Global Policy Forum

Annan Recommends Extending, Reinforcing UN Mission in Sierra Leone

UN News
August 28, 2000

Stressing that the security provided by the United Nations military in Sierra Leone remained an "essential element" of the peace process there, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended a boost in the UN operation's capacity, as well as a six-month extension of its mandate. In his latest report to the Security Council, Mr. Annan suggested that UNAMSIL be strengthened to a level of 20,500 military personnel, including 260 military observers, to enable it to enhance its operational structure and overall effectiveness and to deploy in key areas throughout the country.

"The presence of a robust and determined peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone should be part of a strategy to induce armed groups to disarm, in combination with strong incentives for their reintegration into Sierra Leone society," the Secretary-General writes in the report released today at UN Headquarters in New York. To that end, he appealed to Sierra Leonean authorities and their international partners to prepare projects offering combatants the opportunity of a "new and more constructive life."

Mr. Annan also urged the Government of Sierra Leone to extend its authority throughout the country, to consolidate its administration, and most importantly, to develop its capacity to ensure its own security.

Noting that his report was being issued shortly after the publication of an analysis of UN peacekeeping, the Secretary-General said that the course taken by the Security Council, Member States and the UN on the situation in Sierra Leone represented "an important first test" of their joint responsibility to implement the peacekeeping report's recommendations, which aim to make the UN "truly credible as a force for peace."

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