16 March 1998


Press Release
SC/6486



SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES RETURN OF DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF SIERRA LEONE, LIFTS PETROLEUM SANCTIONS

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By Resolution 1156 (1998), Adopted Unanimously, Council Decides Also To Review Other Related Prohibitions

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council this morning welcomed the return to Sierra Leone of its democratically elected President on 10 March and decided to terminate, with immediate effect, its prohibitions on the sale or supply to Sierra Leone of petroleum and petroleum products in its resolution 1132 of 8 October 1997.

By its unanimous adoption of resolution 1156 (1998), the Council decided to review the other prohibitions referred to in resolution 1132 in the light of developments and further discussions with the Government of Sierra Leone. It also welcomed the Secretary-General's intention to make proposals concerning the United Nations role and its future presence in the country.

Under the terms of resolution 1132 (1997), the Council banned the sale or supply of petroleum and petroleum products and arms and related materiel of all types, including munition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment and spare parts for those items. Further, it decided that all States should prevent the entry or transit into or through their territories, of members of the military junta and their adult family members, except when authorized for humanitarian purposes.

The meeting, which was called to order at 11:29 a.m., was adjourned at 11:32 a.m.

Text of Resolution

The text of resolution 1156 (1998), which was sponsored by Kenya and the United Kingdom, reads as follows:


"The Security Council,

"Recalling its resolution 1132 (1997) of 8 October 1997 and the relevant statements of its President,

"Taking note of the letter from the Charge d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations to the President of the Security Council of 9 March 1998 (S/1998/215),

"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

"1. Welcomes the return to Sierra Leone of its democratically elected President on 10 March 1998;

"2. Decides to terminate, with immediate effect, the prohibitions on the sale or supply to Sierra Leone of petroleum and petroleum products referred to in paragraph 6 of resolution 1132 (1997);

"3. Welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to make proposals concerning the role of the United Nations and its future presence in Sierra Leone;

"4. Decides to review the other prohibitions referred to in resolution 1132 (1997) in accordance with paragraph 17 of that resolution and in the light of developments and further discussion with the Government of Sierra Leone;

"5. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

Letter from Sierra Leone

The Security Council met this morning at the request of the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone. In a letter to the President of the Council dated 9 March (document S/1998/215), he said the country's democratically elected Head of State, President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan-Kabba, was returning on 10 March. His return followed the ousting of the illegal military junta by the forces of the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG) on 12 February.

On behalf of President Tajan-Kabba, the Permanent Representative said he was asking the Council to meet as a matter of urgency to consider lifting the sanctions on the importation of petroleum and petroleum products imposed by Council resolution 1132 on 8 October 1997. He stated that it was absolutely necessary to lift the sanctions as soon as possible in order to allow the government machinery to function properly and, in particular, to ease the impact of the absence of those products on the prices of goods and the free movement of people.

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