UN talks to NDF on Operation Liberia

UN talks to NDF on Operation Liberia

THE Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and the United Nations are set to begin negotiations today on paving the way for the deployment of Namibian soldiers on peacekeeping duties in Liberia.

Since arriving in Namibia at the beginning of the week, the UN team has been conducting a pre-deployment inspection at Walvis Bay to see that vehicles, equipment and other goods to be shipped to Liberia are in sound working order. NDF Chief of Staff Major General Peter Nambundunga said there was much to discuss but that negotiations were expected to be concluded in Windhoek today.”It all depends at what pace discussions take place.We have to discuss a price for each item and then we must agree on that,” he said.The exact number of Namibian soldiers for eventual deployment in Liberia is to be sorted out during the current negotiations, but preliminary indications are that there will be at least 800.The UN will shoulder the costs of Namibia’s participation in efforts to keep the peace in the West African country which has been afflicted by civil war almost non-stop for 15 years.By yesterday, Namibia’s first contingent of Liberian-bound soldiers had not yet heard their flight details, but Nambundunga said they should be leaving for West Africa on Saturday.The advance party will number about 115 soldiers, whose task will be to smooth the way for ensuing battalions.The UN does not have its own army and for peacekeeping missions relies on troop contributions from its 191 member states.NDF Chief of Staff Major General Peter Nambundunga said there was much to discuss but that negotiations were expected to be concluded in Windhoek today. “It all depends at what pace discussions take place. We have to discuss a price for each item and then we must agree on that,” he said. The exact number of Namibian soldiers for eventual deployment in Liberia is to be sorted out during the current negotiations, but preliminary indications are that there will be at least 800. The UN will shoulder the costs of Namibia’s participation in efforts to keep the peace in the West African country which has been afflicted by civil war almost non-stop for 15 years. By yesterday, Namibia’s first contingent of Liberian-bound soldiers had not yet heard their flight details, but Nambundunga said they should be leaving for West Africa on Saturday. The advance party will number about 115 soldiers, whose task will be to smooth the way for ensuing battalions. The UN does not have its own army and for peacekeeping missions relies on troop contributions from its 191 member states.

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