Following is the press statement on Sierra Leone delivered by Security Council President Mamady Traoré (Guinea):
The members of the Council considered the situation in Sierra Leone and the situation of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) on the basis of the Secretary-General's latest report (document S/2003/321).
The members of the Council welcomed the role played by UNAMSIL in maintaining stability.
The members of the Council agreed that UNAMSIL's rate of withdrawal should take into account the security conditions and the capacity of the Sierra Leone police and army to maintain them, as indicated in the report of the Secretary-General.
The members of the Council invited Member States to make generous contributions for the financing of the reintegration and civilian police training programmes by the United Nations.
The members of the Council reiterated their concern at the destabilizing impact of the conflict in Liberia on the subregion, and on Sierra Leone in particular. They called on the Liberian Government and Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) to initiate a direct dialogue with a view to a peaceful settlement of their dispute.
The members of the Council decided to consider a resolution extending the mandate of UNAMSIL for a period of six months, to be adopted the following week.
The members of the Council thanked UNAMSIL, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the United Kingdom for their peace consolidation efforts in Sierra Leone.