House Extols UNMIL Ahead of March 31 Departure

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Flashback: (from right) UNMIL SRSG Farid Zarif, along with Deputies Yacoub El Hillo and Waldemar Vrey at the Capitol for the first State of the Nation Address by President Weah (Jan. 2018)

–For Liberia’s Peace and Development, But Wants Strong Monitoring Mechanisms in Place to Advise UN Headquarters On Political Developments

Ahead of the final departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia on March 31, after 15 years in the country, the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature, through a joint resolution has acknowledged UNMIL for its enormous contributions towards the country’s peace and development.

Thirty-three members of the House affixed their signatures to the joint resolution on Tuesday, March 20, during the 18th day sitting, constituting a simple majority, and was forwarded to the Senate for concurrence.

If at least 17 Senators affixed their signatures, it will be the second resolution, known as Resolution LEG 002/2018.

House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers

In the resolution, the lawmakers acknowledged the invaluable role of UNMIL’s various sections and capacities, including the Political Section, Rule of Law Section, Peace Consolidation and Logistics Section and Radio, which have facilitated Liberia’s democratic progress and supported the successful conduct of four major elections – 2005, 2011, 2015 and, only recently, the 2017 historic presidential elections and peaceful transition from one democratically elected government to another.

“Recognizing that the inestimable sacrifices of the various UN Special Representatives of the Secretary General (SRSG) deployed in Liberia to lead the UN’s engagements in the past 14 years and, in particular, the distinguished role of the current Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UNMIL, Ambassador Farid Zarif and his Deputies Waldemar Very, DSRSG for Political Affairs and Rule of Law; Yacoub El Hillo, DSRSG for Peace Consolidation, Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in galvanizing the UN intervention in Liberia, including strong advocacy for women political participation; and especially Ambassador Zarif’s excellent political good offices’ support and coordination of international partners’ efforts towards the success of the recent Presidential Elections of 26 December 2017 and peaceful democratic transition on 22 January 2018,” the joint resolution said.

Members of the Mongolian contingent of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) perform a tactical exercise prior to receiving medals of honour, in recognition for their service. 26/Nov/2008. UN Photo/Christopher Herwig. www.unmultimedia.org/photo/

It added: “Aware that UNSCR 2333 of December 2016 has authorized the final closure and departure of UNMIL on 31 March 2018, and that SRSG Ambassador Farid Zarif and his team of predecessors and technicians have made enormous personal and collective sacrifices in Liberia to restoring peace, institutionalizing multi-party democracy and facilitating the strengthening of governance institutions, human rights, rule of law and security and gender parity.”

“Now, therefore, it is hereby resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia in Legislature assembled as follows, to: Commend the UN and all Member States for their inestimable support to Liberia’s peace, stability recovery, political and economic transformation in the last 14 years; further commend the SRSG, H.E. Ambassador Farid Zarif and his Deputies and all UNMIL staffs past and present, for their creative and committed role towards Liberia’s political and economic transformation, reconciliation and peace consolidation and encourage the UN Security Council to continue to keep Liberia on its top priority agenda with focus on supporting the consolidation of the new democratic government of President George Manneh Weah and put in place a strong monitoring mechanism to advise the UN Headquarters on political developments in Liberia,” it concluded.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It is good to be grateful, but better to be smart also. Given UNMIL’s many faults of commission and omission over the years, our Legislators should be tempering their exuberant expressions of gratitude with an official request that the UN Security Council dispatch a Special Ad Hoc Mission to undertake a comprehensive critical evaluation of UNMIL’s job performance in Liberia. This, against the backdrop of the very high level of corruption, nepotism, cronyism, etc, that was permitted under UNMIL’s watch, to the detriment of the vast majority of the Liberian people, especially their WOMEN and CHILDREN.

  2. Kortuwah might be correct. After so many years of peacekeeping in Liberia, it might be a brilliant idea for something to be looked into. Something! Or maybe, somethings! For instance, Oxfam is a charitable organization, or maybe an NGO. When earthquake devastated Haiti almost a decade ago, Oxfam dispatched its aid workers to Haiti in order to save humanity.
    However recently, a scathing report stipulated that some of Oxfam’s officials “performed hanky-panky” duties on Haitian women and maybe on Haitian men while providing earthquake relief work in Haiti. The question is how did such a report come to light? The answer is simple. An evaluation of aid workers was requested. After the evaluation was done, there was a negative discovery and so an investigation became imperative. The official report of “some” of Oxfam’s aid workers found that these aid workers became extremely improvident and to a larger degree, some aid workers barbarized the very people they were ordered to help.
    Well, UNMIL and Oxfam are both lifesavers. Whereas UNMIL’S members were armed in Liberia, Oxfam’s aid workers are unarmed. Regardless of whether UNMIL is armed, it might be helpful for the world body to be informed about its activities in Liberia during the last 15 years.

    When ECOMOG went to Liberia, its presence was felt in so many funny ways. Yes, ECOMOG kept the peace, but in some extreme situations, poor Liberian women bored the brunt of responsibility. Too many “ecokids” were born out of wedlock to those ECOMOG men. If the Liberian government did not investigate ECOMOG, it was a serious blunder. This time around, I think such a mistake should not be made.

  3. The word “ecokids” does not exist in the English dictionary. In order words ladies and gentlemen, I created the word while living in Chicago during the early 90s.

    The word is a derivative of two words: ECOMOG + kids. The kids of ECOMOG soldiers and unfledged Liberian women are the ones I call ecokids. This issue is serious and sad. Such kids fall in the category of latchkey kids. The kids were brought up by their Liberian mothers and other family members because their biological fathers returned to their respective countries after the Liberian uncivil war. God knows my heart. I have no evil in my heart for those kids (most likely grown men and women) but sympathy. I hope that my clarification makes sense.

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