The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has handed over equipment required for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) to the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). On 30 April, the AFL assumes full responsibility for EOD when UNMIL Bangladeshi Engineers that have been responsible for the past two years cease operations as they prepare for repatriation in May, the UN Mission said in a press statement.
“Explosive ordnance disposal is a critical task, since it directly impacts the safety of Liberians across the country. The Government is both obliged and prepared to protect ordinary people from this scourge,” said the Officer-in-Charge of UNMIL Mr. Waldemar Vrey during the handover ceremony at the Ministry of Defense. “In recent years, 60-70 devices have been destroyed annually and it is likely that the discovery of explosive remnants of war will continue at this rate for the foreseeable future,” Very said. Congratulating the Ministry of Defense and Bangladeshi Engineer Battalion 23 for the successful transition of the EOD capacity, the UNMIL Officer-in-Charge thanked all UNMIL contingents that have safely disposed of potentially deadly remnants of war over the past 12 years, as well as the United Nations Mine Action Service. UNMIL provided the AFL with new personal protection equipment and other resources to enhance its EOD operations across the country. UNMIL also handed over four vehicles from the former United Nations Mine Action Service EOD project. In September 2015, the Security Council reaffirmed the 30 June 2016 deadline for Liberia to assume full responsibility for all aspects of its security. UNMIL will continue to support the Government to strengthen its security capacities and to advance reform processes that are essential for long-term peace and stability. In December 2016, the UN Security Council will determine the future of UNMIL.