— House Speaker Chambers
House Speaker Bhofal Chambers has told a New York-based United Nations personnel visiting Liberia on assignment of the UN’s Department of Peace Operations that the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was too focused with governing than running a people partnership agenda.
Herbert J. Loret, program manager for UNMIL Legacy Report Project under the Department of Peace Operations of the UN, along with Josh Jorgensen, a Consultant also of the UN’s Department of Peace Operations, are in the country on a review of the works, approach and activities of the defunct UNMIL.
The aim is to get the lessons learned in the Liberian story, and what the UN could improve on, or do away with for the future and now in other conflict hot-spots around the world.
In his office at the Capitol on Thursday, June 27, 2019, Speaker Chambers argued that UNMIL’s focus with the GoL changed some of the structures of the framework of institutions.
He maintained that UNMIL even attempted to undo conventional practices in the security sector command when it worked with the previous government, and proposed tenure of service for persons heading the security institutions.
Speaker chambers said that the UN needs to consider working with countries like Liberia where it succeeded in keeping and building peace and transitioned its engagement, to help build technical skills and capacity, wherein countries like Liberia can benefit in working with the UN to attract investments and proffer good economic modules for sustainable growth.
Chambers informed a UN Rapporteur, Herbert J. Loret, that the agency performed “very well in challenging times and environment by keeping the peace, with the deployment of armed troops to deter would-be troublemakers and, thereafter, work with state actors in peace building.”
He further informed Mr. Loret that UNMIL, in its early days in the country, commenced its mission on a good footing and imparted Liberia in many positive ways, ranging from manning the peace, security and the economy.
He said the mission conducted a disarmament process under the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation and Resettlement (DDRR) program amid challenges, but stated that the mission’s approach to contract and dealings with some of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the execution of paramilitary works outside the government security structure, entertained an inflicted number of ex-combatants in the DDRR process, which did not achieve its fullness as envisaged in the program.