SWEDINT on fact finding in Liberia

Together with instructors from Norway, Finland and Denmark SWEDINT annually conduct fact-finding trips to some of the UN-missions around the world. Two fact finding trips was conducted in August, one of them to the United Nations Mission in Liberia, UNMIL.

Billboard outside of Monrovia Photo: Görgen Karlehav/Försvarsmakten

The third week of August, three officers from SWEDINT and one from Finland went down to Liberia to get updated. The aim of the fact-finding was to make sure that what is taught during the courses at SWEDINT is also what is practiced in the missions and how different missions have addressed their problems and challenges.

The main focus were on the "Integrated mission concept", the chain of command from the Head of Mission (SRSG) to the lowest level, the interaction between Agencies, United Nations Military Observers and the peace keeping force. Co-operation between the military, civilian and police organizations and parties involved in a conflict. It was also to see in real life, the composition and work in the Joint Mission Analysis Centre, Joint Operation Centre and the Joint Logistic Operation Centre. The team got an update on the civil affairs functions in head quarters and on sector level.

The team went through a very well prepared program and visited all branches within the force head quarters in Monrovia. They also visited Sector 3 in Bong County, 180 km north east of the capital and stayed there for two nights, hosted by the sector commander. Bangladesh is responsible for this sector. The main troop contributing countries to the mission are Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. At present the mission consists of 42 different nations working for the United Nations in Liberia. The current over all troop strength is 11.642 men and women.

The fact-finding team brought a lot of knowledge with them back home and will look into what they can implement into their courses to improve the training even more for the students before deployment to a mission. The one week fact-finding was a success.