March 31, 2003
The United Nations Security Council on Friday extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) by six months to 30 September. Unanimously adopting resolution 1470 (2003), the Council urged UNAMSIL to "take responsibility for internal and external security", complete Phase two and enact Phase three of UNAMSIL's drawdown plan as was presented in Secretary-General Kofi Annan's fifteenth report. In the report, Annan had recommended a continued gradual withdrawal of UN peacekeepers from Sierra Leone, primarily because of "shortcomings" in the country's armed and law enforcement forces.
The Council also expressed concern at the continuing financial shortfall in a multi-donor trust fund for Sierra Leone's disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programme and urged the government to seek urgently needed additional resources for reintegration. It stressed that developing the administrative capacities of the government - particularly an effective and sustainable police force, army, penal system and independent judiciary - was essential to long-term peace and development.
It urged the government with the assistance of donors and UNAMSIL to accelerate the consolidation of civil authority and public services throughout the country and to strengthen the operational effectiveness and capacities of the security sector.
Noting efforts made by the government to effectively control diamond-mining areas, the council also urged the government to consider urgent policy options for more effective regulation and control of diamond-mining activities and encouraged it to adopt and implement such a policy as soon as possible. It called on states, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to continue supporting the National Recovery Strategy of the government. The Council welcomed the launch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the progress made in its activities and urged donors to generously commit funds to it.
The Council called on the Presidents of the Mano River Union (MRU) member states to resume dialogue and implement their commitments to building regional peace and security and encouraged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Morocco to continue their efforts towards a settlement of the crisis in the MRU region. The MRU comprises Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. It also encouraged the government to pay special attention to the needs of women and children affected by war.
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