Aug. 25, 2011, 3:13 p.m.

The report published by the International Crisis Group on Liberia and the sustainability of its recovery analyzes what is required for the recovery to continue and provides recommendations on steps to move forward in context of the upcoming presidential and general elections.  The report is structured by looking at the road to elections in 2011, security in the short and mid-term, Liberia under Johnson Sirleaf, and international and regional support for Liberia’s peace building.  So far the focus in Liberia has centered on security issues, specifically a new army and police force.  The current threats to security are mercenary activities and arms proliferation. Engagement from the international community is still needed and will be for some time.  The upcoming elections in October 2011 will be a key indicator on whether Liberia has been able to consolidate peace.  Steps to help this happen are to strengthen trust in the electoral process.

They should fight the temptation to treat the elections as not crucial for sustaining the progress made since the civil war. But even after good elections five factors will be critical to lasting peace: a more convincing fight against corruption; deeper commitment to transforming Liberia with a new breed of reform-minded political players; sustained international engagement in supporting this more ambitious transformation; economic development; and regional stability, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire.

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