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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Fiji Peacekeepers Faring Well In Liberia

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Friday August  12, 2011, Monrovia, Liberia: The Fiji Contingent of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is performing well to high expectations in spite of the many challenges of working in a post-conflict country. From 1989 to 2003 Liberia was torn apart by a civil war that reduced the country to one of the world's poorest. Fiji's 28-strong contingent, comprised of men and women of the Fiji Police Force rotated annually, has served with UNMIL since 2004.

The Fiji Contingent serves throughout Liberia, a West African State with a population of 3.5 million, working in tandem with the Liberian National Police. The Fiji Contingent is part of the authorised strength of 1375 officers of UNMIL's Police Force.

This week the Fiji Contingent gathered in the capital, Monrovia, to meet Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Peter Thomson, who passed on the thanks and respect of the UN Secretariat for the contingent's service. Ambassador Thomson said the Government of Fiji was proud of the contingent's achievements and urged them to safeguard the good name of Fiji in the UNMIL legacy.

Contingent Commander, SSP Hari Chand, reported that Liberia was adapting to the various reforms being instituted by the Government and UNMIL. He said that a great deal of UNMIL focus was now upon the national referendum, to be followed later this year by Liberia's general elections.

During his visit to Liberia, Ambassador Thomson will meet with UNMIL's leaders, including the commanders of the military and police forces, to assess conditions and progress. At the conclusion of his visit he will attend the UNMIL Medal Award Ceremony at which the Fiji Contingent will be presented with service medals.

(Photo caption: Fiji Contingent with Ambassador Thomson)