UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone extended six months

UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone extended six months

Concerned at the continuing fragile security situation in the Mano River region, the Security Council today extended for six months, until 30 September, the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).

The Council unanimously adopted the resolution to prolong the operation, emphasizing that "the development of the administrative capacities of the Government of Sierra Leone, particularly an effective and sustainable police, army, penal system and independent judiciary, is essential to long-term peace and development."

In a recent report, Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended a continued gradual withdrawal of UN peacekeepers from Sierra Leone, primarily because of the "shortcomings" in the country's armed and law enforcement forces.

The Council also welcomed progress with deployment of UN civilian police to UNAMSIL, and urged countries to provide resources to help fulfil the police size and capacity targets of the Mission.

The resolution also encouraged the continued support of UNAMSIL "within its capabilities and areas of deployment, for the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons."