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UNMIL begins gradual drawdown

By lbsonlinestaff
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf inspecting UNMIL troop
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf inspecting UNMIL troop

(lbsonline/Liberia)-The Liberian Government has announced that the United Nations Mission in the country will begin a drawdown of its forces by 8,000 between now and July 2015.

The Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Lewis Brown said UNMIL on 3rd January 2013, closedown its military post in Foya, Lofa County as part of its drawdown exercise.

Minister Brown said: “though the UN mission is closing its Foya post, UNMIL military and police presence will remain in other parts of Liberia”, adding that the United Nations will maintain its civilian presence across the country.

Minister Brown has also called on Liberians and other residents not to panic about the gradual withdrawal of the United Nations Mission from Liberia.

He disclosed that UNMIL has however increased its police presence to help the Liberia National Police (LNP) in protecting lives and properties across the country.

He told a news conference that “government has instructed state security to fill in the gaps that will be created as a result of UNMIL drawdown, government is not in a hurry to do so”, Minister Brown said.
Meanwhile, UNMIL Force Commander, Major General Leonard Ngondi has pledged UNMIL’s unflinching support to improving the country’s security sector.

“Whatever assistance UNMIL will wish to provide will be done within its mandate”. Major General Ngondi said “there is the need for continue cooperation between Liberia and La Cote d’Ivoire in the interest of peace and security”.

Major General Ngondi gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on  Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai at his Barclay Training Center (BTC) office.

Minister Samukai then praised UNMIL for fostering peace and security in Liberia over the years.

“Since the involvement of UNMIL in the restoration of peace and security,  Liberia has enjoyed nearly ten years of relative peace”; “Liberia will not allow its territory to be used against its neighbor for insurrection”, the Liberian Defense Minister stressed.

The two top security officials used the occasion to review the security situation along the Liberia-Cote d’Ivoire border.

 


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