Saturday, September 15, 2012

'Combat Impunity': Final Resolution Adopted by the UN Security Council on Liberia


The Security Council,
PP1. Recalling its resolutions and statements by its President concerning the situation in Liberia and the sub-region, in particular its resolutions 2008 (2011), 1971 (2011), 1938 (2010), 1885 (2009), 1836 (2008), and 1509 (2003),
PP2. Welcoming the Secretary-General’s report of 12 April 2012 (S/2012/230) and taking note of its recommendations andalso welcoming the Secretary-General’s report of 15 August 2012 (S/2012/641),
PP3. Commending the people and Government of Liberia for holding a national referendum, presidential and legislative elections in 2011, and recognizing the support provided by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to achieve them,
PP4. Commending the Government of Liberia for signing the Table Mountain Declaration, and encouraging the Government to advance free press and free expression,
PP5. Expressing appreciation for the assistance provided by both the Government and the Liberian people to the Ivoirian refugees that have relocated temporarily in eastern Liberia,
PP6. Welcoming the Peacebuilding Commission’s contribution to security sector reform, rule of law, and national reconciliation,
PP7. Encouraging the efforts to ensure adequate human rights presence, capacity, and expertise within UNMIL to carry out human rights promotion, protection, and monitoring activities,
PP8. Calling on the Government of Liberia to continue its efforts to further national reconciliation and economic recovery, and to combat corruption and promote efficiency and good governance, in particular by continuing to strengthen Government transparency and accountability in effectively managing Liberia’s natural resources, and noting with concern the continued slow progress on the important issue of land reform,
PP9. Recognizing that lasting stability in Liberia and the subregion will require well-functioning, accountable, and sustainable government institutions, including security and rule of law sectors,
PP10. Recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010) on women, peace, and security, concerned about the continuing high incidence of sexual and gender-based violence, calling for renewed efforts by the Government of Liberia in coordination with UNMIL to promote and protect the rights of civilians, in particular women and children, and reaffirming the importance of appropriate gender expertise and training in missions mandated by the Security Council,
PP11. Noting that UNMIL’s mandate includes assisting the Government of Liberia to consolidate peace and stability, with national institutions that are able to maintain security independently of a peacekeeping mission to ensure the future stability of Liberia; recalling the transition benchmarks for the drawdown phase of UNMIL, including the implementation of core benchmarks for the Liberia National Police and implementation of the national security strategy,
PP12. Urgingintensified effort by the Government of Liberia towards achieving progress on the transition of security responsibilities from UNMIL to the national authorities, particularly with regard to prioritizing and resourcing the critical gaps and improving the capacity and capability of the Liberia National Police and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization,
PP13. Noting that the Government of Liberia has the primary responsibility to reform the security sector, and calling on the Government to cooperate fully and work with UNMIL to demonstrate substantive progress in the reform and restructuring of the justice sector,
PP14. Recognizing the significant challenges that remain across all sectors, including continuing problems with violent crime, and recognizing that the instability in Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose cross-border security challenges for Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire,
PP15. Commending the work of UNMIL, under the leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), for its continuing and significant contribution to maintaining peace and stability in Liberia, and noting with satisfaction the increasing cooperation between UNMIL and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), as well as the neighbouring Governments, in coordinating security and judicial activities in the border areas in the sub-region,
PP16. Noting with concern the cross-border threats to sub-regional stability, including to Liberia, in particular threats posed by illicit drug trafficking, organized crime, and illicit arms,
PP17. Expressing its appreciation to the international community, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), for their continuing support to consolidate peace, security and stability in Liberia and the region,
PP18. Welcoming the efforts of the Secretary-General to keep all peacekeeping operations, including UNMIL, under close review and reiterating the need for the Council to pursue a rigorous, strategic approach to peacekeeping deployments,
PP19. Determining that the situation in Liberia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,
PP20. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Decides that the mandate of UNMIL shall be extended until 30 September 2013;
2. Emphasizes that the Government of Liberia bears primary and ultimate responsibility for security and, recognizing that the Government must prioritize in order to best utilize its available resources, decides that UNMIL’s primary tasks are to continue to support the Government in order to solidify peace and stability in Liberia and to protect civilians, and that UNMIL shall also support the Government’s efforts, as appropriate, to achieve a successful transition of complete security responsibility to the Liberia National Police (LNP) by strengthening the LNP’s capabilities to manage existing personnel, improve training programs to expedite their readiness to assume security responsibilities, and coordinate these efforts with all partners, including the Government of Liberia, the national police leadership, and donor partners;
3. Encourages the Government of Liberia and UNMIL to continue to make progress in the transition planning process and address the critical gaps that need to be filled in order to facilitate a successful transition, including by prioritizing tasks, to include promotion of human rights and reconciliation, assess security challenges inclusive of the border, strengthen democratic institutions and extend state authority and services throughout the country;
4. Endorses the Secretary-General’s recommendation, contained in the report S/2012/230, that UNMIL’s current military strength of seven infantry battalions shall decrease by four infantry battalions and related enablers, totaling approximately 4,200 personnel, in three phases between September 2012 and July 2015, subject to and consistent with conditions in the area of operations, leaving UNMIL’s military strength at three infantry battalions and related enablers, totaling approximately 3,750 personnel, by July 2015, and in that respect authorizes the Secretary-General to implement the first phase reducing the military component by 1,990 personnel between October 2012 and September 2013;
