UN: Liberia ‘stable’ but needs continued attention, Security Council told

New York, US (PANA) - Briefing the Security Council on the situation in
Liberia, the United Nations peacekeeping chief on Friday underlined that
the country remained stable and that since the security transition in
June this year, there had been no incident serious enough to warrant
an armed response from the UN mission in the country, known as UNMIL.

“However, sustaining the gains made will require continued and greater
investment in the security services, as well as commensurate
improvements in the justice and corrections sectors,” Hervé Ladsous,
UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the
15-member Council’s briefing on the work of the UN Mission in Liberia
(UNMIL).

Ladsous further reported that the political environment in the
west African country remained dominated by preparations for
presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for October 2017,
and that the next President’s inauguration in January 2018 would mark
a historic milestone for Liberia’s democracy.

“What happens next year, therefore, will be critical: it will
demonstrate whether the foundations of peace built since the conflict
ended 13 years ago are strong enough to be sustained,” he said,
underlining the need to ensure that measures are put in place now to
deliver a free, fair, transparent and credible elections.

Reporting that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had outlined three
possible options for the UNMIL’s future: withdrawing and establishing
a successor mission; maintaining the status quo; or continuing its
drawdown.

Emphasizing that Liberia should remain on the Council’s agenda through
the installation of the next administration, he said it was essential
to retain some capacity to respond should stability deteriorate.

In its last resolution on the situation in the country, in September
this year, the Security Council had extended the mandate of the UNMIL
until 31 December.

Also speaking the same day, Per Thöresson of Sweden, on behalf of the
Vice Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, said that the root
causes of the country’s conflict remained unresolved and stressed the
need for continued implementation of the national reconciliation
roadmap.

“Strong political leadership is required to fully and comprehensively
address reconciliation in Liberia,” he said, adding: “Building social
cohesion requires addressing historical inequalities, unequal access
to resources and power.”

Noting the economic challenges brought by the Ebola outbreak and that
63 per cent of the country’s children were out of school, as well as
residual peacebuilding tasks in 2017 which required sustained
international support, he underscored that these and other factors
should be kept in mind when considering the future of the UN presence
in Liberia, especially given the upcoming electoral period.
-0- PANA AR 3Dec2016

03 december 2016 10:13:18




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