Years of political and social instability left Liberia heavily burdened by the political and humanitarian costs of 14 years of bloody civil war. The conflict has claimed the lives of at least 200,000 civilians and permanently marked women and children with the signs of sexual exploitation. From the outset, the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS), in cooperation with the United Nations, undertook several initiatives aimed at finding a peaceful political solution to the conflict. However, delays in the implementation of the peace agreement brokered in Cotonou, Benin, in 1993, and the resuming of fighting between Government forces and other opposition factions, urged the Security Council to adopt the Resolution 1497/2003 authorizing the establishment of a new multinational force to be deployed in the country in October of the same year. As requested by the Liberian parties in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in Accra in August, the Security Council was tasked with the responsibility to deploy, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). The mission is a multidimensional operation that ensure coordination of the United Nations’ response with those of the humanitarian and development community. It is also made up of political, military, police, criminal justice, civil affairs, human rights, gender, child protection, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, public information and support components, as well as an electoral component in due course.
In light of its mandate, which is primarily focused on humanitarian assistance support and on helping implementing justice reforms and security institutions, the PBC Expert-level meeting held on 18 April, was focused on giving updates about the latest developments of the peacebuilding plan and of the upcoming elections, that will be called in October 2017. Representatives from the UNMIL Headquarters in Monrovia gave details about the current budgetary situation as well as the next steps to take within the framework of the upcoming elections.
Read the complete report on the meeting here.
This update was written by Francesca Cocomera.