The Security Council this afternoon extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) for a period of three months, until 15 September, and encourages the Government and the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) to sign their General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan as a matter of priority.
Through its unanimous adoption of resolution 1113 (1997), the Council also called upon the parties to implement fully the agreements they had reached in the course of the inter-Tajik talks. It emphasized that implementation of those agreements would require the consistent good faith and constant effort of the parties, as well as the sustained and vigorous support of the United Nations and the international community.
According to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, the General Agreement is to be signed in Moscow on 27 June by Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmonov, and UTO leader Sayed Abdullo Nuri.
By the terms of its resolution, the Council called upon the parties to cooperate further in ensuring the safety and freedom of movement of the personnel of the United Nations, the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States and other international personnel. It called upon the parties to cooperate fully with the Secretary-General's Special Representative and with the personnel of UNMOT.
The Council also asked the Secretary-General to keep it informed of significant developments and to present to it, as soon as appropriate, detailed recommendations on the United Nations role in support of the inter- Tajik agreements, as well as an adjustment of UNMOT's mandate and strength.
The meeting, which was called to order at 12:10 p.m., was adjourned at 12:13 p.m.
The resolution adopted by the Committee reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling all its relevant resolutions and the statements of its President,
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Tajikistan of 30 May 1997 (S/1997/415),
"Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Tajikistan and to the inviolability of its borders,
"Welcoming the signing by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition in Moscow on 8 March 1997 of the Protocol on military issues (S/1997/209, annex II), in Bishkek on 18 May 1997 of the Protocol on political issues (S/1997/385, annex I) and in Tehran on 28 May 1997 of the Protocol on the guarantees of implementation of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan (S/1997/410, annex),
"Taking note that these agreements foresee the support and assistance of the international community, in particular the United Nations, in different aspects of their implementation,
"Expressing concern that the security situation in Tajikistan remains precarious, and that the humanitarian situation has continued to deteriorate,
"1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 30 May 1997;
"2. Calls upon the parties to implement fully the agreements reached in the course of the inter-Tajik talks, and encourages them to sign the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan as a matter of priority;
"3. Emphasizes that the implementation of the agreements reached in the course of the inter-Tajik talks will require the consistent good faith and constant effort of the parties, as well as the sustained and vigorous support of the United Nations and the international community;
"4. Calls upon the parties to cooperate further in ensuring the safety and freedom of movement of the personnel of the United Nations, the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States and other international personnel;
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"5. Commends the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and of the personnel of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT), and calls upon the parties to cooperate fully with them;
"6. Decides to extend the mandate of UNMOT for a period of three months until 15 September 1997;
"7. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed of significant developments and to present to the Council, as soon as appropriate, detailed recommendations on the role of the United Nations in support of the implementation of the inter-Tajik agreements and the adjustment of the mandate and strength of UNMOT;
"8. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
The Security Council had before it a report of the Secretary-General (document S/1997/415), in which he recommends that the mandate of UNMOT be extended for a period of three months, until 15 September.
The Secretary-General recalls that on 28 May, the Government of Tajikistan and the UTO signed a protocol on the guarantees of implementation of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan (document S/1997/410, annex).
Under agreements between the two sides, UNMOT is to continue to monitor the cease-fire and to provide general political support and good offices, as well as technical and specialized advice as appropriate. In addition, the responsibilities of the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Gerd Dietrich Merrem, are to include coordination of the contact group to be set up under the protocol on guarantees. Pursuant to the Protocol on military issues, UNMOT is to monitor the process of reintegration, disarmament and disbandment of the armed units of UTO and the reform of the governmental power structures.
The Secretary-General points out that these tasks are not fully covered by UNMOT's present mandate, nor does UNMOT have the capacity at present to perform them. To fulfil the tasks envisaged, UNMOT's mandate would need to be amended, its civilian complement strengthened, and the number of its military observers significantly increased.
Citing the security situation, the Secretary-General says that in certain parts of Tajikistan, the deployment of unarmed personnel currently entails an unacceptable level of risk at present. They would therefore need
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to be protected. One possibility would be for the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States to assume this responsibility, provided that is accepted and supported by all the parties concerned. The Secretary-General says he intends to revert to the Council with recommendations concerning the adjustment of UNMOT's mandate and strength once answers have been found to this and other open questions that will require decisions by the Commission on National Reconciliation.
