Zwedru, Liberia – The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Operations and Rule of Law, Mr. Luiz Carlos da Costa, visited southeastern Liberia yesterday, to assess the needs of Grand Gedeh County as part of UNMIL’s continued efforts to extend the rule of law to all parts of the country.
At a meeting with the Superintendent of Grand Gedeh County and other local authorities, DSRSG da Costa said: “We will review the needs of the county. Liberia is just finalizing its long-term recovery and development strategy, and together with our international partners and the Government of Liberia, UNMIL will endeavour to see that the needs of the county are met”.
County Superintendent Christopher Bailey highlighted the priorities that needed urgent attention, and urged UNMIL to reinforce good governance and increase security by assisting the local administration and the Liberia National Police (LNP). He stressed the need for material and logistical support including transportation to enable the officers to perform their duties. He also highlighted the lack of employment opportunities and education facilities and the shortage of reintegration programmes for former combatants. The Superintendent commended the UN family in Zwedru for their hard work and close collaboration with the local authorities.
After visiting the Grand Gedeh County LNP detachment, Mr. da Costa proceeded to visit the Circuit Court currently being rehabilitated by UNMIL’s Quick Impact Project. Explaining the purpose of his visit to the local media, the DSRSG said: “As part of our support to the Liberian government, UNMIL has prioritized the rehabilitation of the infrastructure needed to ensure the rule of law. We are therefore rebuilding police stations, court houses and detention centers throughout the country.” The DSRSG also visited the National Palace of Corrections, another reconstruction project undertaken by the UNMIL Corrections Unit in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“We have just issued our Quarterly Report on Human Rights in Liberia. Together with the Government, we are working on addressing a number of human rights violations taking place in Liberia.” Mr. da Costa said while referring to the general human rights situation in the country.
Mr. da Costa also held discussions with UNMIL civilian staff, the Ethiopian contingent and the Chinese Engineers deployed in the county on the challenges that they faced and their priorities for the coming months. He encouraged all UNMIL personnel to remain committed to their humanitarian work.