|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6493rd Meeting (AM)
Security Council Withdraws Liberia Mission’s Support Contingent,
Hands Over Special Court Security to Sierra Leone Police
The Security Council this morning requested the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to withdraw the military personnel that have been providing security for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, as it decided to end the authorization for that deployment.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1971 (2011), the Council said it looked forward to the successful provision of security for the Court by local security personnel and requested the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) to include officials of the Court in its evacuation contingency arrangements.
The deployment of up to 250 UNMIL personnel to Sierra Leone was authorized by the Council — to guard the Special Court’s facilities, personnel and confidential records — by resolution 1626 (2005), according to a letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council dated 11 February 2011 (document S/2011/74). The guard force, provided by Mongolia, was reduced to 150 troops at the end of 2009.
Through the letter, the Secretary-General told the Council that the Registrar of the Special Court had informed the Secretariat in October 2010 that the UNMIL military guard would no longer be required beyond February 2011. The Government of Sierra Leone requested that the withdrawal be postponed until the end of February or early March 2011, to allow additional time to train the local security personnel that would assume the responsibility.
The Freetown-based Court was set up jointly in 2002 by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the West African country since 30 November 1996.
The meeting was opened at 10:16 a.m. and closed at 10:18 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1971 (2011) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions and statements by its President concerning the situations in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in particular its resolution 1626 (2005) which authorized the deployment of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) military personnel to Sierra Leone to provide security for the Special Court for Sierra Leone,
“Welcoming the Secretary-General’s letter of 11 February 2011 (S/2011/74),
“Expressing appreciation for the contribution of UNMIL military personnel, particularly the Mongolian UNMIL contingent, to the provision of security for the Special Court for Sierra Leone,
“Noting that the Registrar of the Special Court informed the Secretariat by letter dated 13 October 2010 that the UNMIL military guard force would no longer be required beyond February 2011, and the request by the Government of Sierra Leone that withdrawal be postponed to late February or early March,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides to discontinue the authorization granted in paragraph 5 of resolution 1626 (2005), and requests that UNMIL withdraw, by March 7, 2011, the military personnel providing security for the Special Court for Sierra Leone;
“2. Further decides to discontinue the authorization and request to UNMIL in paragraph 7 of resolution 1626 (2005) to evacuate officials of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in the event of a serious security crisis affecting those personnel and the Court;
“3. Looks forward to the successful provision of security for the Court by local security personnel, and requests the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) to include, within existing security evacuation contingency arrangements, relevant officials of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.”
* *** *