Liberian forces have taken full control of the country’s security for the first time in 13 years.
The forces took charge on Thursday following the withdrawal of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The UN peacekeeping mission was sent to Liberia in 2003 after two brutal civil wars. The country has over the past decade relied heavily on the 15,000 strong troops.
Liberia is ready and has done a lot to prepare itself
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon lauded the Liberian government and the people for the efforts they have made to work towards lasting peace.
“The Secretary-General recognizes the important role played by partners, in particular the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the Mano River Union, in supporting the consolidation of peace, security and stability in Liberia, and in overcoming the recent Ebola outbreak,” read a statement attributable to the secretary general.
“The continuing improvement in the security and stability of Liberia has enabled the United Nations to enter the final stage of its peacekeeping efforts in the country.”
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has welcomed the transition.
“Liberia is ready and has done a lot to prepare itself. Yes, the constraints of resources have not enabled us to go as far as we have wanted to go in terms of security training, in terms of logistics and incentive support for our security forces. But we have gone far enough for us to feel confident that our security will be able to protect the nation. But let me also point out that security will also have to be the responsibility of the people,” said Sirleaf.
Since Liberia’s civil war ended, UN troops has been supporting the West African nation to rebuild its institutions so it can maintain stability without its presence.