14 November 1997


Press Release
SC/6444



SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON SIERRA LEONE MILITARY JUNTA TO FULFIL OBLIGATIONS UNDER 23 OCTOBER AGREEMENT

19971114
Presidential Statement Fully Supports West African States' Peace Plan, Which Envisions Government Reinstatement in Six Months

The Security Council this afternoon called on the military junta in Sierra Leone, which overthrew the Government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah on 25 May, to fulfil its obligations under the peace plan agreed to in Conakry on 23 October, in particular the ongoing maintenance of the ceasefire.

In a statement read out by its President, Qin Huasun (China), the Council expressed its full support for the continued efforts of the Committee of Five on Sierra Leone of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to seek a peaceful settlement of the crisis and the restoration of the democratically elected Government and constitutional order. It also expressed its readiness to consider how it could support the implementation of the peace plan, and looked forward to early recommendations from the Secretary-General on the role the United Nations could play to that end.

The peace plan, signed by representatives of the junta and the ECOWAS Committee and contained in a letter to the Council (S/1997/824), calls for: the reinstatement of the Government of President Kabbah within a period of six months; the immediate cessation of hostilities; cooperation of the junta with the ECOWAS Military Observer Group (ECOMOG) in order to enforce the sanctions peacefully; disarmament; demobilization and reintegration of combatants; and the provision of humanitarian assistance. It also calls for the return of refugees and displaced persons, immunities and guarantees to leaders of the coup d'état of 25 May and modalities for broadening the power base in Sierra Leone. President Kabbah announced his acceptance of the plan on 5 November (document S/1997/886).

Reiterating the need for the provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance, the Council urged all States and relevant international organizations to continue to assist those countries dealing with the influx of refugees caused by the crisis in Sierra Leone. It reminded all States of their obligation to comply strictly with the embargo on the sale or supply of petroleum and petroleum products and arms and related matériel of all types to Sierra Leone, as well as the travel restrictions imposed on the members of the junta and adult members of their families.

The meeting, which began at 1:10 p.m., was adjourned at 1:18 p.m.


Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6444 3834th Meeting (PM) 14 November 1997

Presidential Statement

The full text of the presidential statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1997/52, reads as follows:

"The Security Council recalls its resolution 1132 (1997) of 8 October 1997 and the statements of its President of 27 May 1997 (S/PRST/1997/29), 11 July 1997 (S/PRST/1997/36) and 6 August 1997 (S/PRST/1997/42) in response to the military coup in Sierra Leone on 25 May 1997. It reiterates its condemnation of the overthrow of the democratically-elected government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, and its concern about the threat to peace, security and stability in the region which the situation in Sierra Leone continues to present.

"The Security Council expresses its full support and appreciation for the continued efforts of the Committee of Five on Sierra Leone of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to seek a peaceful settlement of the crisis and the restoration of the democratically-elected government and constitutional order. In this regard, it welcomes the peace plan agreed in Conakry on 23 October 1997 between the ECOWAS Committee and representatives of the junta as set out in the documents issued after the meeting (S/1997/824, Annexes I and II). It also notes with satisfaction President Kabbah's acceptance of the peace plan in his statement of 5 November 1997 (S/1997/886).

"The Security Council calls upon the junta to fulfil its obligations under the peace plan, and in particular the ongoing maintenance of the ceasefire. It calls upon all parties concerned to work for the early and effective implementation of the peace plan, and encourages the ECOWAS Committee to cooperate closely with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Sierra Leone.

"The Security Council takes note with appreciation of the briefing on the outcome of the meeting in Conakry on 23 October 1997 provided to its members in New York by representatives of the ECOWAS Committee on 11 November 1997. It expresses its readiness to consider how it can support the implementation of the peace plan, and looks forward to early recommendations from the Secretary-General on the role the United Nations could play to that end.

"The Security Council reiterates the need for the provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance in response to local needs, and calls upon the junta to ensure its safe delivery to its intended recipients. It urges all States and relevant international organizations to continue to assist those countries dealing with the influx of refugees caused by the crisis in Sierra Leone.

"The Security Council reminds all States of their obligation to comply strictly with the embargo on the sale or supply of petroleum and petroleum products and arms and related matériel of all types to Sierra Leone, and with the other measures imposed by its resolution 1132 (1997)."

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