Liberia at a Crossroads: A Preliminary Look at the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the Protection of Civilians

"This paper is a preliminary attempt to look at the role of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in the protection of civilians. In this vein, the paper will briefly explore the political and diplomatic developments leading to the deployment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mission in Liberia (ECOMIL), its mandate and its impact on the Liberian peace process. The paper then focuses on the UNMIL,particularly its broad mandate, deployment and the implementation of critical peacekeeping and peace-building tasks, notably disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR), reform of the security sector, issues of human rights as well as the rule of law and transitional justice. These issues will be analysed with the aim of highlighting their crucial importance to the overall peace process in general and the protection of civilians in particular."