FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The United States supports the renewal of the mandate for the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for another year. The citizens of Liberia have suffered through more than a decade of civil war, and UNMIL has helped solidify peace. When UNMIL was authorized in 2003, initially 15,000 troops were needed. Now, following the third drawdown of troops, there are fewer than 8,000 UN peacekeepers deployed in Liberia. UNMIL will continue to be an important presence in that country, assisting Liberia as it plans for its second round of post-conflict elections in 2011 and planning a responsible transition of its mission to the Liberian national authorities.
The peace in Liberia remains fragile. That is why the United States supports the extension of the mission at its current strength for another year.
Building peace is neither quick nor is it easy. Maintaining security—including strengthening and reforming the police, military and justice sectors—development, and the protection of human rights is critical in any region transitioning from war to peace.
We thank the Secretary General’s Special Representative Ellen Margrethe Løj for her leadership and guidance of UNMIL, and we thank the many countries that have contributed police and troops over the years to support UNMIL’s effort to build peace in Liberia.
The United States supports the current efforts underway by the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) to bridge gaps in Liberia’s transition to long term peace and stability. We remain committed to ensuring that Liberia maintains its measured, steady path towards assuming its full, sovereign responsibilities.
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