18/01/2002
Press Release
SG/SM/8103
AFR/372



SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES COMPLETION OF SIERRA LEONE DISARMAMENT PROCESS,

STRESSES CRUCIAL TASKS REMAINING


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:


The Secretary-General welcomes the formal completion of the disarmament process in Sierra Leone on 11 January 2002.  A symbolic bonfire of weapons and ammunition, marking the completion of the process, took place today in Lungi, Sierra Leone, witnessed by several heads of State and government representatives from the West African subregion.


The Secretary-General notes that the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in May 2002, the extension of State authority throughout the country, the restoration of ex-combatants, the restoration of the Government’s control over natural resources, and the resettlement of returning refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as forging national reconciliation, remain crucial tasks for the peace process which also requires generous support from the international community.


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