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Security Council mission heads to West Africa to observe peace operations

Security Council mission heads to West Africa to observe peace operations

Amb. Jones Parry briefs journalists
With the United Nations Security Council spending at least half of its time on African issues, the Ambassadors of 14 of the 15 Council members will leave New York on Sunday for a 10-day fact-finding visit to seven West African countries, the leader of the group said today.

Among the mission’s goals was to observe the UN peacekeeping operations in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom said at a press briefing. The other countries in the itinerary are Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria.

The Russian Federation was not being represented, according to a list Mr. Parry issued, but the Chairman of the UN Economic and Social Council’s Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Guinea-Bissau, South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, would join them in that country.

The 20 to 29 June mission would raise awareness of all UN activities in the region and ensure that the removal of a problem in one country did not result in its arrival in another, Ambassador Jones Parry said.

In Nigeria, the group would discuss West African issues with President Olusegun Obasanjo, but would not meet with exiled former Liberian President Charles Taylor since the Council’s views on the need to bring Mr. Taylor to justice were fairly clear.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the Council would deliver a tough message that all signatories of the Linas-Marcoussis peace agreement must live up to their responsibilities and keep the national reconciliation process on track.

In Liberia, the Council would discuss the criteria the Transitional Government needed to meet to have Security Council sanctions lifted.


Video of press briefing [11mins]