22-Oct-99

SC/6742

Resolution 1270 (1999) Adopted Unanimously

The Security Council this morning established the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) with immediate effect for an initial period of six months and, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, decided that UNAMSIL could act to ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel and protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, taking into account the responsibilities of the Government of Sierra Leone and the Economic Community of West African States’ Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG).

As it unanimously adopted resolution 1270 (1999), the Council mandated the new mission to:cooperate with the Government of Sierra Leone and the other parties to the peace agreement that was signed in Lom on 7 July; assist the Government of Sierra Leone in the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration plan; establish a presence at key locations throughout the territory of Sierra Leone; ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel; and monitor adherence to the ceasefire.

The Council also decided that the military component of UNAMSIL shall comprise a maximum of 6,000 military personnel, including 260 military observers, subject to periodic review in the light of conditions on the ground and progress made in the peace process, in particular in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme. The Council further decided that UNAMSIL will take over the substantive civilian and military components and functions of the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) as well as its assets. The mandate of UNOMSIL shall terminate immediately on the establishment of UNAMSIL.

According to the 27-operative paragraph resolution, the Council underlined the importance of including in UNAMSIL personnel with appropriate training in international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, including child and gender-related provisions, negotiation and communication skills, cultural awareness and civilian-military coordination. The Council also emphasized that the plight of children is among the most pressing challenges facing Sierra Leone and welcomed the continued commitment of the Government to work with United Nations and other international agencies for the long-term rehabilitation of child combatants there.

Security Council – 1a – Press Release SC/6742 4054th Meeting (AM)22 October 1999

Also under the terms of the resolution, the Council stressed the urgent need for substantial resources to finance the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process, and called on all States, international and other organizations to contribute generously to the multi-donor trust fund established by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The Council called on all the parties to fulfil their commitments under the Lom peace agreement. It called on the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone, the Civil Defence Forces, former Sierra Leone Armed Forces/Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and all other armed groups to disband, give up their arms and participate fully in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme.

It noted the intention of the Secretary-General to keep the situation under close review and to revert to the Council with additional proposals, if required. The Council also requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council every 45 days.

Under-Secretary-General Olara Otunnu, Special Representative of the Secretary- General for Children and Armed Conflict, made a statement. Statements were also made by the representatives of Sierra Leone, Nigeria, United Kingdom, United States, Malaysia, France, Gambia, Netherlands, China, Brazil, Argentina. Canada and Bahrain.

The meeting, which began at 11:41 a. m. , was adjourned at 1:27 p. m. .

Work Programme

The Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Sierra Leone. It had before it a report by the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) (document S/1999/1003), in which he recommends that the Council authorize the deployment of a United Nations force, which, together with the UNOMSIL military observers and civilian components, would be known as the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). The force would be large and capable and should operate on the basis of robust rules of engagement.

The Council, when it authorized the provisional expansion of UNOMSIL (resolution 1260(1999)), also requested the Secretary-General to make recommendations for the mandate and structure of the enhanced United Nations peacekeeping presence. The present report is submitted pursuant to that request.

The Secretary-General says the incorporation of officers and men from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries into the new United Nations mission will be indispensable for the success of the peace process. He renews his appeal to donors to contribute generously to the Economic Community of West African States’ Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG), or directly to its troop- contributing countries, to ensure that they have the means to perform their tasks.

The main purpose of the United Nations force, he says, would be to assist the Government to disarm and demobilize all former combatants and to create conditions of confidence and stability. The force would not be mandated to ensure the security of Freetown and the international airport at Lungi or to provide protection for the Government. Those tasks, as well as operations against rogue elements, would remain the responsibility of ECOMOG.

The United Nations force, which would deploy throughout Sierra Leone, would be led by the Secretary-General s Special Representative, assisted by a Force Commander with the rank of major-general. It would require assurances of freedom of movement and cooperation from all parties.

The Secretary-General recommends the following mandate for such a force: assisting the Government of Sierra Leone in the implementation of the disarmament, destabilization and reintegration plan; establishing a presence at key locations throughout the territory of Sierra Leone; ensuring the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel; monitoring adherence to the cease-fire; encouraging the parties to create confidence-building mechanisms; facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance; supporting the operations of United Nations civilian officials; and providing support, as requested, to the elections, which are to be held in accordance with the present Constitution of Sierra Leone.

The United Nations force should comprise six infantry battalions, and specialized support units, including logistics, communications, engineering and air and other transportation. The force should be provided with helicopters and armoured personnel carriers and the existing medical support unit should be increased in size. A helicopter-borne rapid reaction element would also form part of the force structure. It would be necessary to expand the number of military observers from the currently authorized 210 to 260. The total number of military personnel will be some 6,000.

The Secretary-General would seek troop-contributions for a significant part of the force from ECOWAS countries, in particular those currently contributing to ECOMOG. Such troops could be deployed rapidly to Sierra Leone, if they were not already there, as part of ECOMOG. Units provided by Member States outside the region should be inducted as soon as possible. As the overall security situation in the country improves, the Secretary-General would recommend a reduction of the force level.

