UN looks ahead to peacekeepers leaving Liberia

UNITED NATIONS — The Security Council is extending the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia for a year but calling for plans to transfer responsibility for security to government authorities.
A resolution adopted unanimously by the council on Wednesday endorsed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's recommendation that the conduct of free, fair and peaceful presidential and legislative elections next year be "a core benchmark" for further reductions in the UN force.
When the council authorized the UN force in 2003 after a peace deal ended back-to-back civil wars, it said 15,000 troops were needed. The size of the force has been reduced three times in recent years and now stands at fewer than 8,000 peacekeepers.
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