PRESS STATEMENT ON SIERRA LEONE BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Following is the text of today’s press statement on Sierra Leone by the President of the Security Council, Alfonso Valdivieso (Colombia):
Security Council members heard a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General Annabi on the latest developments in Sierra Leone.
They welcomed progress made in Sierra Leone in the last two months, in particular the deployment of UNAMSIL further through the country as soon as possible before October 2001, and the impressive inflow into the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme over the period.
They noted, however, that this needs to be followed up with substantive progress in other areas such as the extension of Government authority throughout the country, including the deployment of a robust police presence, before credible conditions for elections can be obtained.
They encouraged the donor community to make further urgent contributions to the DDR Trust Fund to enable reinsertion benefits to be made, and underlined the importance of speedy progress on developing reintegration programmes.
They supported President Kaba’s efforts to promote confidence-building measures in the River Mano Union, including a possible Summit of the leaders.
Council members noted the moratorium on diamond mining announced by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and encouraged the Government to come forward with a long term strategy for managing the diamond districts.
They expressed concern about the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by renegade members of the Civil Defence Force (CDF) and RUF and calls on all parties to refrain from the use of force.
Members stressed the importance of the development of a fully worked up strategy by the Government of Sierra Leone and other partners for the holding of elections as soon as conditions permit, and looked forward also to seeing an outline of UNAMSIL’s plans to support the process as soon as possible.
They welcomed the Secretariat’s intention to send a planning mission to Sierra Leone and the recent further contributions to the funding of the Special Court, and underlined the importance of donors fulfilling existing pledges quickly and the need for new contributions.
They underlined the importance of planning on the Court to be taken forward in close collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Right’s work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.