African Press International (API)

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Security Council extends mandate of UN Mission in Liberia for one year

Posted by African Press International on September 28, 2007

Commending the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for its continuing and significant contribution to maintaining peace and stability in Liberia, the Security Council in its resolution 1777 (2007) has extended the Missions mandate for one year, until 30 September 2008.

The resolution welcomes the Liberian Governments continued efforts to improve governance and combat corruption, and the important steps taken to regain and consolidate Government control over the countrys natural resources.

However, the resolution notes that Liberia faces significant challenges in its post-conflict transition, including in the consolidation of State authority, massive development and reconstruction needs, the reform of the judiciary, extension of the rule of law throughout the country, as well as in the further development of the security sector.

Noting that progress has been made in rebuilding, equipping and deploying the Liberian National Police (LNP), and starting the restructuring of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), the Security Council encourages the Government of Liberia, in cooperation with the international community, to expedite its efforts in those areas.

The Council also noted that substantial progress has been made in reintegrating ex-combatants, but formal sector employment remains a serious need.

The Council welcomes UNMILs continuing efforts to promote and protect the rights of women and calls on Liberian authorities to cooperate with the United Nations and civil society to achieve further progress in combating gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Council endorsed the Secretary-Generals proposal to reduce military forces by just over 2,400 by September 2008 and its police component by about 500 between April 2008 and December 2010. The Council will further review the drawdown planning in August 2008.

Presenting Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons progress report to the Security Council earlier this month, his Special Representative for Liberia, Alan Doss, said, because the security and stability of Liberia remained matters of paramount importance, the Secretary-General was recommending that the drawdown of the Missions military component be undertaken in a gradual manner to avoid creating instability.

The Council requested the Secretary-General to monitor progress on the achievement of a number of core benchmarks, which include the stand-up of the new AFL, the nationwide deployment of the LNP and the establishment a 500-strong police quick reaction force, which should be in place by July 2009.

UNMIL was established in 2003 to support the ceasefire and peace process in Liberia following a fourteen-year civil war. Currently, the Mission has a total strength of over 14,000 military troops and 1,000 police personnel

cholobcholob2.jpgBy our correspondent J. Cholo Brooks

Published by API*APN tel +4793299739 or +4763002525

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