4 May 2000


Press Release
SC/6852



SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, CONDEMNS ACTIONS OF RUF IN SIERRA LEONE, SAYS FODAY SANKOH ‘MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE’

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Expressing its grave concern at the outbreak of violence in Sierra Leone in recent days, the Security Council this afternoon demanded that the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) end its hostile actions, release immediately and unharmed all detained United Nations and other international personnel, cooperate in establishing the whereabouts of those unaccounted for, and comply fully with the terms of the Lomé Peace Agreement (S/1999/777).

In a statement read out by its President, Wang Yingfan (China), the Council also condemned in the strongest terms the armed attacks perpetrated by the RUF against the forces of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), and their continued detention of a large number of United Nations and other international personnel. The Council expressed its outrage at the killing of a number of United Nations peacekeepers of the Kenyan battalion and its deep concern for the UNAMSIL troops who had been wounded or remained unaccounted for.

Foday Sankoh, as leader of the RUF, was responsible for those actions, which were unacceptable and in clear violation of their obligations under the Lomé Agreement, the statement said. It condemned Mr. Sankoh's deliberate failure to fulfil his responsibility to cooperate with UNAMSIL in bringing those incidents to an end. The Council believed that he must be held accountable, together with the perpetrators, for their actions.

Further, the Council commended UNAMSIL forces and the Force Commander for the courage, resolve and sacrifice they had shown in attempting to bring this situation under control, and expressed its full support for continued efforts to that end and for the overall fulfillment of their mandate.

The Council called on all States in a position to do so to assist the Mission in that regard and expressed its support for the regional and other international efforts under way to resolve the crisis, including by the Economic Community of West African States. The Council would continue to monitor the situation closely and consider further actions, as necessary.

The meeting, which began at 6:07 p.m., adjourned at 6:14 p.m.


Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6852 4134th Meeting (PM) 4 May 2000

Presidential Statement

The full text of the presidential statement, which will be issued as S/PRST/2000/14, reads as follows:

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the outbreak of violence in Sierra Leone in recent days. It condemns in the strongest terms the armed attacks perpetrated by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) against the forces of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), and their continued detention of a large number of United Nations and other international personnel. The Council expresses its outrage at the killing of a number of United Nations peacekeepers of the Kenyan battalion and its deep concern for the UNAMSIL troops who have been wounded or remain unaccounted for.

“The Security Council demands that the RUF end its hostile actions, release immediately and unharmed all detained United Nations and other international personnel, cooperate in establishing the whereabouts of those unaccounted for, and comply fully with the terms of the Lomé Peace Agreement (S/1999/777).

“The Security Council considers Mr. Foday Sankoh, as leader of the RUF, to be responsible for these actions, which are unacceptable and in clear violation of their obligations under the Lomé Agreement. The Council condemns the fact that Mr. Sankoh has deliberately failed to fulfil his responsibility to cooperate with UNAMSIL in bringing these incidents to an end. The Council believes that he must be held accountable, together with the perpetrators, for their actions.

“The Security Council commends UNAMSIL forces and the Force Commander for the courage, resolve and sacrifice they have shown in attempting to bring this situation under control. It expresses its full support for their continued efforts to this end, and for the overall fulfilment of their mandate. It calls upon all States in a position to do so to assist the Mission in this regard. The Council also expresses its support for the regional and other international efforts under way to resolve the crisis, including by the Economic Community of West African States.

“The Security Council will continue to monitor the situation closely and consider further actions, as necessary.”

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