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Liberia: Challenges to Peace Process Remain

Liberia: Serious Challenges Remain to Ensure Peace Process Remains on Track - Annan

New York, Jun 24 2005 5:00PM

Despite tangible signs of progress in Liberia – notably its successful voter registration exercise and gains in strengthening the police force – significant challenges still need to be urgently addressed, including dealing with ex-combatants who are now resorting to violence and threatening to disrupt upcoming elections, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report.

“The remaining six months of the transition period are most important for laying the foundations for a peaceful and democratic Liberia. Any efforts to disrupt the electoral process should be expeditiously addressed,” Mr. Annan says in his latest report to the Security Council on the work of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

He said that the prolonged delays in providing reintegration opportunities for former fighters and in restructuring Liberia’s armed forces have been primarily due to funding shortfalls.

In that regard, he welcomed recent pledges to the reintegration programme by the European Commission, Sweden and the United States and urged other member States to consider providing the necessary technical and financial support to Liberia’s National Transitional Government to ensure the full implementation of military restructuring and retraining initiatives.

Mr. Annan said that it was disappointing that the Transitional Government had failed to improve economic governance, and the conclusions reached by a meeting of international partners that financial malfeasance, lack of transparency and an absence of accountability were threatening the transition process were causes for “deep concern.” The Secretary-General recommended that the Council give due consideration to the economic governance action plan developed by Liberia’s international partners, in cooperation with the Transitional Government.

He also recommended that the Security Council give favorable consideration to the authorization of an additional formed police unit of 120 officers, for an interim period of six months. “The deployment of such a unit is urgently required so that UNMIL has the requisite capacity to assist in addressing security emergencies during the electoral period,” he said.

ENDS

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