IPI HomeEventsSpeakers EventsLøj: Elections "Test Case" for Liberia

 

print print  |  share share back back

Speaker Events - Friday, March 18, 2011

Løj: Elections "Test Case" for Liberia

Ellen Margrethe Løj, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Mission in Liberia, said at an IPI event on March 18th that the fall elections in Liberia "would be a test case for the Liberians’ willingness to continue on the road to sustainable peace and development."

"These elections have to be run 100 percent by the Liberians themselves, and in accordance with the Liberian constitution," she said, though "not without support from the international community."

She warned that the elections—and Liberia's stability—could be compromised by the fraught situation in Côte d'Ivoire. The crisis there has also created a refugee emergency in Liberia.

"Ivorians are fleeing to Liberia, and we have now over 90,000 refugees in a very limited area bordering Côte d'Ivoire," she said. “We are now getting reports about tension building between the host communities and the refugees."

In addition, she said, "there are a lot of weapons around in Côte d'Ivoire," and many of them are ending up in Liberia.

According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, the UN mission has stepped up its military and police presence along the 700-kilometer-long border. Agence France-Presse reported that hundreds of mercenaries from Liberia have crossed the border into Côte d’Ivoire and are committing atrocities there.

"We need all the focus we can have on finding a political solution in Côte d'Ivoire, she said. "We need that for the people of Côte d’Ivoire, but we need it for the whole West African region."

Ms. Løj noted that historically crises in West Africa quickly spill over into neighboring countries. "We should do everything in our power to avoid that happening again," she said.

 Read transcript

The Global Observatory

Boko Haram Deal to Release Girls Met With Hope and Skepticism
The announcement of a cease-fire agreement between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram has raised hope as well as speculations over its authenticity.

Key Global Events to Watch in October
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

October 09, 2014
Rethinking Women and Forced Migration
The drastic increase in conflicts around the globe has seen the world’s displaced population pass 55 million people, and the fact that 80% of them are women and children is prompting many to rethink how the international community is responding.

October 09, 2014
Africa: China’s Second Continent
Speaking at an IPI Distinguished Author Series event on October 9th, author Howard French made a case for how Western underestimation of Africa’s economic promise has enabled China to establish an economic and human presence on the continent, leading to the permanent migration there of nearly 2 million Chinese.

September 30, 2014
Vike-Freiberga: Rethinking the United Nations
In a speech delivered at IPI on September 30th, Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga gave a sobering historical analysis of the gains and setbacks made by the international system over the past century and, focusing on the UN, she called for a rethinking of the organization’s structure and approach to peace.

View More