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UN Peacekeepers Leave Liberia After 14 Years

The United Mission in Liberia has concluded its tour 14years after it was deployed in September 2003 as the highly politicised army and police were disbanded after committing some of the worst abuses.

UNMIL handed back control of security matters in July 2016. Its final pullout is on Friday.

Samuel Smith, a Liberian security expert, pointed to the peaceful rollout of last year’s presidential election as proof that the security forces could stand on their own, partly thanks to UN support and training.

“When you look at the manner in which our national security handled the presidential elections, it makes you believe that we are getting there gradually,” he said.

However, UN’s Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed said last week in Monrovia that peace would “remain fragile as long as people feel excluded from the economic and political life of the country, and as long as corruption undermines confidence in institutions”.

“The mission gave hope to refugees to return home, and built schools through its quick impact projects. UNMIL also positively impacted our security sector by helping to train a professional police and immigration (service),”said Eugene Farkollie, a civil society leader.

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