SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS INCURSIONS INTO GUINEA BY LIBERIA AND SIERRA LEONE REBELS

21 December 2000
SC/6980

SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS INCURSIONS INTO GUINEA BY LIBERIA AND SIERRA LEONE REBELS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Security Council                                               SC/6980

4252nd Meeting (PM)                                          21 December 2000

 

 

SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS INCURSIONS INTO GUINEA

BY LIBERIA AND SIERRA LEONE REBELS

 

 

      The Security Council this afternoon condemned, in the strongest terms, the recent incursions into Guinea by rebel groups from Liberia and Sierra Leone that have affected villages and towns along the entire length of Guinea’s border.

 

      In a statement read out it by its President, Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation), the Council deplored the fact that attacks by the rebel groups had claimed many lives –- in particular, those of civilians –- and had caused an exodus of local inhabitants and refugees, further exacerbating an already grave humanitarian situation.

 

      The Council also condemned the recent looting of the facilities of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations.  It demanded an immediate halt to all acts of violence, especially those directed against civilians, as well as the infiltration of displaced persons camps by armed elements.  It further demanded that those responsible for the violations of international humanitarian law be brought to justice.

 

      The Council reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Guinea.  In that regard, it expressed serious concern over reports that external military support was being provided to the rebel groups.  It called on all States, particularly Liberia, to refrain from providing any such military support and from any act that might contribute to further destabilization of the situation.  The Council also called on all States in the region to prevent armed individuals from using their national territory to prepare and commit attacks in neighbouring countries.

 

      The Council expressed deep appreciation to the Government of Guinea for hosting a large number of refugees.  It pronounced itself concerned by the growing hostile attitude among the local population towards refugees, and urged Guinea’s Government to take urgent measures to discourage the propagation of such anti-refugee feelings. 

 

      Noting its deep concern over the fate of all those who continue to live in a state of insecurity, the Council urged all competent organizations to ensure that humanitarian relief continues.  In that regard, it underlined the importance of integrated action by the United Nations agencies, acting in coordination with the Government of Guinea and with the support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

 

 

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Security Council                       - 2 -             Press Release SC/6980

4252nd Meeting (PM)                                    21 December 2000

 

 

      The Council also expressed its concern over the security of humanitarian personnel working in Sierra Leone and Guinea and, in that regard, called on all the parties to facilitate the work of the humanitarian organizations.  It urged the parties to guarantee the security of refugees and displaced persons, and the security of the staff of the United Nations and humanitarian organizations. 

 

      The Council requested the Secretary-General to consider what support the international community, and in particular the United Nations, might provide to ECOWAS to ensure security on the border that Guinea shares with Liberia and Sierra Leone, and to report thereon to the Council as soon as possible.  The Council supported the appeal made by the heads of State and government of ECOWAS for an urgent meeting of the heads of the three countries under the auspices of ECOWAS and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

 

The Council welcomed the proposed inter-agency multidisciplinary mission to West Africa, supported its earliest possible departure to the region and looked forward to its report and recommendations.

 

      The meeting was called to order at 1:19 p.m. and adjourned at 1:26 p.m.

 

      Presidential Statement

 

      The full text of the statement, document S/PRST/2000/41, reads as follows:

 

      “The Security Council expresses its deep concern at developments on the border that Guinea shares with Liberia and Sierra Leone.

 

      “The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the recent incursions into Guinea by rebel groups coming from Liberia and Sierra Leone that have affected villages and towns along the entire length of Guinea’s border, including in Gueckedou on 6 December 2000 and in Kissidougou on 10 December 2000.  The Council deplores the fact that these attacks claimed many lives, in particular the lives of civilians, and caused an exodus of local inhabitants and refugees, further exacerbating an already grave humanitarian situation.  The Council also condemns the recent looting of the facilities of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations.  The Council demands an immediate halt to all acts of violence, especially those directed against civilians, as well as the infiltration of displaced persons camps by armed elements, and that those responsible for the violations of international humanitarian law be brought to justice.

 

      “The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Guinea.  It expresses its serious concern, in this regard, over reports that external military support is being provided to these rebel groups.  It calls on all States, particularly Liberia, to refrain from providing any such military support and from any act that might contribute to further destabilization of the situation on the borders between Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  The Council further calls upon all States in the region to prevent armed individuals from using their national territory to prepare and commit attacks in neighbouring countries.

 

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Security Council                       - 3 -             Press Release SC/6980

4252nd Meeting (PM)                                    21 December 2000

 

 

      “The Security Council notes with interest the common undertakings assumed by Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone at the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held in Bamako on 15 and 16 December 2000 (S/2000/1201, annex) and calls upon them to implement those undertakings fully and without delay.  It again pays tribute to the current Chairman of ECOWAS and to that organization for the important role they play towards restoring peace and security to the three countries of the Mano River Union.  [The Council requests the Secretary-General to consider what support the international community, and in particular the United Nations, might provide to ECOWAS in order to ensure security on the border that Guinea shares with Liberia and Sierra Leone, and to report in that connection to the Council as soon as possible.]  The Council supports the appeal made by the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for an urgent meeting of the Heads of State of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone under the auspices of ECOWAS and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

 

      “The Security Council expresses deep appreciation for the Government of Guinea for hosting a large number of refugees.  The Council is concerned by the growing hostile attitude among the local population towards refugees, and urges the Government of Guinea to take urgent measures to discourage the propagation of such anti-refugee feelings.

 

      “The Security Council expresses its deep concern over the fate of all those who continue to live in a state of insecurity, especially the local populations and the tens of thousands of refugees and displaced persons.  It urges all the competent organizations to ensure that humanitarian relief continues, and it underlines the importance of integrated action by the United Nations agencies, acting in coordination with the Government of Guinea and the support of ECOWAS.  The Council believes that humanitarian assistance in secure locations must be made available not only to displaced refugees and Guineans, but also to those refugees returning to Sierra Leone.  The Council calls on the Secretary-General and UNHCR to ensure that suitable programmes of reintegration and assistance exist and are enhanced where security permits in Sierra Leone.  It also recognizes the important role of the international community and the competent non-governmental organizations in providing the humanitarian relief which the local populations, the refugees and the displaced persons so sorely need.  The Council is concerned over the security of humanitarian personnel working in Sierra Leone and Guinea.  It calls on all the parties concerned to facilitate the work of the humanitarian organizations.  It urges the parties to guarantee the security of refugees and displaced persons, and the security of the staff of the United Nations and humanitarian organizations.  The Council also reaffirms the need to respect the civilian character of refugee camps.

 

      “The Security Council welcomes the proposed Inter-Agency multidisciplinary mission to West Africa, supports its earliest possible departure to the region and looks forward to its report and recommendations.”

 

 

 

 

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For information media. Not an official record.