Security Council extends mandate of UN Liberia mission

By | 16 December 2014

New York, 15 December 2014 – Recognizing that grappling with the Ebola outbreak has slowed the Liberian Government’s efforts to advance certain governance and national reforms, the Security Council today extended the United Nations mission in the country (UNMIL), tailoring its mandate to focus on civilian protection, humanitarian assistance support, and justice and security body reforms.

Wide view of the Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Wide view of the Security Council Chamber. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Adopting a new resolution today that extended UNMIL through 30 September 2015, the Council decided the mission would also focus on human rights promotion and protection, and protection of UN personnel. UNMIL would also assist the Government of Liberia in developing and implementing, “as soon as possible and in close coordination with bilateral and multilateral partners, its national strategy on Security Sector Reform (SSR).”

The Council decided that UNMIL’s authorized strength would remain at up to 4,811 military and 1,795 police personnel. In its duties, UNMIL also would coordinate with the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), as appropriate.

Further to the resolution, UNMIL would assist senatorial elections – postponed since October – by providing logistical support. In the area of human rights, it would carry out promotion, protection and monitoring activities, with a focus on abuse against women and children, notably sexual- and gender-based violence.

The Council decided that UNMIL would have a “renewed focus” on supporting the Government in achieving a transition of complete security responsibility to the Liberian National Police, by strengthening its capacity to manage personnel and improve training. It requested the Secretary-General to ensure that the Mission had qualified specialist advisers to help the implementation of sustainable rule of law, justice, governance and security sector reform programmes.

Urging the Government to prioritize the development of security agencies, especially the National Police, the Council emphasized the need for progress on constitutional and institutional reforms and urged intensified efforts on the transition of security responsibilities from UNMIL to the national authorities.

More broadly, it recognized that the Ebola outbreak had put on hold joint activities of Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire and affirmed the importance of inter-mission cooperation arrangements as UNMIL and the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) downsized.

In that context, the Council recalled the Secretary-General’s proposal to establish a quick reaction force to implement UNOCI’s mandate and support UNMIL, as well as its requests to ensure that the unit reached full operational capability no later than May 2015. It requested the Secretary-General to provide a midterm report on the ground situation no later than 30 April 2015 and a final report no later than 15 August 2015.