The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) is saying farewell to Liberia, as it ends a 15-year mission in the peaceful nation.

On Friday, peacekeepers began departure process and the UN said they are leaving a “stable and grateful Liberia” behind.

Operations in Liberia formally ceased on the same day after aiding Liberia’s transition from ravaging civil war to a hopeful era of peace.

The conclusion of the 15-year operation follows a landmark election that resulted in the country’s first transfer of power from one elected president to another in 70 years.

The newly elected President, George Weah, spoke for many Liberians as he thanked the UN for helping to make that possible.

“In our darkest days, the UN stood with us,” Weah said in his inaugural address in January.

Weah, a former football star, won the presidency in a runoff election in December, succeeding Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who had served since 2006.

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At an event recently in Monrovia to mark the completion of the peacekeeping mission, Weah pledged that the good work of the UN would not be forgotten.

“We will not fight again, we promise you,” the new president said.

Liberia, the first independent country in Africa, enjoyed nearly a century and a half of stability before falling into chaos, enduring two devastating civil wars between 1989 and 2003.

By some reports, more than 250,000 Liberians were killed and nearly a third of the population was uprooted while 80 per cent of Liberian women and girls suffered conflict-related sexual violence.

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