The Security Council yesterday morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) through the end of the year, while reaffirming its readiness to consider withdrawing the operation and transitioning to a future UN presence, following a proposed mid-
November review of the situation on the ground in the country.
With the unanimous adoption of a new resolution, the Council extends UNMIL through December 31 and decided that the authorized ceilings of the Mission’s military and police components should remain at 1,240 and 606 personnel, respectively.
Affirming its readiness to consider the withdrawal of UNMIL and transition to a future United Nations presence, the Council recalled its request that the Secretary-General conduct an assessment mission to Liberia to provide recommendations by November 15, including an update on the proposed modalities regarding the transfer of the regional Quick Reaction Force.
Briefing the Council in late August, Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIL, said many Liberians are concerned about the prospect of the Mission’s withdrawal and potential lack of UN support during the October 2017 presidential and legislative elections.
“There is a consensus among national actors that the next elections will be a critical test for Liberia’s stability, democracy and development,” Mr. Zarif said, emphasizing that both the government of Liberia and the international community must not lose sight of the still arduous path to sustainable peace in the country and the region, which “will require long-term robust engagement by all concerned, particularly by this august Council.” (Source: UN News Centre).