UN blue helmets sent to scene of violence in north-west Liberia

26 February 2010

The United Nations Mission in Liberia has sent police and troops to help national authorities investigate an outbreak of violence in the country's north-west, where several people have reportedly been wounded in inter-communal clashes.

According to media reports, the incident in Voinjoma, in Lofa County, has also resulted in the burning down of two mosques, one church and other properties.

In response to the situation, the Mission, known as UNMIL, sent a formed police unit and military personnel to the area to assist the Liberia National Police (LNP) in Voinjama, which is located nearly 300 kilometres from the capital, Monrovia.

“They will work in close coordination with the local county authorities and the security apparatus on the ground to keep the situation under control, and UNMIL will contribute the necessary specialists to assist in the investigation of the incident,” the Mission said in a statement.

UNMIL added that it is ready to take the necessary action “in an impartial manner” to contain the situation in accordance with its mandate and with the Liberian Police on the ground.

The Mission 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.

Last September the UN Security Council extended UNMIL's mandate for another year, authorizing the mission to assist Liberia with its 2011 general presidential and legislative polls by, among other measures, facilitating access to remote areas.


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