UN: UN envoy in Liberia lauds government on security takeover

New York, US (PANA) - UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Mr. Farid Zarif, has lauded the people and Government of Liberia for re-assuming full control of the country's security for the first time since its civil war ended 13 years ago.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York on Saturday, quoted the UN envoy as describing the development as a "historic", noting 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 Liberia's President Johnson Sirleaf at a ceremonial handover held at Monrovia City Hall held on Friday.

He also noted that over several years, Liberia's security institutions took on ever more responsibilities as the UN 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.

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, UN 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.

PANA learnt that, in September 2016, 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, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will provide recommendations to the Security Council by 15 November 2016, and the Security Council will determine UNMIL's future in December.
-0-  PANA  AA  2July2016

02 july 2016 15:42:07

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