Peacekeeping: January 14, 2004


The major component of Pakistani troops assigned to the United Nations mission in Liberia left Pakistan on a specially chartered UN aircraft. The 2,800 man contingent will be led by Brigadier Irfan Azam. Exactly one week prior, the United Nations indicated that it might request additional troops from Pakistan for further foreseen missions. The UN under secretary general for peacekeeping operations had just met with Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf to thank Pakistan for its contribution of troops and discuss further missions. Pakistan currently has over 5,300 troops and observers deployed in different parts of the world, including Congo, Sierra Leone, East Timor and Liberia, making Pakistan the largest peacekeeping troops contributor to the UN. 

The task of UN peacekeepers in Liberia became harder as of last month, when they began moving from the capital, Monrovia, into rebel-held areas. Only about 60% of the UN mission's mandated 15,000 peacekeepers have been deployed to the country so far, although this figure should reach 75% by the end of the month. - Adam Geibel


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