11/06/2003
Press Release
SC/7787
AFR/644



PRESS STATEMENT ON LIBERIA BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT


Following is the text of today’s press statement on Liberia by Security Council President Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation):


Council members were briefed by the Department of Political Affairs on the Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Liberia (S/2002/582) and the ongoing peace talks in Akosambo, Ghana between the Government of Liberia and Liberian parties, as well as the situation on the ground in Liberia.


Council members expressed their grave concern at the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Liberia and urged all combatants in the strongest terms to immediately cease hostilities and agree to a ceasefire.


Council members stressed in particular the urgent need for the combatants to spare the lives and property of innocent civilians, to maintain defensive positions well clear of Monrovia and Buchanan, and to refrain from committing further violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.


In this regard, Council members demanded that all the parties to the fighting in Liberia act to ensure the security and unrestricted access of humanitarian workers so that they can provide assistance to all areas of Liberia.


Council members welcomed Liberian President Charles Taylor’s 4 June announcement that he was prepared to step down no later than the end of his current term.


Council members urged all Liberians to work together to create a peace process, including a transitional government.


Council members expressed their support for the work of the Sierra Leone Special Court, took note of its recent public statement regarding indictments, and expressed the need to ensure both peace and justice are achieved in the region.


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