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      United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)

 

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was established by Security Council resolution 1509 (2003) of 19 September 2003 to support the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the peace process; protect United Nations staff, facilities and civilians; support humanitarian and human rights activities; as well as assist in national security reform, including national police training and formation of a new, restructured military.


 
Background

The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) took over peacekeeping operations from the ECOWAS vanguard force, ECOWAS Mission in Liberia (ECOMIL), on 1 October 2003. Approximately 3,600 ECOMIL troops, comprising contingents from Nigeria, Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo were reassigned to UNMIL as United Nations peacekeepers. As of 31 December 2005, UNMIL troop’s strength stood at 14,824 personnel from 49 troop contributing countries. UNMIL started a draw down plan in August 2007 and as of 18 September 2008, UNMIL troop strength stood at 11,649 personnel.

UNMIL troops are deployed throughout Liberia in four sectors. Each Sector was composed of a brigade size force with full combat, engineering and medical support elements. The second phase of the drawdown will see the reorganization of the four Sectors into two Sectors with four battalions in each sector.

 

Force Headquarters

The UNMIL Force is currently commanded by Maj.-Gen. C S Modey, who is the substantive Deputy Force Commander. Brig.-Gen. E C Quist is the Chief of Staff. The Force Troops consist of one Mechanized battalion (Pakistan), which is UNMIL's Quick Reaction Force (FQRF), a Guard Company (Philippines), two Engineering Companies (Bangladesh, Pakistan), one Transport Company (China), one Military Police Company (Nepal), Level 3 Hospital (Jordan), and an Aviation Unit (Ukraine).

Sector 1

Sector 1 area of responsibility covers Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa and River Cess counties. The Sector Headquarters is located at the James Spriggs Payne Airfield, Monrovia. Within this Sector, the two Nigerian battalions are based in Sinkor and Virginia with the Ghanaian battalion in Buchanan and a supporting Pakistani Engineering Unit in Careysburg.

Sector 2

Sector 2 covers the counties of Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Lofa. Its headquarters is based in Tubmanburg, Bomi County. Military units within this Sector include two Pakistani battalions located at Tubmanburg and Voinjama with a Pakistani Level 2 Hospital and Engineering Company based in Tubmanburg.

Sector 3

Sector 3 consists of the counties of Nimba and Bong with its headquarters in Gbarnga. Two Bangladeshi battalions, a Bangladeshi Engineering Company and a Level 2 Hospital are located in this Sector.

Sector 4

Sector 4 covers most of south-eastern Liberia with its Headquarters in Zwedru. It consists of the counties of Sinoe, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru and Maryland. Military units in this Sector are two Ethiopian Infantry battalions, a Chinese Engineering Company and Level 2 Hospital.

Present Activities of UNMIL Force

Military Contingents

The most important role of the troops is to create a credible deterrence to anti-peace elements by ensuring visible presence all over Liberia. Presently, the force is engaged in different security operations in collaboration with the Liberian National Police and other security agencies to assist the Liberian security institutions in maintaining peace and stability and also to establish the rule of law.

Military Observers (UNMOs)

UNMOs are deployed to specific area of operations to act as unarmed neutral and impartial representatives of the international community under the auspices of the UN. They act as the “Eyes and Ears “of the UNMIL Force and are tasked to closely monitor and identify any negative impact on security and stability. UNMOs conduct routine mobile patrols visiting preselected locations on a regular basis, aerial patrols to some areas not accessible by road, and special patrols to monitor special events or situations. The UNMOs in effect operate side by side with the formed troops.

Road Rehabilitation Projects

UNMIL engineers are presently engaged in rehabilitation of various roads in the country as well as maintenance of all main and secondary supply routes, installation and maintenance of the Bailey Bridges on different roads, and maintenance of runways at the Roberts International Airport, Spriggs Payne airfield and Greenville airfield.
UNMIL engineers also engage in the disposal of Unexploded Ordnances and various Civilian-Military Coordination (CIMIC) activities.

 

Medical outreach

UNMIL has well established field hospitals and medical units at battalion, sector and force headquarters levels. These hospitals regularly conduct medical outreaches to provide basic health care to the local people. In a week, UNMIL medical establishments provide medical treatment to an average of 1000 to 1100 locals throughout Liberia. Presently, their efforts are directed towards the capacity building of Liberian health care and medical institutions.

 
 
Headquarters
  • Monrovia
Duration
  • November 2003- to date
Participation

Pakistan is providing a Sector HQ along with Signal Company, two infantry battalions, two Multi Role Engineer coys, one Road & Air Field Maintenance Company, one Level-II hospital.


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