Throughout the process, the Secretary-General declares, the question of security must remain paramount. The concept of operations is predicated upon ECOMOG remaining in Sierra Leone. If Nigerian troops withdraw, a reassessment of the security conditions will be required. In that case, the Secretary-General might make further proposals to strengthen the United Nations presence. If there is a full withdrawal by ECOMOG, a much stronger United Nations force of about 10 infantry battalions would be required.

The international community will not be able to maintain a major military presence in Sierra Leone indefinitely, the Secretary-General warns. He urges the Government of Sierra Leone to expedite the establishment and training of its national police and armed forces, without which it will not be possible to achieve long-term stability, national reconciliation and the reconstruction of the country. More immediately, however, Sierra Leone is in urgent need of security, the Secretary-General continues. He calls on Corporal Foday Sankoh, the leader of the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone (RUF) Johnny Paul Koroma, the leader of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) to return without delay to Freetown to take part in the peace process.

The report which also reviews political developments, the military and security situation, human rights, humanitarian aspects, disarmament and demobilization, discusses cooperation between ECOMOG and the United Nations. It notes that, on 25 August, ECOWAS adopted a new mandate for ECOMOG, providing, among other things for the Military Observer Group to do the following:maintain peace and security of the Sierra Leonean State; provide protection for UNOMSIL and the personnel working in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme; provide security throughout the country for UNOMSIL military observers, human rights monitors, humanitarian aid workers and the staff of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme; and disarm all fighters of the RUF, Civil Defence Force, former Sierra Leone armed forces and paramilitary groups, in conjunction with UNOMSIL.

The Secretary-General advises that the withdrawal of Nigerian troops began on 31 August, but was suspended following a meeting between Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and the President of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. The Government of Nigeria has indicated that the withdrawals will resume in October. . Even as it draws down its forces in Sierra Leone, however, ECOMOG intends to continue to provide security for the areas where it is currently located, in particular around Freetown and Lungi, and to proceed with at least the early stages of disarmament and demobilization.

On the question of financial aspects, the Secretary-General says he has obtained the concurrence of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Question (ACABQ) regarding the utilization of the amount of $5. 5 million for the maintenance of the mission from 1 July to 31 October 1999. He has requested commitment authority from the Committee for $6. 3 million to provide for the Mission s immediate requirements in connection with the deployment of additional military and civilian personnel and equipment.

Draft Resolution

The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/1999/1069) which reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 1171 (1998) of 5 June 1998, 1181 (1998) of 13 July 1998, 1231 (1999) of 11 March 1999 and 1260 (1999) of 20 August 1999 and other relevant resolutions and the statement of its President of 15 May 1999 (S/PRST/1999/13),

Recalling also the report of the Secretary-General of 8 September 1999 (S/1999/957) and its resolution 1265 (1999) of 17 September 1999 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict,

Affirming the commitment of all States to respect the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Sierra Leone,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 23 September 1999 (S/1999/1003),

Determining that the situation in Sierra Leone continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

1. Welcomes the important steps taken by the Government of Sierra Leone, the leadership of the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone (RUF), the Military Observer Group (ECOMOG) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) towards implementation of the Peace Agreement (S/1999/777) since its signing in Lom on 7 July 1999, and recognizes the important role of the Joint Implementation Committee established by the Peace Agreement under the chairmanship of the President of Togo;

2. Calls upon the parties to fulfil all their commitments under the Peace Agreement to facilitate the restoration of peace, stability, national reconciliation and development in Sierra Leone;

3. Takes note of the preparations made for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, including child soldiers, by the Government of Sierra Leone through the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, and urges all concerned to make every effort to ensure that all designated centres begin to function as soon as possible;

4. Calls upon the RUF, the Civil Defence Forces, former Sierra Leone Armed Forces/Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and all other armed groups in Sierra Leone to begin immediately to disband and give up their arms in accordance with the provisions of the Peace Agreement, and to participate fully in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme;

5. Welcomes the return to Freetown of the leaders of the RUF and AFRC, and calls upon them to engage fully and responsibly in the implementation of the Peace Agreement and to direct the participation of all rebel groups in the disarmament and demobilization process without delay;

6. Deplores the recent taking of hostages, including UNOMSIL and ECOMOG personnel, by rebel groups and calls upon those responsible to put an end to such practices immediately and to address their concerns about the terms of the Peace Agreement peacefully through dialogue with the parties concerned;

7. Reiterates its appreciation for the indispensable role which ECOMOG forces continue to play in the maintenance of security and stability in and the protection of the people of Sierra Leone, and approves the new mandate for ECOMOG (S/1999/1073, annex) adopted by ECOWAS on 25 August 1999;

8. Decides to establish the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) with immediate effect for an initial period of six months and with the following mandate:

(a) To cooperate with the Government of Sierra Leone and the other parties to the Peace Agreement in the implementation of the Agreement;

(b) To assist the Government of Sierra Leone in the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration plan;

(c) To that end, to establish a presence at key locations throughout the territory of Sierra Leone, including at disarmament/reception centres and demobilization centres;

(d) To ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel;

