Thursday, October 04, 2007

West Africa, UNMIL Force Commander reaffirms mission's commitment to peace and security in Liberia

Grand Cape Mount, Liberia – The Force Commander of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Lt.-Gen. Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor, has assured the people of Grand Cape Mount County (on Liberia's western border with Sierra Leone) of the mission's commitment to sustaining peace and security across Liberia. Lt.-Gen. Obiakor was speaking at Sinje, 80 kilometres west of the capital, Monrovia, during a handover ceremony where Pakistani UN peacekeepers assumed the security responsibilities previously handled by the departing Namibian contingent.

“We will institute careful planning and monitoring of the security situation to avoid putting at risk the peace we have all worked hard to achieve,” the Force Commander said.

Recounting the valuable contribution of the Namibian battalion since their arrival in Liberia on 15 January 2004, General Obiakor pointed out that the departing peacekeepers have served Liberia and UNMIL well, discharging various duties to ensure the safety of the communities they served. He cited their support activities for restoration of state control of the Guthrie Rubber Plantation (GRP) which had been taken over during the war years by some ex-combatants and other unemployed people.

Rubber remains a key source of revenue for the Government and since its restoration the Guthrie Rubber Plantation has been running smoothly under the Government's supervision, with the re-establishment of law and order and the restoration of basic social services to the people living on the plantation.

The outgoing commanding officer of the Namibian contingent, Lt.-Col. V. K. Haikakola, thanked the United Nations for giving his soldiers the opportunity to serve humanity. He also expressed gratitude to the people of Liberia and Grand Cape Mount County in particular, for their warm welcome and support during their tenure of duty. He urged the local communities to render the same support to the incoming Pakistani peacekeepers.

Attending the programme were UNMIL Sector II Commander, Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Nawaz, Garwula District Commissioner, Mr. Mambu Sonii, traditional leaders and local officials of the Government and UNMIL.

Press Releases: West Africa, UNMIL Force Commander reaffirms mission's commitment to peace and security in Liberia