U.N. wants calms ahead of Liberian vote
September 30, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
Liberia is gearing up for national elections in October, the second vote since the end of the civil war and the first to be organized by Liberians.
Ellen Margrethe Loj, U.N. special envoy for Liberia, said the country should seize the opportunity to show it can secure gains made since the end of the civil war.
Loj, during a news conference, said last month's peaceful constitutional referendum was reason for hope but all Liberians needed to work to move the country in a peaceful direction.
"I call on all political leaders not to incite violence. I call on all Liberians not to resort to violence," she said. "And I call on all Liberians, political candidates as well as supporters to peacefully accept the election results."
Liberians head to the polls Oct. 11 for parliamentary and presidential elections.
Liberian Vice President Joseph Boakai told the U.N. General Assembly that "every action" was being taken to ensure the elections are free and fair.
The United Nations has deployed peacekeepers in Liberia since 2003 to preserve a cease-fire that ended a bloody civil war. The conflict killed at least 150,000 people and another 850,000 fled to neighboring countries.