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Jordan does a first, in UN's view

Nelson Alcantara  Nov 11, 2008

Jordan has become the first country to pledge an additional unit to United Nations police in Liberia, answering UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s call for extra forces to support their Liberian counterparts as the West African State continues its recovery from a disastrous decade-long civil war, it was announced Monday.

According to the UN, welcoming the decision to send the unit, which is due to arrive next month, Mr. Ban’s special representative Ellen Margrethe Løj on Monday praised Jordanian police officers for supporting the Liberian national police in various ways, particularly in dealing with “mob violence.”

Urging the Jordanian police officers to demonstrate the “patience and reserve” that was necessary to support their Liberian colleagues, Mr. Ban’s special representative noted that there was a lot of peace building and development work to be done to ensure that Liberia did not slide back into conflict and chaos.

“Development is crucial for sustainable peace and security; and to achieve development, Liberians must be empowered to control their circumstances,” she said at a ceremony where she awarded UN peacekeeping medals to 120 Jordanian officers already in the country.

According to the UN, the strengthened police component will enhance the provision of strategic advice and expertise to Liberian officers in the rule of law and operational support to the police and corrections sector as well as react to urgent security incidents.

The UN also cited Ms. Løj’s statement last September’s Security Council extension of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for another year saying it “represents the continued commitment of the UN to be unwavering and vigilant in maintaining peace and security in Liberia.”

“We are working with Liberian security forces, as well as with those from neighboring countries, to ensure that security is maintained at all times,” she added.

According to the UN, UNMIL was set up in 2003 to bolster a ceasefire agreement ending a war that killed almost 150,000 Liberians, mostly civilians, and sent 850,000 others fleeing to neighboring countries. As of the end of September this year it comprised over 12,700 uniformed personnel, including 11,465 troops and 1,037 police.

Jordan does a first, in UN's view
Photograph by Tania Ghosein

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