The head of the U.N. mission in Liberia says it will hand over national security responsibilities to the government in June 2016.

Special Representative Farid Zarif said the force, at more than 3,000 now, would go down to about 1,240 by June. The U.N. mission was deployed to Liberia in 2003 and had more than 15,000 personnel in the country at one point. Zarif said the drawdown plan will be assessed in November to see if it's still feasible and to determine an exact handover date.

Liberia is to hold a national election in 2017. Liberia is currently recruiting and training more police, immigration and military personnel, which are thinly spread across the West African nation.