China backs Liberian peacekeepers

Sept. 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM

BEIJING, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The Chinese government said it was sending 140 members of a police unit to deploy alongside U.N. peacekeepers in Liberia.

The U.N. Mission in Liberia is ensuring the sustainability of a 2003 cease-fire ending a civil war in the country that left around 150,000 people dead. Its mandate was extended for another year in mid-September by the U.N. Security Council.

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security said Sunday a 14-man team is on its way to Liberia and the remaining members of the riot squad unit would deploy "in a few days," China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

In deciding to extend the mandate for the U.N. Mission in Liberia, the Security Council last year determined "the situation in Liberia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region."

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told the U.N. General Assembly last week her country has come "a long way" since civil war ended in 2003 but has "an even longer way to go."

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