In a statement read out on the Council's behalf by its President, Francesco Paolo Fulci (Italy), the Council paid tribute to the courage and determination of all those who had worked tirelessly to bring the bitter conflict to an end. It commended, in particular, the role played by the Government of Côte d'Ivoire, whose commitment and determination in the chairmanship of the negotiations between the parties had been crucial to the successful outcome.
The Agreement was signed by Sierra Leone President Al Haji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and the Revolutionary United Front leader, Foday Saybana Sankoh.
The conflict in Sierra Leone began in March 1991. At the request of the then National Provisional Ruling Council, in November 1994, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali established good offices to encourage negotiations between the Government and the Revolutionary United Front. The Security Council welcomed the designation of the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Sierra Leone in February 1995. Multiparty legislative and presidential elections were held on 26 and 27 February 1996 and Al Haji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was inaugurated as President on 29 March.
The meeting, which was called to order at 12:49 p.m., was adjourned at 12:55 p.m.
* Press Releases SC/6296 and SC/6297 of 29 November should have been numbered SC/6297 and SC/6298, respectively.
Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6299 3720th Meeting (PM) 4 December 1996
The full text of the Presidential statement, to be released as document S/PRST/1996/46, reads as follows:
"The Security Council warmly welcomes the Peace Agreement signed by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front in Abidjan on November 1996. The Agreement brings to an end a bitter conflict which has caused appalling suffering to the people of Sierra Leone. The Council pays tribute to the courage and determination of all those who have worked tirelessly towards this end. The Council hopes that the Agreement will provide encouragement to those working for peace in other parts of Africa.
"The Security Council commends in particular the role played by the Government of Côte d'Ivoire whose commitment and determination in the chairmanship of the negotiations between the parties have been crucial to this successful outcome. The Council also pays tribute to the support provided to the negotiations by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General in close coordination with the Organization of African Unity, the Commonwealth, the Economic Community of West African States and other organizations and neighbouring countries.
"The Security Council continues to follow developments in Sierra Leone with close interest. The Peace Agreement is an essential first step towards national reconciliation and reconstruction. The Council will continue to support the development of peace and democracy in Sierra Leone. It notes in particular the need for a successful process of demobilization and reintegration of former combatants and stands ready to assist in this process. It stresses the importance of a coordinated international effort to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the country.
"The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to continue to monitor the situation in Sierra Leone and to keep the Council informed of further significant developments."
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