Jordan to boost UN Police presence in Liberia with additional formed police unit

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Monrovia, Liberia - UN Envoy, Ellen Margrethe Løj, has welcomed Jordan's decision to boost the UN Police (UNPOL) presence in Liberia by providing an additional formed police unit (FPU), which is due to arrive in Liberia in December this year. Ms. Løj made the statement when she awarded UN peacekeeping medals to 120 officers of the Jordanian Formed Police Unit for their contribution to peace and stability in Liberia.

"This will be the first such deployment in keeping with the Secretary-General's recommendation to boost UNPOL's presence in Liberia by increasing the number of formed police units," the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) said. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made this recommendation in his seventeenth progress report on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to the Security Council, which endorsed the proposal for an increase by 240 police officers of the authorized deployment for the Mission. The strengthened police component will enhance the provision of strategic advice and expertise to their Liberian counterparts in the rule of law field, and operational support to regular activities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and Corrections sector, among others, as well as react to urgent security incidents.

The UN Envoy commended the Jordanian police officers for supporting the LNP in various ways, particularly in dealing with "mob violence". Urging the Jordanian police officers to demonstrate the "patience and reserve" that was necessary to support their Liberian colleagues, Ms. Løj pointed out that there was a lot of peace building and development work to be done to ensure that Liberia did not slide back into conflict and chaos. "Development is crucial for sustainable peace and security; and to achieve development, Liberians must be empowered to control their circumstances," she noted.

Currently, of the 120 Jordanian FPU officers in Liberia, 85 are assigned in Monrovia, while the remaining 35 are deployed at the Zwedru Palace of Corrections in Grand Gedeh County.

The SRSG further said the extension of UNMIL's mandate by the Security Council, "represents the continued commitment of the UN to be unwavering and vigilant in maintaining peace and security in Liberia," adding that, "we are working with Liberian security forces, as well as with those from neighbouring countries, to ensure that security is maintained at all times."

Contingent Commander of the Jordanian Formed Police Unit, Major Alhasanat Abdulla, said their presence in Liberia was a demonstration of his country's commitment to the cause of peace and to help to fully restore peace, order and the rule of law to Liberia.

Attending the ceremony were the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Rule of Law, Ms. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, UNPOL Commissioner, Mr. Henrik Stiernblad, Ambassador of Lebanon and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Liberia, His Excellency Mansour Abdallah, and a number of senior UNPOL officials.