The Security Council this afternoon congratulated the people of Sierra Leone on the courage and determination they had shown in successfully completing national elections on 26 and 27 February and 15 March, despite difficulties and disruptions.
Stressing the importance it attached to a peaceful transition to civilian rule, the Council pointed to the need for redoubled efforts to end the fighting in that country and called on the Revolutionary United Front to maintain the cease-fire and to enter into a full dialogue for peace, without conditions.
In a statement read out by its President, Legwaila Joseph Legwaila (Botswana), the Council also called on the international community to provide generous assistance to help resolve humanitarian problems caused by the conflict in Sierra Leone, and to assist the Government and the people in the task of reconstruction.
The Council requested the Secretary-General to continue to monitor the situation and to keep it informed of significant events.
The meeting, which was called to order at 1:37 p.m., was adjourned at 1:40 p.m.
Text of Presidential Statement
The statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1996/12, reads as follows:
"The Security Council welcomes the Parliamentary and Presidential elections held in Sierra Leone on 26 and 27 February and the second round of Presidential elections held on 15 March. It congratulates the people of Sierra Leone on the courage and determination they have shown in proceeding with the elections despite difficulties and disruptions, and pays tribute to
Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6196 3643rd Meeting (PM) 19 March 1996
all those involved in the success of the elections, in particular the Interim National Electoral Commission and its Chairman. The Council stresses the importance it attaches to a peaceful transition to civilian rule. It welcomes the commitment by the Chairman of the National Provisional Ruling Council to hand over authority by 31 March 1996 and calls upon all concerned to cooperate fully with the newly elected President and Parliament.
"The Security Council notes that the Joint International Observer Group, which monitored the first round of elections, was impressed by 'the overwhelming desire on the part of the people of Sierra Leone to exercise their democratic right in casting a ballot for the parties and candidates of their choice'. They have now done so, and it is incumbent on all concerned to help them to consolidate the gains that have been made. The Council is of the view that the circumstances created by the successful conclusion of the elections in Sierra Leone require redoubled efforts to end the fighting in that country. It commends the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary- General and others, in particular the Government of Cote d'Ivoire to that end. It reiterates its call to all parties to end the violence. It calls upon the Revolutionary United Front to accept the outcome of the election, maintain the cease-fire and enter into a full dialogue for peace, without any conditions.
"The Security Council calls upon the international community to provide generous assistance to help in resolving the humanitarian problems caused by the conflict in Sierra Leone, and to assist the Government and people of that country in the task of reconstruction that now faces them.
"The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to continue to monitor the situation in Sierra Leone and to keep the Council informed of significant developments."
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