Liberia Country asks UN to extend mission for another year

Liberians will be going to the polls next year to elect a new president, as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ends her second and final term.

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UN peacekeepers, first deployed in October 2003, largely ensured Liberia's security until the end of June when they handed over responsibilities to retrained domestic forces play

UN peacekeepers, first deployed in October 2003, largely ensured Liberia's security until the end of June when they handed over responsibilities to retrained domestic forces

(AFP/File)
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Liberia's government has asked the United Nations to extend its peacekeeping mission in the west African country for another year, until the next president takes office.

"Liberia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Lewis Brown, on behalf of his Government, is proposing one year for the extension of the United Nation's Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)," the president's office said in a press release sent to AFP on Thursday.

Liberians will be going to the polls next year to elect a new president, as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ends her second and final term.

Government forces and rebel groups raped, maimed and massacred hundreds of thousands of people during two conflicts between 1989 and 2003.

UN peacekeepers, first deployed in October 2003, largely ensured the country's security until the end of June when they handed over responsibilities to retrained domestic forces.

Only 1,800 of the UNMIL forces, which peaked at 15,000, remain ahead of a UN Security Council decision in December on whether to pull out its remaining personnel.

"The country has made substantial progress but there is still a long way to go," Brown said in the government statement.

In September, UN assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, El Ghassim Wane, said that "peace remains fragile" in the African nation.

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