United Nations confident of Liberia’s future after UNMIL departure
Monrovia - Today at the official launch of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)-led Emergency Response Mechanism project in Monrovia, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Liberia Farid Zarif, expressed confidence in the capacity of Liberia to forge ahead after the final withdrawal of UNMIL next year.
“We are confident about the ability of the Liberian security institutions, and the government and the people of Liberia’s commitment to continue strengthening in the foundations of self-reliance and to feel confident of the ability to manage their own affairs, with decreasing help from the international community,” said SRSG Zarif at the event.
The SRSG further stated that prior to its departure, UNMIL will continue to engage with the people and Government of Liberia to bring critical ongoing processes to fruition and to safeguard the gains made in its 14 years of investment in peacekeeping.
“UNMIL, albeit with reduced capacity will continue working with Liberia’s institutions in order to see, one day, this country standing on its own feet and creating events of the nature that will not only shape the future of the nation but the course of Africa and playing a greater role in international affairs,”- concluded the SRSG.
The emergency response mechanism, an African Peace Facility project, titled ‘Emergency Support to Preventive Diplomacy and Related Actions to ensure a Free, Fair and Peaceful 2017 Elections in Liberia', will support Liberia’s Peacebuilding Plan that was developed early this year through an intensive consultative process led by UNMIL and the UN Country Team in close coordination with the Government of Liberia, ECOWAS, the World Bank, the European Union and other international partners, as well as Liberian political parties and civil society organizations.
On the other hand, the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, Ambassador Tunde O. Ajisomo stated, “We have put our minds to ensuring that we work together in the course of strengthening preventive diplomatic action to guarantee peace and a non-violent election”.
Approved in April, the project, in partnership with LNP, civil society based at the community level and the Inter-Religious Council will facilitate development of election guidelines for security personnel. It will also look at issues of gender parity within political parties, mainstreaming financial transparency in political parties and deepening democracy with political parties, especially in the primary elections. In addition, it will pay attention to conflict-sensitive media reporting in promoting democratisation, peace, dialogue and conflict resolution.
Ms. Emma Sundblad, the Political Counsellor of the European Union Delegation expressed optimism that the project will complement the technical support given to the National Elections Commission, eventually contributing to peaceful elections.
Speaking on behalf of the government, Minister of Internal Affairs, Dr. Henrique F. Tokpa commended political parties in Liberia for demonstrating maturity in the course of conducting their affairs thus keeping political temperature low so far.
The Inspector General of Police Gregory Coleman emphasized the commitment of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to ensure that security during upcoming elections is impeccable and unquestionable. He said that LNP has a plan to execute its role during the elections more than ever before.
The event was also attended by the Guinean Ambassador Abdoulaye Dore, representative of Africa Union, Prosper Addo, Vice Chair Inter-Religious Council of Liberia Sheik Omaru Kamali, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Political and Rule of Law, Waldemar Vrey among others dignitaries.