The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Head of Field Office in Nimba County, Gibril A. Turay, has disclosed that the U.N. will today Monday, June 2, 20124 begin withdrawing its peacekeeping troops from Butuo, Nimba County.
He made the disclosure at the celebration of International Day of UN Peacekeepers held last Thursday at the William V.S Tubman Hall in Sanniquellie, the provincial capital of Nimba County.
Mr. Turay described the withdrawal from Butuo, where the Liberian civil conflict started in December 1989, as a turning point in history, noting that Nimba citizens will have to prove themselves as lovers of peace who hold their leaders accountable not through conflict, but by channeling their grievances based on respect for the rule of law.
He urged citizens to liaise with security and public leaders to maintain law and order in the county. He disclosed that the UN has lost 16 of its workers in Liberia since deployment in Liberia in May 2003. Turaysaid of this number, eight were military personnel, while eight were civilians.
Turaysaid of the civilians who lost their lives, seven were Liberians, while one was an international worker.
He stated that the military personnel who died were Ghanaians and Nigerians.
In remarks, the Ghanaian Contingent (GhanBatt) commander in Sanniquellie, Captain Daniel A. Bondah, said the International Day of UN Peacekeepers is intended to pay tribute to peacekeepers who have died in service across the world, as well as remember the efforts of those still alive and dedicated to restoring peace to billions.
Also making remarks, the Chairman of the Nimba County Traditional Council, Peter Barloun, thanked UNMIL for the services being rendered Liberia, adding that it has restored value and dignity to human life as compared to the period of the Liberian conflict (1990-2003) when human life had no value.
The occasion was attended by the Superintendent of Nimba, Fong Zuagele, chiefs, traditional leaders, civil society organizations, women leaders, students and youth organizations.