The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Madam Karin Landgren, has disclosed that the full departure of UNMIL from Liberia goes beyond 2015.
Despite the mandate from the United Nations Security Council, she further disclosed that UNMIL will not totally leave the country next year. The made the disclosure on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at UNMIL's regular press briefing held at the Pan Africa Plaza in Monrovia. The SRSG pointed out that UNMIL will have 3,750 military soldiers which include three (3) infantry battalion, 500 police advisors, and 1,795 police officers in Liberia by 2015.
Madam Landgren said the departure of the mission from Liberia will be "gradual, deliberate and well planned." She said the Government of Liberia (GOL) and UNMIL are working "very closely in planning the transition." "Many steps have been taken to transform Liberia.
The people and GOL are making progress. This means that the time is right for UNMIL to begin to reduce its military component. UNMIL should be extended for the next one year according to the UN Security Council mandate. During this year, UNMIL will reduce its military access but also will build up police access. I want to emphasis that UNMIL is not leaving in one year. You will continue to see UNMIL's presence beyond 2015," she added.
At the same time, the SRSG has advanced several recommendations to the GOL for the sustenance and maintenance of peace and stability in the country. According to her, security measures taken by the GOL and other partners are not enough for lasting stability in the country. She underscored the need for peace and stability to be sustained and maintained in the country.
Madam Landgren named national reconciliation, constitutional reform and decentralization as some of the issues that need to be addressed in Liberia. The SRSG disclosed that these issues remain "absolutely essential to the peace and stability of Liberia." She indicated that the country needs "well functioning and accountable government institutions." She then called for support to the Liberian security sector.
The SRSG noted that security personnel must be supported in specific areas in order to strengthen their capacity. She said the "wealth of the country remains one of the most striking things", saying the natural resources in Liberia cannot make all the difference. The UNMIL boss disclosed that the "strong management of Liberia's resources remains key to its development and stability."