Sierra Leone

 

Statement to the Press by Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, President of the Security Council on Sierra Leone

Wednesday, 6 June 2001

 

Members of the Security Council heard a briefing from the Secretariat on the situation in Sierra Leone, and

in particular, the introduction of Secretary-Generalís report on the situation of refugees and internally

displaced persons in the Mano River Union countries, and held a discussion on the matter.

 

Council members took note of the recent developments regarding the refugees and the internally displaced

persons in these countries and expressed concern at the continuing humanitarian crisis.

 

Council members appreciated that additional burden is placed on the host countries and their population as

a result of the crisis and commended their efforts in providing asylum, protection and assistance to the large

number of refugees and the IDPs.

 

Council members urged all parties to ensure the human rights and security of all refugees and IDPs as well

as the security of the humanitarian personnel working in the sub-region.

 

Council members felt that a phased approach to the return of refugees to Sierra Leone would be practical.

They agreed with the three-phased approach of the UNHCR to relocate refugees further inland in safer areas

in Guinea, provide greater protection and assistance for refugees and IDPs in the border areas and arrange

voluntary repatriation of refugees to Sierra Leone. They felt that a comprehensive and detailed plan is

needed for the progressive return of refugees to Sierra Leone.

 

Council members expressed their support for the efforts of UNHCR, UNAMSIL, other UN agencies and

non-governmental organizations in providing assistance to the refugees and the IDPs.

 

Council members called upon the international community to make the necessary additional resources

available in response to the UN consolidated appeal for West Africa and the consolidated appeal for Sierra

Leone, and also during the forthcoming donorsí conference on financing the DDR programme to be held in

Paris on 11 and 12 June.

 

Council members expressed their appreciation for the proactive role of UNAMSIL in recent weeks in

promoting the peace process.

 

Council members encouraged the three Heads of State of the Mano River Union countries to enter a process

of dialogue for promoting peace the sub-region and appreciated the role of ECOWAS in this regard.