Liberia: Security Tension Mounts


The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to Liberia Ellen Margrethe Loj says the Security Council has extended UNMIL’s mandate here, due to concerns of threats to sub-regional stability, particularly in Liberia, posed by illicit drugs trafficking, organized crimes and illicit arms, among others.
SRSG Loj, who is also head of UNMIL, said the UN Mission will remain deployed in Liberia until an elected government is inaugurated in 2012.

She told a news conference Monday that the Security Council’s mandate was in accordance with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s recommendation, ordering UNMIL to deploy a technical assessment mission to Liberia after the inauguration of an elected government next year that will develop detailed proposals for the next stages of UNMIL’s draw-down as well as the handover of security responsibilities to national authorities.

Focusing on several challenges across all sectors, including continuing problems with violent crime, the Security Council said it recognizes that the instability in Cote d’Ivoire continues to pose cross-border security challenges for Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire itself.

Among other things in the mandate prolonging the UNMIL’s deployment here, the Security Council has asked the UN Peace Keeping Mission here to assist the Liberian Government in consolidating peace and stability with national institutions that are capable of maintaining security and stability independently of a peace keeping mission to ensure the future stability of Liberia.

The Council stressed that the holding of peaceful, timely, credible and inclusive elections in accordance with the Constitution of Liberia and applicable international standards, are a key conditions for the consolidation of democracy, national reconciliation and restoration of a stable, peaceful environment, among others.

Asked whether or not UNMIL foresees violence coming out of the elections, SRSG Loj told journalists that all UNMIL wants to ensure is peace. “No, we want peace; you have reported a lot of incidences even before these elections are held, and so we are hoping that nothing goes wrong,” she noted.

Notwithstanding, Loj has disclosed that talks are ongoing to get few forces from its sister mission country Cote d’Ivoire to be deployed in Liberia during the conduct of these elections; but said agreement has not been reached.

Commenting on reported attacks at the Liberian-Ivorian Borders, the UNMIL Boss said she has no knowledge whether or not, the attacks came from the Liberian side of the border.

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