(e) To monitor adherence to the ceasefire in accordance with the ceasefire agreement of 18 May 1999 (S/1999/585, annex) through the structures provided for therein;

(f) To encourage the parties to create confidence-building mechanisms and support their functioning;

(g) To facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance;

(h) To support the operations of United Nations civilian officials, including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and his staff, human rights officers and civil affairs officers;

(i) To provide support, as requested, to the elections, which are to be held in accordance with the present constitution of Sierra Leone;

9. Decides also that the military component of UNAMSIL shall comprise a maximum of 6,000 military personnel, including 260 military observers, subject to periodic review in the light of conditions on the ground and the progress made in the peace process, in particular in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, and takes note of paragraph 43 of the report of the Secretary-General of 23 September 1999;

10. Decides further that UNAMSIL will take over the substantive civilian and military components and functions of UNOMSIL as well as its assets, and to that end decides that the mandate of UNOMSIL shall terminate immediately on the establishment of UNAMSIL;

11. Commends the readiness of ECOMOG to continue to provide security for the areas where it is currently located, in particular around Freetown and Lungi, to provide protection for the Government of Sierra Leone, to conduct other operations in accordance with their mandate to ensure the implementation of the Peace Agreement, and to initiate and proceed with disarmament and demobilization in conjunction and full coordination with UNAMSIL;

12. Stresses the need for close cooperation and coordination between ECOMOG and UNAMSIL in carrying out their respective tasks, and welcomes the intended establishment of joint operations centres at headquarters and, if necessary, also at subordinate levels in the field;

13. Reiterates the importance of the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel, notes that the Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF have agreed in the Peace Agreement to provide guarantees in this regard, and calls upon all parties in Sierra Leone to respect fully the status of United Nations and associated personnel;

14. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, decides that in the discharge of its mandate UNAMSIL may take the necessary action to ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel and, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, to afford protection to civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, taking into account the responsibilities of the Government of Sierra Leone and ECOMOG;

15. Underlines the importance of including in UNAMSIL personnel with appropriate training in international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, including child and gender-related provisions, negotiation and communication skills, cultural awareness and civilian-military coordination;

16. Requests the Government of Sierra Leone to conclude a status-of-forces agreement with the Secretary-General within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution, and recalls that pending the conclusion of such an agreement the model status-of-forces agreement dated 9 October 1990 (A/45/594) should apply provisionally;

17. Stresses the urgent need to promote peace and national reconciliation and to foster accountability and respect for human rights in Sierra Leone, underlines in this context the key role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Human Rights Commission and the Commission for the Consolidation of Peace established under the Peace Agreement, and urges the Government of Sierra Leone to ensure the prompt establishment and effective functioning of these bodies with the full participation of all parties and drawing on the relevant experience and support of Member States, specialized bodies, other multilateral organizations and civil society;

18. Emphasizes that the plight of children is among the most pressing challenges facing Sierra Leone, welcomes the continued commitment of the Government of Sierra Leone to work with the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and other international agencies to give particular attention to the long-term rehabilitation of child combatants in Sierra Leone, and reiterates its encouragement of those involved to address the special needs of all children affected by the conflict;

19. Urges all parties concerned to ensure that refugees and internally displaced persons are protected and are enabled to return voluntarily and in safety to their homes, and encourages States and international organizations to provide urgent assistance to that end;

20. Stresses the urgent need for substantial additional resources to finance the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process, and calls upon all States, international and other organizations to contribute generously to the multidonor trust fund established by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for this purpose;

21. Stresses also the continued need for urgent and substantial humanitarian assistance to the people of Sierra Leone, as well as for sustained and generous assistance for the longer term tasks of peace-building, reconstruction, economic and social recovery and development in Sierra Leone, and urges all States and international and other organizations to provide such assistance as a priority;

22. Calls upon all parties to ensure safe and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to those in need in Sierra Leone, to guarantee the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and to respect strictly the relevant provisions of international humanitarian and human rights law;

23. Urges the Government of Sierra Leone to expedite the formation of professional and accountable national police and armed forces, including through their restructuring and training, without which it will not be possible to achieve long-term stability, national reconciliation and the reconstruction of the country, and underlines the importance of support and assistance from the international community in this regard;

24. Welcomes the continued work by the United Nations on the development of the Strategic Framework for Sierra Leone aimed at enhancing effective collaboration and coordination within the United Nations system and between the United Nations and its national and international partners in Sierra Leone;

25. Notes the intention of the Secretary-General to keep the situation in Sierra Leone under close review and to revert to the Council with additional proposals if required;

26. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every 45 days to provide updates on the status of the peace process, on security conditions on the ground and on the continued level of deployment of ECOMOG personnel, so that troop levels and the tasks to be performed can be evaluated as outlined in paragraphs 49 and 50 of the report of the Secretary-General of 23 September 1999;

27. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Statements

OLARA A. OTUNNU, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, said Sierra Leoneans wanted to be sure that the war was finally over and see the re-establishment of security. That meant, above all, the disarming of combatants. The most daunting challenge was the “crisis of young people” — the