The United Nations Mission in Liberia or UNMIL has extended its operations in the country to September 30, 2015 in the wake of the Ebola outbreak. Speaking at a press briefing held at the Mission’s headquarters in the Plaza building in Monrovia, the Special Representative of Secretary General, Ms. Karin Landgren, told reporters that because of the crisis in the country, the Security Council has tabled UNMIL drawdown and security transition in Liberia.
The SRSG said the Council’s focus was entirely on the destabilizing impact of Ebola and its economic, social, political and security consequences that are already being felt. Prices have risen; economic growth and school going children are not in school. She also said the greatest treat Liberia has had since the civil war is Ebola, and UNMIL will remain here until Ebola is eradicated.
Ms. Landgren has said since the outbreak in the country, UNMIL formed police have facilitated Ebola sensitization training for 500 officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) to protect Ebola responds teams ahead of deployment to affected areas as well as provided training materials to the LNP and Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization officers across the country.
UNMIL is also working with national counterparts to help mitigate the risk of Ebola outbreak in prison by helping to reduce overcrowding through addressing the extremely high rate of pretrial detention.
SRSG Landgren also noted that Liberia’s health system collapsed because it has been overwhelmed by the pandemic and many health care workers are afraid to return to the job following the death of most of their colleagues from the Ebola virus.