PRESS STATEMENT ON SIERRA LEONE BY PRESIDENT OF SECURITY COUNCIL
This is the text of today’s press statement on developments in Sierra Leone by the President of the Security Council, Mignonette Patricia Durrant (Jamaica):
Members of the Security Council were briefed by Assistant Secretary-General Hédi Annabi on recent developments in Sierra Leone.
Members of the Council noted the positive political developments including steps being taken to transform the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) into a political party. In this regard, they welcomed the support for the process by the Government of Sierra Leone and the assistance being provided by the Government of Nigeria.
Members of the Council noted that the DDR process was progressing, with a higher than anticipated number of ex-combatants entering the programme. They noted that this will lead to the need for additional resources, especially for reintegration.
Members of the Council noted that the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone was now deployed in all provinces, and expressed appreciation to the troop-contributing countries. They took note that the Government of Sierra Leone had further extended its authority across the country in areas formally controlled by the RUF.
Members noted that preparations for elections scheduled for 2002 were under way, with the support of the United Nations and the international donor community. They emphasized the importance of funds not only being pledged but also being disbursed. In regard to the regional situation, members welcomed the activities of the Mano River Women’s Network which had been instrumental in seeking to bring the three countries closer together.
They expressed appreciation to the members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and noted that the Foreign Ministers of ECOWAS and the Mano River Union member States will meet with the Secretary-General on the margins of the General Assembly next week.
They also urged the donor community to respond positively to the shortfall in funding for the Consolidated Appeal Fund.
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