30 December 2013

Liberia: UNMIL Press Statement

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) can confirm that a demonstration by a small group of UNMIL staff took place at the main entrance gate of our logistics base (Star Base) in Monrovia’s Free Port Zone on Friday, 27 December.

Protestors blocked the main entrance to Star Base, preventing all movement in and out of the compound.

A UN police officer and three other UNMIL staff members were assaulted by the protestors and UNMIL property was vandalized. Two of the assaulted staff members sustained injuries; no other injuries have been reported.

These are serious offences under Liberian law and call for a full and thorough investigation by the authorities. UNMIL is co-operating with the LNP. The Mission is also undertaking an internal investigation. Three staff members were arrested during the protest. They were subsequently released pending further investigation by the Liberia National Police (LNP).

The welfare of our staff is an important priority for UNMIL. We are committed to addressing any issues through peaceful dialogue. We can confirm that talks with staff representatives are on-going.

The right to peaceful protest in Liberia is guaranteed. However, nobody has the right to break the law, including UNMIL staff members. Anyone found guilty of criminal offenses should expect to be held accountable to the full extent of the law.

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