Consolidating the gains after UNMIL
After nearly 15 years of peacekeeping duty in Liberia characereised by Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of 100,000 ex-fighters from various armed militias and subsequently restoration of democratic leadership, the United Nations Mission in Liberia or UNMIL officially ended its mission here over the weekend, and turned over one of its key assets UNMIL Radio, to ECOWAS.
UNMIL came to Liberia in October 2003 after the last round of hostility and formation of the Liberia National Transitional Government, LNTG that headed by the late Gyude Bryant.
Yes, a 15,000 strong peacekeeping force came here and delivered peace because Liberians themselves were war-wearied. The peacekeepers left their respective countries and families to make sure Liberians enjoy peace again.
The peace the UN delivered in collaboration with the regional body ECOWAS enabled Liberians to enjoy 12 years of democratic governance and peaceful political transition in more than 170 years.
So many gains have been achieved since the guns went silent. Liberia has recuperated from being a failed state to becoming a respectable member of the Comity of Nations again.
Come what may, we as Liberians must do all within our means to consolidate the peace and continue the forward march to reconciliation, development and prosperity.
The Coalition government headed by President George Manneh Weah inherited a relatively peaceful country, thanks to the resilience of his immediate predecessor, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
It is the dividends of the peace, including a restructured national security force, proper governance structure, and strong regional and global partnership, among others that created the platform for this nation to return to civilian life and our children to return to school again and businesses to resume normal operation.
President George Weah should seize this opportunity to build on the gains already achieved. It is forward ever, backward never. Oh yes, we must preach reconciliation with a sober reflection on how far we have come and where we want to take the Motherland.
We say hat off to UNMIL and ECOWAS for serving the mission well. Liberians say thank you. We will forever remain grateful for the sacrifices made in getting this country back on the stage of peace, pluralistic democracy and economic revitalization.