UN Security Council Extends UNMIL’s Mandate One Last Time
The UN Security Council has passed a resolution extending the mandate of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for the last time.
Resolution 2333, which was adopted on Friday, 22 December 2016, extends the Mission’s mandate up to 30 March 2018.
In passing the Resolution, the Security Council lauded progress toward restoring peace, security and stability in Liberia, citing the successful transfer of security responsibilities from UNMIL to State security services in June 2016. Still, the Council noted potential security challenges ahead of the 2017 presidential and legislative elections in the country, and called upon all parties to ensure that the polls are free, fair, peaceful and transparent.
Other concerns raised by the Council included issues relating to corruption. It noted that these “continue to threaten to undermine stability and the effectiveness of government institutions.”
The Council also observed that significant challenges remain across all sectors, “including continuing problems with violent crime, in particular the high rates of sexual and gender based violence, especially involving children.” It reiterated its call on the authorities in Liberia to “combat impunity for perpetrators of such crimes.”
In the continuing downsizing of UNMIL, Resolution 2333 orders a reduction of the Mission’s remaining 1,240 military personnel to 434. Its police strength will also be reduced to 310, and both cuts are to be completed by February ending 2018.
Meanwhile, the Mission’s mandate in the next 15 months focuses on the protection of civilians, justice and security reforms, the promotion and protection of human rights, and the protection of UN personnel, installations and equipment.
The mandate also gives equal attention to public information with a view to sustaining peace throughout the election period, while also raising public awareness on the transformation and eventual closure of UNMIL.