She added that although the UN troops’ drawdown ends by then, UNMIL will continue to play a supporting role to the Liberia National Police (LNP), Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) and other security agencies to maintain the rule of law and peace in the country.
Cllr. Barnes made the clarification over the weekend in Kakata, Margibi County at a Security Transition Town Hall Meeting on the drawdown of UNMIL troops in Liberia following 13 years of peacekeeping operations.
According to the deputy Justice Minister, UNMIL’s field officers and peacekeeping troops will be leaving Margibi County finally on May 16,
but will maintain presence from Monrovia.
Barnes indicated that since UNMIL took over peacekeeping operations, Liberia has benefited immensely as evidenced by 13 years of unbroken peace and two presidential elections.
She noted that the maintenance of peace and security amidst the UNMIL
drawdown is the responsibility of every Liberian, adding, “We must all work assiduously along the Liberian security apparatus to continue to enjoy peace in the country.”
She said every Liberian citizen, irrespective of status, is fully responsible to join government security and rule of law actors to ensure the full maintenance of peace, rather than leave it to the government alone.
Also speaking at the forum, the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General to Liberia, Farid Zarif, said he was delighted that the Liberian government is now taking over from UNMIL to administer the affairs of its own security.
“This is a sure show of confidence in the Liberian government’s capability to handle its own security,” he added.
He said the objective of the peace keeping operations which begun in August of 2003, was to restore peaceful atmosphere in Liberia and that this having been met, it was now safe to turn over security responsibility to the Liberian government.
He pointed out that Margibi County, being the first county to meet the deadline less than two months is highly commendable.