UN blue helmets help Liberian Police boost security at large rubber plantation

UN blue helmets help Liberian Police boost security at large rubber plantation

United Nations peacekeepers have been called in to assist Liberian police to enhance security and improve management of a large rubber plantation in the West African nation that is consolidating democracy following a 14-year civil war.

The Liberian Government has ordered management be replaced at Cocopa Plantation in Nimba County, close to Liberia’s border with Guinea, and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is assisting to ensure a smooth transition.

“Our overriding interest in this in all of this is to make sure the Government has control over the natural resources of the country and the communities where these resources are found,” Paul Egunsola, acting spokesman of UNMIL, told a press briefing in Monrovia.

UN forces on the ground have partnered with the Liberia National Police to regain authority over Liberian rubber plantations, which are among the world’s largest. The plantations have been marked by violence and theft in recent years, and in February 2006, a joint Liberian-UN Rubber Plantation Task Force was established to alleviate tensions between plantation administrators and workers, as well as eliminate government losses due to management inefficiencies.

Meanwhile, in related news, the Liberian police and UN Police (UNPOL) have teamed up to create a programme to be launched on 20 January aimed at boosting female enrolment into the Liberian police force. This programme is targeted at raising female recruitment to 20 per cent of the total force.