The Force Commander of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Lt.-Gen. ATM Zahirul Alam, says the role of UNMIL in consolidating peace and stability in Liberia would positively impact on the future of Sierra Leone and the entire region. General Alam was speaking in Freetown, capital of the Republic of Sierra Leone, where he represented the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia, Ms. Ellen Margrethe Løj, and awarded UN peacekeeping medals to 250 UNMIL Mongolian soldiers. The Mongolian soldiers are providing security for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Assuring both Liberians and Sierra Leoneans of the role of UNMIL, the Force Commander said, “UNMIL will remain vigilant and committed to a broader agenda of peace building and support to the governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone, in consolidating the rule of law and capacity building of national institutions.” Lt.-Gen. Alam warned that any attempt to reverse the gains made so far by UNMIL would be met by firm action.
Commending the Mongolian Guard Force for discharging their duties with professionalism and dedication, Lt.-Gen. Alam added that Mongolia has proven her fidelity and commitment to the ideals, principles and objectives of the United Nations. “The Mongolian people have shown the world how deeply they value international peace and security,” he noted.
The Force Commander specifically thanked Colonel Batjargal Purevdorj, the Commanding Officer of the Mongolian Contingent, for his able and exemplary leadership. “But most importantly, I commend every one of you here today. The Liberian and Sierra Leonean people appreciate all that you have been doing for them,” he emphasized.
Mongolian soldiers have been deployed in Sierra Leone since the Security Council Resolution 1626 of December 2005, which tasked UNMIL to provide a military guard force at the Special Court. They provide security for the premises of the Special Court for Sierra Leone; they provide convoy protection for detainees when they are moved outside the Special Court’s compound; and they are ready at all times to evacuate the officials and detainees of the Court in cooperation with UNMIL’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF).
Attending the medal award ceremony were Retired Major Palor Conteh, Minister of Defence of Sierra Leone, UNMIL Military Chief of Staff, Brig.-Gen. Emmanuel Quist, Director of Mission Support of UNMIL, Mr. Stephen Lieberman, officials of the UN Integrated Peace Building Office in Sierra Leone and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and other senior military officials of Sierra Leone and UNMIL.