As part of the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the last batch of the Bangladeshi contingent finally left Nimba County, bringing to a close all UNMIL military and engineering activities in the county.
“The BANENR 23,” as the contingent was called, left its base in Ganta on May 11, after a decade long peacekeeping mission.
The multiple roles the engineering contingent played included the rehabilitation of primary roads, construction of culverts, and the disposal of unexploded rockets or bombs.
The departure of BANENR 23 brought sadness to many residents, who remembered their generosity to residents during their time in the county.
“Everything has an end and the Bangladeshi soldiers are finally leaving Nimba after many years here as peacekeepers,” said one resident.
He said “The Bangladeshi peacekeepers were known to be one of the most hospitable since their deployment in the county in 2003.”
The Bangladeshis carried out several community outreach activities, which included medical outreach, providing food aid to the needy, repairing alleys and assisting stranded vehicles, he recalled.
They were popularly known in Nimba County as “Bangladesh chop, chop,” because of their regular distribution of food items to the community.
UNMIL kept two contingents of Bangladeshi troops: the engineering and the infantry battalions in Nimba County since its deployment in Liberia in 2003.
A few years ago, the infantry battalion was replaced with a Ghanaian contingent, making it the first Ghanaian military to serve in Nimba County since the UN began its mission in Liberia.
Months ago, the infantry camp was finally closed and turned over to the Liberian security apparatus operating in Ganta.
The last batch was camped in the estate of the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC) and upon the drawdown, the camp was immediately returned to the Corporation.