Jordan Becomes First Country To Answer Ban’s Call For More UN Police In Liberia
New York, Nov 10 2008 1:10PM
Jordan has become the first country to pledge an additional unit to United Nations police in Liberia, answering Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for extra forces to support their Liberian counterparts as the West African State continues its recovery from a disastrous decade-long civil war.
Welcoming the decision to send the unit, which is due to arrive next month, Mr. Ban’s Special Representative Ellen Margrethe Loj today praised Jordanian police officers for supporting the Liberian national police in various ways, particularly in dealing with “mob violence.”
Urging the Jordanian police officers to demonstrate the “patience and reserve” that was necessary to support their Liberian colleagues, Ms. Loj noted that there was a lot of peace building and development work to be done to ensure that Liberia did not slide back into conflict and chaos.
“Development is crucial for sustainable peace and security; and to achieve development, Liberians must be empowered to control their circumstances,” she said at a ceremony where she awarded UN peacekeeping medals to 120 Jordanian officers already in the country.
The strengthened police component will enhance the provision of strategic advice and expertise to Liberian officers in the rule of law and operational support to the police and corrections sector as well as react to urgent security incidents.
Ms. Løj said September’s Security Council extension of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for another year “represents the continued commitment of the UN to be unwavering and vigilant in maintaining peace and security in Liberia.
“We are working with Liberian security forces, as well as with those from neighbouring countries, to ensure that security is maintained at all times,” she added.
UNMIL was set up in 2003 to bolster a ceasefire agreement ending a war that killed almost 150,000 Liberians, mostly civilians, and sent 850,000 others fleeing to neighbouring countries. As of the end of September this year it comprised over 12,700 uniformed personnel, including 11,465 troops and 1,037 police.