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Despite relative stability, Liberia still faces security obstacles, says UN envoy

Despite relative stability, Liberia still faces security obstacles, says UN envoy

Special Representative Alan Doss
The United Nations top envoy to Liberia today told the Security Council that although the impoverished West African country, which is rebuilding after a brutal 14-year civil war, has made progress in consolidating stability, numerous threats to peace remain.

Alan Doss, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Liberia, said in a closed meeting that “although the political situation has remained quite stable, there are still serious security challenges that require continuing attention and action,” according to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

Mr. Doss also presented the 15-member Council with the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in Liberia, which recommends extending for one year the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, known as UNMIL, set to expire at the end of this month.

UNMIL was established in 2003 to support Liberia’s ceasefire and peace process, and currently has over 15,200 uniformed personnel, along with around 500 international civilian personnel, almost 1,000 local staff and 220 UN Volunteers.

In the report, Mr. Ban cited several challenges to stability, including hhigh unemployment and “unpredictable situations” in Liberia’s neighbours such as Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea.

He also said that the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission is being hindered in its progress by management, personnel and budgetary difficulties, and “these problems need to be resolved on an urgent basis so that the Commission can continue its valuable work of ensuring lasting peace in Liberia.”