UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Monday extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia for another year.
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia ( UNMIL) until Sept. 30, 2013, based on the observation that the " situation in Liberia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region."
The Council decided that UNMIL's primary tasks are to continue to support the Liberian government's efforts to solidify peace and stability, and to protect civilians.
It also supported UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon's proposal to decrease UNMIL's military strength from seven infantry battalions with 4,200 personnel to three infantry battalions.
According to Ban's recommendation, the process will take place in three phases between August 2012 and July 2015.
The Security Council authorized the secretary-general to " implement the first phase reducing the military component by 1,990 personnel between October 2012 and September 2013."
There will also be an increase in police force in Liberia from seven units to ten. The additional three units will increase personnel by 420.
The Council also requested "the secretary-general to keep it regularly informed of the situation on the ground as UNMIL continues its reconfiguration, progress toward achieving the transitional benchmarks, and development of a transition plan with the government of Liberia."
UNMIL was set up in 2003 to bolster a ceasefire agreement after a civil war killed almost 150,000 Liberians -- mostly civilians -- and forced some 850,000 others to flee to neighboring countries.