UN lauds role of Pakistani peacekeepers in Liberia | Pakistan Today

UN lauds role of Pakistani peacekeepers in Liberia

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Liberia Ellen Margrethe Loj has praised the Pakistan’s peacekeeping contingent for its significant role in maintaining peace and for training paramedics in Liberia. She said this during her address to the group of Islamabad and Lahore based journalists who had come to her office in Monrovia. Mentioning work of Pakistani engineers and medical team, the special representative said the “Pakistani contingent was doing a very good job.” Around 3,000 peacekeeping troops from Pakistan have been deployed under the United Nations flag in different parts of the West African country since 2003.
She, however, pointed out that only seven women in uniform had been included in Pakistan’s contingent and expressed a need of sincere efforts to increase this number.
Ellen Margrethe, who has served in different capacities for her home country, said the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) took over the peacekeeping duties from ECOWAS forces in 2003 after 14 years of civil war.
After disarming fighting factions in the country, the UNMIL started to train the Liberian army and worked to rebuild institutions.
She said a referendum to amend the Constitution of Liberia is scheduled on August 23 this year.
The general election will be held in October this year and added that the refugees, who had returned, would also cast their votes. The special representative of the UN Secretary-General said that as per UN Security Council resolution, UNMIL consisted of up to 15,000 United Nations military personnel but the number had now reduced to 8,000.
Responding to a question, she said enough jobs were not created in the private sector and apprehended that huge unemployment could threaten peace.
14 years of civil wars from 1989-2003 in Liberia have claimed lives of almost 150,000 people, mostly civilians, and led to a complete breakdown of law and order. It has displaced scores of people, both internally and beyond the borders, resulting in some 850,000 refugees in the neighbouring countries.
On August 18, the peace agreement ended war and after two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen Jonson Sirleaf to power.

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