UN security handover point of pride and fear in Liberia

Liberian soldiers take part in a training excercise as the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) hands back security to Liberia's military and policeAs Liberia’s security forces take over Thursday from UN peacekeepers for the first time since civil war ended 13 years ago, national pride is mixed with fears the underfunded police are not up to the task. Government forces and rebel groups raped, massacred and maimed hundreds of thousands of people during two conflicts between 1989 and 2003, and the highly politicised police and army were disbanded after committing some of the worse abuses. Since then UN peacekeepers have largely ensured the country’s security, though their numbers have dwindled from 15,000 in the aftermath of war to just under 4,000 today, as the nation’s re-trained forces were assimilated.

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