Sierra Leone

UN Determined To Implement Sierra Leone Accord

NEW YORK, UN (PANA) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has said the world body is determined to implement the Sierra Leonean peace agreement by deploying the 11,000 peacekeepers approved for the country.
Responding to a question at a news conference in New York Monday on the likely collapse of the peace process as a result of the unwillingness of the rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) to disarm, he said he hoped the peace process would not fail.

"I hope we don't repeat the experience of Angola," he added.

A four-year peace process brokered by the UN to end the Angolan civil war collapsed in 1998 as a result of the failure of the rebel UNITA to fulfil its obligations under the peace plan.

Annan told reporters that although the RUF and its leader, Foday Sankoh, were behaving in ways similar to UNITA, efforts have been going on to ensure that the RUF complies with its commitments under the peace plan signed in Lome, Togo, in 1999.

"Efforts are also being made to get Foday Sankoh and the RUF to understand their responsibility under the agreement," Annan said.

He appealed to Sierra Leonean citizens to co-operate with the UN to bring peace and stability to their country.

"The people want, they need (peace) and they are tired of the senseless war," he stressed.

As to when the UN would send peacekeepers to the Democratic Republic Congo, he said this will be done when the Congolese belligerents comply with the peace agreement they signed in July 1999 in Lusaka, Zambia.

"If the parties concerned are not prepared to do that, then the United Nations must not be blamed," he said.

Annan noted that the head of the UN peacekeeping department, Bernard Miyet, toured the region a few weeks ago to help with preparations for the deployment of peacekeepers but soon after he left, fighting broke out.

"In these conditions, what can the peacekeeping force do?" he asked.

The UN security council had in February authorised the deployment of a 5,500-peace-mission for Congo but predicated their deployment on an end to fighting by the parties.

But fighting has persisted, even though the parties have repeatedly said they were committed to the peace accord.

Copyright =A9 2000 Panafrican News Agency. All Rights Reserved. Material may not be redistributed, posted to any other location, published or used for broadcast without written authorization from the Panafrican News Agency. B.P. 4056, Dakar, Senegal. Tel: (221) 824-13-95 | Fax: (221) 824-13-90 | E-mail:


Pan African News Agency
Copyright - All PANA content and graphics is protected by copyright and international treaties and may not be copied, reproduced or re-used for any purpose without written permission.