UN forces returning control of security to Liberia

imgAfter devastating back-to-back civil wars in Liberia, the UN launched a peacekeeping mission in September 2003 to ensure security, rebuild police and military forces from scratch, and disarm rebels.
On June 30, the mission known as Unmil finally hands back security to Liberia’s military and police.
In August 2003 a peace agreement was signed in Liberia that ended the second of two civil wars that killed hundreds of thousands and displaced many more.
The four-year war pitched rebels unhappy with then president Charles Taylor, a former warlord and rebel leader, against troops loyal to him.
Many of these fighters had barely hit their teens when they took up arms, but went on to seize four-fifths of the country, some backed by neighbouring Guinea.
The United Nations Security Council cited the number of internally displaced people, the dire humanitarian situation and the need to oversee the implementation of the ceasefire as reasons for an immediate deployment of a large peacekeeping mission.
Sweeping UN sanctions were imposed after the conflict, including travel bans, assets freezes and a ban on lumber and diamond exports.

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