Global perspective Human stories

Security Council concerned by lack of government control in parts of Sierra Leone

Security Council concerned by lack of government control in parts of Sierra Leone

Members of the United Nations Security Council today voiced concern that the Government of Sierra Leone has not yet fully re-established control in parts of the country, including the diamond-producing areas, and urged authorities in Freetown to make rapid progress with this, including by adopting a policy for the diamond sector.

Reading a statement to the press, the current Council President, Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière of France, said members shared the concerns of Secretary-General Kofi Annan about the regional security situation, reiterating the importance of relaunching the political dialogue among Mano River Union countries. They stressed the need to find a solution to the conflicts in Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire, and encouraged the efforts undertaken by States engaged in helping to find such a solution.

Council Members welcomed the initial work underway in the Special Court for Sierra Leone and reiterated their full support for the Court as well as for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "These are important elements of the reconciliation process in Sierra Leone," Ambassador de La Sablière said.

The statement welcomed the progress made by the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in its restructuring and the first two phases of its drawdown plans. Members underlined the importance of the Government continuing to strengthen the army and police, including through adequate logistical and infrastructural support, so that they can soon assume full responsibility for security.

Members also welcomed the news of progress with reintegration, and encouraged this to continue so that all ex-combatants will have received training by the end of 2003. "They also expressed their willingness to visit Sierra Leone on the occasion of the next Security Council mission in the region," the Council President said.

Earlier today, Council members heard a briefing on the Secretary-General's latest report on UNAMSIL, and in their statement commended Mr. Annan and the Mission for their role in maintaining peace in Sierra Leone and for providing a platform for post-conflict reconstruction.