The Chinese peacekeeping contingent serving with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) over the weekend turned over a fleet of vehicles and 150 items of equipment and instruments to the Liberian Government for transportation, engineering, logistics and medical purposes.
The vehicles, earth-moving machines, ambulances and medical equipments, except weapons and personal belongings, are for use by the Government of Liberia (GOL).
Public sectors, including the Ministries of National Defense, Public Works, The Liberia National Police (LNP), the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), National Fire Service (NFS), the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital and the
Bong Mines Hospital are to benefit from the Chinese logistical support.
At the presentation ceremony last Friday, June 17, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue announced that, “All working and living facilities and equipment in the Chinese peacekeeping contingents’ camp and barracks will be left on the ground in Liberia.”
“With United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) drawdown, most of our peacekeepers will soon accomplish their mission and leave Liberia, but all the equipment and tools they are using will stay and continue to be utilized to serve the people of Liberia in both security and development sectors,” Ambassador Zhang stated.
Ambassador Zhang, however, disclosed that the Chinese Formed Police Unit (FPU) and part of the transportation and engineering contingents will stay until the end of the legislative and presidential elections in Liberia.
The Ambassador further emphasized that “Except weapons and personal belongings, our guys will take home nothing, not a single nail.”
He recalled that since 2003, China has contributed 22 batches of peacekeeping contingents and Formed Police Units to Liberia, with a total number of about 10,000 personnel.
He said besides fulfilling the peacekeeping mission, the Chinese peacekeepers also contributed to the social and economic development of the country by constructing and repairing roads, transporting logistical materials, providing medical services as well as joining in the fight against Ebola.
He maintained that China, being a good friend to Liberia, will continue to provide needed assistance to Liberia and that the equipment and instruments turned over to the government are not influenced by UN policy, but are a gesture of the Chinese government and people.
Ambassador Zhang urged Liberians to see UNMIL’s drawdown as a good sign, indicating that the security situation in Liberia has improved and its ability enhanced.
Defense Minister Brownie Samukai acknowledged that China has played tremendous roles in Liberia’s postwar development and met with all commitments it made in the bilateral relation existing between the two countries.
Minister Samukai added that Liberia has benefited in various areas from Liberia-China bilateral relations, and the logistical equipment turned over to government to benefit the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) is another big boost to the national army.
He commended Ambassador Zhang for his leadership role and assured that the materials provided will be efficiently used for their purposes.
The rest of the representatives from the benefiting sectors commended the government and people of China for the support.
Representatives of beneficiaries were present and made separate statements, except the LNP, whose representative, Prince Mulbah, was also at the occasion. He, however, signed the agreement between the LNP and the Chinese representative.