09/01/2002
Press Release
SC/7260



PRESS STATEMENT ON UN MISSION IN SIERRA LEONE BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT


Following is today's press statement on the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) by Security Council President Jagdish Koonjul (Mauritius):


Council members considered the Secretary-General’s twelfth report on UNAMSIL (document S/2001/1195).  They expressed their deep regret at the death of six Zambian peacekeepers on 5 January.  They offered their condolences to the Government and people of Zambia.


Council members agreed that the elections in Sierra Leone in May were an important milestone in the peace process in that country.  While elections were, of course, primarily the responsibility of the Government of Sierra Leone and the National Electoral Commission, Council members agreed that UNAMSIL had an important supporting role to play.  They welcomed the Secretary-General’s recommendations for UNAMSIL’s role in the elections:  to provide support with security, logistics, monitoring, public information and the coordination of election observers.


Council members stressed the importance of regional stability and encouraged high level contacts within the Mano River Union for improving relations between the countries of the region.


Council members also underlined the importance of adequate resources for the reintegration of ex-combatants.


Council members confirmed their intention to adopt a resolution clarifying UNAMSIL’s role in the elections as soon as possible.


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