The Commission on National Reconciliation will be the principal implementing body for the transition period leading to general elections, the report states. The agreement also provides that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is to assist in the development of democratic political and legal institutions and processes. The Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States have been asked to escort, under UNMOT's supervision, the personnel, weapons and ammunition of UTO from the Tajik-Afghan border to designated assembly areas.
The Secretary-General's report also mentions the other agreements concluded by the parties as provided for in the Protocol on fundamental principles of 17 August 1995 (document S/1995/720, annex). They include a Protocol on political questions of 18 May 1997; an agreement between the President of Tajikistan and the leader of UTO of 23 December 1996; a Protocol on the main functions and powers of the Commission on National Reconciliation, of the same date; the statute of the Commission on National Reconciliation of 21 February 1997, and the additional Protocol on the main functions and powers of the Commission; the Protocol on military issues of 8 March 1997; and the Protocol on refugees of 13 January 1997.
The Government and UTO have agreed that the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Reconciliation in Tajikistan will be signed by President Enomali Rakhmonov and UTO leader Sayed Abdullo Nuri in Moscow on 14 June. [That signing was later changed to 27 June.]
According to the report, the cease-fire between the Government and UTO has generally held. Both sides coordinated efforts to ensure wide acceptance of the Protocol on military issues and sent joint delegations to visit field commanders from both sides in the Karategin valley and the Tavildara sector, as well as in the Teppei-Samarkandi and Kofarnikhon areas. A government delegation also visited the Leninabad region in the north to explain the provisions of the protocols and to mobilize support for the peace process.
The security situation in Tajikistan, in particular at Dushanbe, the Nurek area, and along the road from Dushanbe to Garm/Tavildara, remained precarious, the reports states. Soon after a release of hostages on 17 February, the Government and the opposition undertook a joint operation
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against hostage-takers which resulted in the capture of one of the two leaders and a number of his fighters. The authorities have informed UNMOT that the group appears to be operating from its base camp in the hills near Obigarm.
On 12 May, in the light of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country and the need to start planning for possible expanded tasks, the Secretary-General authorized the return of Tajikistan of the heads of United Nations agencies and essential staff, and of the military observers. Until then, only a skeleton staff was in Dushanbe to support the Special Representative and Chief Military Observer and to report on developments in the country. Since the return of the military observers, teams have been formed to conduct liaison with the Government, the Joint Commission, the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Russian border forces. The UNMOT has also carried out some limited patrolling.
In the aftermath of the hostage crisis in February, UNMOT instituted stringent security measures and also requested the Government to take certain steps, the report states. The Government strengthened security around the UNMOT premises in Dushanbe and assisted in concentrating some of the UNMOT staff in securer premises. However, despite repeated assurances at the highest levels, it has not yet acted to ensure exclusive United Nations use of the UNMOT headquarters.
The relocation of United Nations personnel from early February to early May seriously affected the provision of humanitarian assistance in the country, the report states. Some agencies, however, were able to continue implementing emergency programmes through national staff. The United Nations agencies agreed on 10 April to extend their donor alert for another three months, until the end of August 1997. Although the Protocol on refugees established a timetable of 12 to 18 months for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons and for the reactivation of the Joint Commission on Refugees, this has not yet happened. In the meantime, refugees continue to return in small, although increasing, numbers.
The proposed budget for the maintenance of UNMOT from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998 is currently under consideration by the General Assembly. The cost of maintaining UNMOT for the 12-month period is estimated at $7,967,700 gross (equivalent to approximately $664,000 per month), assuming continuance of its existing strength and mandate. Should the Council decide to extend its mandate beyond 15 June 1997, the cost of maintaining the Mission would be limited to the amounts indicated above. A supplementary budget proposal would be submitted to the Assembly, should the mandate be amended in accordance with the inter-Tajik agreements.
As of 30 April 1997, unpaid assessed contributions to the special account for UNMOT, from the inception of the Mission to 15 June 1997, amounted to $2,967,153, which represented some 15 per cent of the assessment of the Mission. The unpaid assessed contributions for all peace-keeping operations amounted to $1.6 billion.
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