BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will send an observation mission (EOM) to Liberia ahead of the country’s general election in October, the EU said on Friday.
Liberia, founded in 1822 as an outpost for returning freed slaves from the Americas, is still recovering from a military coup in 1980 and a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said Andreas Schieder, an Austrian member of the European Parliament, would lead the mission.
“The deployment of this Election Observation Mission confirms our long-standing commitment to supporting competitive, transparent and peaceful elections in Liberia, the oldest democracy in Africa,” said Borrell.
“The European Union is a close partner of Liberia and is committed to continue its support to democratic governance.”
The first, core part of the mission will arrive in the Liberian capital of Monrovia on Aug. 27, with others following later.
In January Liberia’s President George Weah, a former international soccer star, said he would run for reelection after a first term marred by allegations of corruption during an economic downturn.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Richard Chang)