United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has recommended a reduction in the the size of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Liberia.

Mr. Ban said the force could be reduced from its current level of 14,000 troops, down to under 10,000 over the next three years.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, Mr. Ban cited improvement in Liberia, and praised the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

The U.N. chief said it is too early to determine when the complete withdrawal of U.N. troops will be possible.

He said national elections scheduled for 2011 also should be taken into account in making a final decision on the mission.

Mr. Ban said Liberia still faces security challenges as it continues to recover from a 14-year civil war that killed around 150,000 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.