New UN mission chief arrives in Liberia with pledge to consolidate stability

17 January 2008

The new top United Nations official for Liberia has arrived to take up her post with a pledge to help the West African country consolidate its transition from more than a decade of disastrous civil war to peace, stability and democracy.

“A lot has been achieved since the war ended but we still have a lot to offer the Liberian people,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Ellen Margrethe Løj said on arrival.

“I look forward to working effectively with everyone in the United Nations family and other partners to support the Government of President Johnson Sirleaf to transform the lives of all Liberians.”

Ms. Løj replaces Alan Doss, the new Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at the head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), set up in 2003 to support implementation of the ceasefire agreement ending a war that killed almost 150,000 Liberians, mostly civilians, and sent 850,000 others fleeing to neighbouring countries.

Since then the mission and UN agencies have helped to organize free elections and the return to their homes of hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people.

Ms. Løj, a Danish national with more than 30 years of a distinguished diplomatic career, has worked in the Danish Foreign Service, with special focus on UN and development issues. Denmark’s Permanent Representative to the UN from 2001 to 2007, she chaired the UN Security Council’s Sanctions Committee on Liberia for two years.


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