Liberia has celebrated ten years of uninterrupted peace since the parties to its long-running conflict signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Accra, Ghana on 18 August 2003. Stability has created the political environment for the government to undertake numerous reform initiatives. Despite this achievement, which can be credited to the citizens, government and its international partners, Liberia remains a state characterised by multiple weaknesses and a still-fragile security situation. There is scarce diffusion of governance beyond the national level, and little progress has been made in shifting power away from the centre, which is necessary to really make the government a reality for rural Liberians. Efforts to do this, such as the draft Local Governance Act, are being held up due to lack of political will, as well as constraints imposed by the 1986 Constitution, which will require amendment before the law can be viable. In terms of security, the technical, professional, human resources, and logistical capacities of the Liberian National Police are limited. Currently, the force stands at just over 4,000 personnel, but independent studies have suggested a force of 8,000 is necessary.1 This, coupled with the gradual drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), means that the security situation could become increasingly fragile in the coming years.
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