Welcoming The Extension Of UNMIL’s Mandate, But…

THE UNITED NATIONS Security Council Resolution 2239 has extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and decreased UNMIL’s authorized military strength from 3,590 to 1,240 military personnel.

THE 1,240 MILITARY personnel includes one infantry battalion and related enablers, by 30 June 2016 and to decrease UNMIL’s authorized police strength from 1,515 to 606 police personnel, which includes three formed police units, as well as immigration and police advisers, by 30 June 2016.

THE UN RESOLUTION also requests UNMIL, from 1 July 2016, to support the Liberian security agencies to protect civilians in the event of a deterioration of the security situation that could risk a strategic reversal of peace and stability in the country, taking into account UNMIL’s reduced capabilities and areas of deployment.

THE WORLD BODY at the same time, requests the Secretary-General to continue to streamline the activities of UNMIL across its civilian, police and military components and narrowing of the mandate decided in this resolution and further requests the Secretary-General to accelerate efforts to achieve the consolidation of the civilian, police and military presence of UNMIL in line with the security transition.

THE UNITED NATIONS has affirmed its intention, based on the Security Council’s review by15 December 2016 of Liberia’s overall capacity to ensure security and stability after the conclusion of the security transition on 30 June 2016 and security conditions on the ground, to consider the possible withdrawal of UNMIL and transition to a future United Nations presence to continue to assist the Government of Liberia to consolidate peace and, in this regard, requests the Secretary-General to conduct an assessment mission to Liberia in order to provide recommendations to the Security Council by 15 November 2016; among others.

WE AGAIN WELCOME the latest extension of UNMIL’s mandate by the United Nations Security Council as this will enable the Liberian Government prepare adequately to take over the security of the state after 2016. While we welcome this initiative once again, we call on the Government of Liberia to bear the primary and ultimate responsibility for security and the protection of its population and to be in the best position when UNMIL shall have left.

LET THE GOVERNMENT prioritize the effective and rapid development of the security agencies, especially the LNP, which is the priority law enforcement agency tasked with civilian policing responsibilities, including through the timely provision of sufficient financial resources and other support, adequate training and development of senior management.

THIS IS THE time that we do away with any act of complacency especially when it comes to our national security. We are mostly stressing the development of the police because this body is fully responsible to deal with issues that do with civilians and are directly interacting with the citizens.

ON THE OTHER hand, we call on the UN mission that while it is still in the country protect, without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the Liberian authorities, the civilian population, assist with the reform of our Justice and Security Institutions, assist the government in implementing and in close coordination with bilateral and multilateral partners, as appropriate, its national strategy on Security Sector Reform (SSR).

WE ALSO APPEAL to UNMIL to advise the Government of Liberia on the Security Sector Reform and the organization of the LNP and BIN, as well as on the justice and corrections sector, with a particular focus on developing their leadership, internal management and accountability mechanisms.

AGAIN, WE WELCOME the United Nations for the extension of UNMIL’s mandate as this is not a surprise because like any other nation, the UN is concerned about the security of Liberia. As we previously pointed out, let the government prepare itself for the task ahead when UNMIL shall have left to take over the security of the state.

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