Global Policy Forum

UN Mission In Sierra Leone To Stay Till 13 June

Panafrican News Agency
March 12, 1999

United Nations - The UN Security Council has extended the mandate of the UN Observer Mission in Sierra Leone to 13 June, and endorsed the decision of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to increase the mission's size and re-establish it in Freetown. A resolution unanimously adopted by the council Thursday again condemned atrocities perpetrated by rebels of the Revolutionary United Front against civilians in the country. The rebels have been killing, mutilating and raping civilians across the country.

While deploring such violations of human rights and humanitarian law during the past months of the escalation of violence, the council urged the Sierra Leonean authorities to investigate the violations. The council expressed support for the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States to peacefully resolve the conflict, and encouraged the secretary-general's special representative in Sierra Leone, Francis Okelo, to facilitate dialogue towards that goal.

The ECOWAS peace monitoring group, ECOMOG, was also commended for its efforts to restore peace, security and stability in Sierra Leone. In support of ECOMOG's efforts, the council called on UN member states to provide the force with financial and logistical support as well as bilateral assistance to the government of Sierra Leone in the creation of its own army. It restated its concern at reports of external support to the rebels, particularly from Liberia. However, it agreed with the Liberian proposal for international monitors of its borders with Sierra Leone.

The council asked Annan to consider in coordination with ECOWAS the effectiveness of deploying UN monitors along with ECOMOG soldiers at the Liberia/Sierra Leonean border. The council reminded member states of their obligation to comply with the embargo on arms to Sierra Leone and said it intended to keep under close review the issue of external support for the rebels.


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