The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for another year and authorized the peacekeeping force to provide support to the Government as it makes arrangements for presidential and legislative elections next year.
The Council voted unanimously in a favour of the resolution to extend UNMIL’s mandate until 30 September next year.
The Liberian Government had requested UNMIL’s logistical help to access remote areas in the course of the electoral process and support in coordinating international assistance. It also asked for support for Liberian institutions and political parties to create an atmosphere conducive to peaceful elections.
The Council also endorsed the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recommendation that the conduct of free, fair, and peaceful elections be a core benchmark for UNMIL’s future drawdown.
In his report to the Council last month, Mr. Ban noted that Liberia continues to make progress in consolidating peace and security, but enduring political and social divides, among other factors, could roll back the strides made so far.
He also warned that limited gains on national reconciliation and the far-reaching perception of the prevalence of impunity are also obstacles to progress.
The Secretary-General said that while the West African nation’s overall security situation is stable, it is fragile due to ethnic and communal tensions, disputes over access to land and a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system.
He pointed out that rape, armed robbery and other forms of serious criminal activity continue to be prevalent and expressed concern that more than 70 per cent of reported rapes between February and August involved victims under the age of 16.
In its resolution, the Council encouraged the UNMIL and the Liberian Government to continue to make progress in the transition planning process, especially identifying critical gaps that need to be filled to facilitate transfer of responsibility for internal security from UNMIL to appropriate national authorities.
The Council stressed the need for coherence between, and integration of, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development to achieve an effective response to post-conflict situations.