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Sunday, 20 May 2012

LIBERIA: NO LARGE FORCE NEEDED


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says Liberia no longer needs large troops presence, hinting improved security, but it needs continued support in building its political institutions, according to UN News Service.

He underlined key areas--security and the rule of law.

Ban, in his latest report on the U.N. Mission in Liberia, recommended a tiered reduction in the peacekeeping force in Liberia from 4,200 troops to 3,750 troops by 2015. The U.N. Mission in Liberia is ensuring the sustainability of a 2003 cease-fire that ended a civil war in the country that left around 150,000 people dead.

Liberia doesn't need a substantial peacekeeping force, but political institutions need continued support, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

In April, Edmond Mulet, assistant U.N. secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, told a multilateral panel that UNMIL was considering a "very careful" handover of security responsibility to Liberian forces. Ban said while Liberia isn't faced with significant military threats to its national security, there are lingering concerns about political development.

"Building credible and effective institutions, particularly in the security and rule of law sectors, will require progress in overcoming the root causes of the country's conflict, including structural inequalities," he states in his report.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf secured a second term in office last year after fending off a strong challenge by former diplomat Winston Tubman. The vote went to a runoff, however, as Sirleaf failed to secure the majority needed to score an outright victory.

Violence marred the period between the two votes, however, as Tubman's camp complained of bias in the country's national election commission. "Building credible and effective institutions, particularly in the security and rule of law sectors, will require progress in overcoming the root causes of the country's conflict, including structural inequalities," Ban states in his report.

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