PRESS STATEMENT BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ON LIBERIA
Following is the text of a press statement on Liberia delivered today by the President of the Security Council, John Negroponte (United States):
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hedi Annabi, briefed members of the Security Council on the October 1 establishment of the United Nations Mission in Liberia, the status of force generation and troop deployment, and on implementation by the parties of the Accra Agreement.
Members of the Security Council expressed appreciation for the service performed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) forces that preceded the United Nations Mission in Liberia and for the strong foundation that they left for the United Nations, as well as for the work of ECOWAS mediator General Abdulsalami Abubakr. Members looked forward to a smooth transition from ECOWAS to United Nations forces and welcomed the fact that the new headquarters would be operational by 1 November and that forces would be fully deployed by next March.
Members applauded the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia, Jacques Klein, and anticipated that his leadership would help the parties remain on a path towards peace, coordinate the various United Nations agencies present in Liberia and manage the present complex humanitarian emergency. They also welcomed the recent appointment of Lieutenant-General Daniel Opande as the United Nations Mission in Liberia force commander.
Members of the Security Council expressed concern that former President Charles Taylor is still attempting to influence events in Liberia and noted that any interference from Mr. Taylor could threaten the carefully constructed peace agreement in Liberia. They also underscored the importance of a programme to demobilize, disarm, reintegrate and repatriate combatants to peace and security for Liberia and urged all parties to commit to such a programme immediately.
Members reiterated their appeal to all armed groups to respect fully the ceasefire, to support the transitional government and comply with its authority and to cooperate in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration effort.
They also appealed to the international community to intensify its support to the economic reconstruction of the country.
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