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Security Council members underline need to develop Sierra Leone police

Security Council members underline need to develop Sierra Leone police

Amb. Greenstock speaking to the press
Security Council members today underlined the need for further reform of the security sector in Sierra Leone, especially by developing its police force.

The current President of the Council, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, said in a press statement that the 15 members agreed these would be key benchmarks in planning for the gradual downsizing of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). He added that the members looked forward to a further discussion of the matter after Secretary-General Kofi Annan has reported on UNAMSIL later this year.

Noting the current shortfall in funding for Sierra Leone, he said the members appealed to donors not to underestimate the country’s continuing requirement for peace-building support.

Ambassador Greenstock’s statement came after the Council heard a briefing by the UN Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, and discussed the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNAMSIL.

In addition to the briefing by Mr. Guéhenno, the Council also heard a report from Ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zinser of Mexico on his recent visit to West Africa as chairman of the Sierra Leone sanctions committee.

Ambassador Greenstock noted that Council members agreed on the importance of a regional perspective. “The fighting in Liberia could threaten the stability of Sierra Leone still, and they encouraged the efforts of ECOWAS and others towards finding a solution to the Liberian conflict,” he said, referring to the Economic Community of West African States.

Council Members also looked forward to the workshop on 18 July on the Mano River Union, which will be chaired by Baroness Valerie Amos, the UK Minister for Africa, Ambassador Greenstock said. “Members regarded that as an opportunity to discuss how the lessons of Sierra Leone could be applied to the region more generally,” he said.