Ukrainian Peacemakers to Keep Watch Over Presidential Inauguration in Liberia
Kyiv, January 11, 2012. Ukrainian peacekeepers will ensure the safety during the inauguration of the recently elected President of Liberia – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Ukrainian combat helicopters will monitor the inaugural procedure, scheduled for January 16.
Ukrainian Mi-24 and Mi-8 MT multi mission helicopters will patrol the Liberian sky. Ukrainian peacekeepers will surveil the route in cooperation with the UN ground troops, according to the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Aboard Ukrainian helicopters the international military observers will liaise with the major forces, participating in the operation.
Ukrainian Mi-24 combat helicopters will monitor the route of the international guests, travelling from the airport to Liberian capital city, Monrovia, to greet the new president. The helicopters will keep watch over the processions of the official representatives of the neighboring African countries, China, France, the UK, the USA, etc., as well as the leaders of such international organizations as the UN. Special attention will be paid to securing the safety of governmental buildings, hotels, and monitoring large groups of people, commented the Ukrainian Armed Forces commander Petro Plis.
The machines equipped for providing medical assistance and conducting rescuing operations will be prepared for departing within 30 minutes in case of emergency. Other Ukrainian Mi-8 MT helicopters will be on duty for transportation of the peacekeeping forces to the areas of the unrest of the local population, should any occur. In total, nine Ukrainian helicopters will be involved in the peacekeeping activities in the Liberian capital.
Ukrainian helicopter troops have already participated in similar operations: keeping watch over presidential inauguration in Liberia in 2006, and in Côte d'Ivoire – in 2011. Interestingly, last year Ukraine decided to continue performing its peacekeeping duties in the West African region. “I am sure that our decision to strengthen support for the UN peacekeepers in Côte d’Ivoire meets our national interests and substantially strengthens Ukraine’s position on the international arena,” commented at the time the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych at the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
Currently, 476 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine participate in 11 peacekeeping missions and other operations around the world (including Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, and Transdniestria region), according to the official Web site of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.