PRESS STATEMENT ON UNAMSIL (SIERRA LEONE) BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Following is the text of a statement to the press made by Security Council President Richard Ryan (Ireland) this afternoon:
The Department of Peacekeeping Operations briefed Council members on the current situation regarding the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and the progress being made with the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme.
The DDR programme is progressing reasonably well, but concern was expressed this morning about the slow progress of the Revolutionary United Front’s (RUF) disarmament in Bombali district.
Concerns raised by the RUF are being addressed. These concerns are, however, no excuse for the RUF to delay the DDR process. The RUF has the opportunity to air such concerns in the tripartite forum meetings with UNAMSIL and the Government of Sierra Leone. The next such meeting is scheduled for 11 October.
The members of the Council continue to urge the RUF - and the civil defence force -- to participate fully in the DDR programme. This is essential for the long-term stability of Sierra Leone. The members also urge donors to contribute to the multi-donor Trust Fund for the DDR. The recently announced contributions of Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands were noted with appreciation.
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