5. Further decides to increase the number of UNMIL’s authorized formed police units by three additional units, totaling 420 personnel, from its current strength of seven formed police units, totaling 1,375 personnel, for a new authorized ceiling of 1,795 personnel, and further decides that such additional units shall be deployed to Liberia as soon as available, with the first unit deploying no later than January 2013;
6. Emphasizes that future reconfigurations of UNMIL should be determined on the basis of the evolution of the situation on the ground and on the achievement of an improved capacity of the Government of Liberia to effectively protect the population through the establishment of sustainable and effective security forces with a view to progressively take over UNMIL’s security role;
7. Recognizes that this transition will require qualified specialist advisors to assist and support the SRSG in working with the Government of Liberia to meet transition goals, and requeststhe Secretary-General to ensure that UNMIL has the requisite qualified specialist advisors who have the experience and professional skills appropriate to this transition phase in order to enhance mentoring in priority areas, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s report S/2012/230; and requests that such qualified specialist advisors be made available to the SRSG to fill gaps that might exist in meeting the goal of increasing the capacity of the Government of Liberia, particularly the LNP, to implement sustainable rule of law, justice, governance and SSR programs, including mechanisms to hold perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence accountable;
8. Emphasizes that in order to be sustainable, the transition planning process should take into account broad challenges, including governance and the rule of law as well as the political context, and calls on UNMIL to make the appropriate internal adjustments and, at the request of the Government of Liberia, and consistent with its mandate, support the people and the Government of Liberia in taking forward the identified priorities, including national reconciliation, constitutional reform and decentralization, while enhancing its support for security sector and rule of law reforms;
9. Reiterates its calls on the Government of Liberia to continue to combat sexual and gender-based violence and, in coordination with UNMIL, to continue to combat impunity for perpetrators of such crimes and to provide redress, support, and protection to victims;
10. Encourages UNMIL to ensure regular interaction with the civilian population to raise awareness and understanding about its mandate and activities, within existing resources;
11. Requests UNMIL to continue to support the participation of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, including in decision-making roles in post-conflict governance institutions, appointed and elected in Liberia, within existing resources;
12. Calls upon the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia to continue to enhance their cooperation, particularly with respect to the border area, including through increasing monitoring, information sharing and conducting coordinated actions, and in developing and implementing a shared border strategy to inter alia support the disarmament and repatriation of foreign armed elements on both sides of the border and the voluntary return of refugees;
13. Calls upon the United Nations in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, including all components of UNOCI and UNMIL, within their respective mandates, capabilities and areas of deployment, to enhance their support for the stabilization of the border area, including through their increased cooperation and the development of a shared, strategic vision and plan, in support of the Ivoirian and Liberian authorities;
14. Takes note of the endorsement, in its resolution 2062 (2012), of the Secretary-General’s recommendation to transfer the three armed helicopters, currently deployed in UNMIL, to UNOCI, to be used in both Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia along and across their border;
15. Calls upon the donor community to support the Government of Liberia, as well as the United Nations, and other humanitarian actors, as appropriate, in their response to the Ivoirian refugees still present in Liberia;
16. Emphasizes the need for coherence between, and integration of, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and development to achieve an effective response to post-conflict situations, requests that the Secretary-General, in conjunction with the United Nations Country Team and international partners, to continue to coordinate and collaborate with the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), and calls for the timely completion of the justice and security hubs, with requisite full staffing to make these hubs fully operational, to contribute to improved access to justice and security services throughout Liberia; and encourages the PBC, following close consultation with the Government of Liberia, to continue to report on the findings of its missions and its recommendations on how it can accelerate progress on security sector reform, rule of law, and national reconciliation;
17. Underscores the importance that the military concept of operations and rules of engagement be regularly updated and be fully in line with the provisions of this resolution, and requests the Secretary-General to report on them to the Security Council and troop-contributing countries;
18. Further underscores the importance for the Government of Liberia, in coordination with UNMIL, the United Nations Country Team and international partners, to continue to develop national security and rule of law institutions that are fully and independently operational, and to this end continues to encourage coordinated progress on the implementation of the Security and Justice Development Plans and the National Human Rights Action Plan;
19. Encourages ECOWAS and the Mano River Union to continue to develop, with the support of UNOWA, a sub-regional strategy to address the threat of the cross-border movements of armed groups and weapons as well as illicit trafficking, with the assistance of UNOCI and UNMIL, as appropriate, and provide regular updates on progress towards the development of such a sub-regional strategy in the upcoming relevant reports of the Secretary-General;
20. Further requests the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed of the situation on the ground as UNMIL continues its reconfiguration, progress towards achieving the transitional benchmarks, and development of a transition plan with the Government of Liberia, inclusive of priority elements cited in paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, and to provide to it a midterm report no later than 28 February 2013 and a final report no later than 15 August 2013 on the situation on the ground and the implementation of this resolution;
21. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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