down from its peak of more than 16,000 uniformed personnel in 2007 to the 1,240 military and 606 police personnel that remain here today.

In September, a high-powered multi-disciplinary team from the UN headquarters will carry out a comprehensive assessment of the situation in Liberia. Based on that assessment, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will provide recommendations to the Security Council by 15 November, and the Council will determine UNMIL’s future in December. READ MORE OF THIS REPORT

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About Cholo Brooks 15580 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.