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UNMIL To Scale Down Forces To 744 Personnel
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, December 28 (LINA) -The UN Security Council has agreed to reduce the strength of security forces serving in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to a ceiling of 744 military and police personnel during UNMIL's final period of extension and draw down in Liberia.
Of the total number of security personnel, the Security Council agreed to maintain a total of 434 military personnel and 310 police officers as the UNMIL mission enters its final stage.
A dispatch from New York said the decision, which was reached by the Council last Thursday, was part of the UN Security Council Resolution 2333 (2016) extending for a final period the mandate of UNMIL to March 30, 2018.
The number of officers will work during the remaining period of the UN mission in partnership with Liberia's security apparatus which include the Liberia National Police (LNP), Armed Forces of Liberia and Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.
On June 30, Liberian security forces assumed responsibility for the provision of national security, as the UNMIL drew down its troops in the country after over a decade.
The resolution also requested the UN Secretary General to ensure that the police component has the requisite professional skills and experience to develop the leadership, internal management, professionalization, and accountability mechanisms of the LNP.
It also authorized UNMIL to assist the Liberian Government, as requested and within its capabilities, with logistical support, including aviation support, to meet urgent gaps in the country’s readiness for the 2017 presidential and legislative electoral process, including voter registration, in particular to facilitate access to remote areas.
The resolution requested the UN Secretary-General to complete the withdrawal of all uniformed and civilian UNMIL components, other than those required to complete the Mission’s liquidation by April 30, 2018.