SECURITY COUNCIL ADJUSTS MANDATE OF LIBERIAN MISSION
SECURITY COUNCIL ADJUSTS MANDATE OF LIBERIAN MISSION19951110 The Security Council this morning decided to adjust the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMlL) to include investigation of cease-fire violations, monitoring compliance with other military provisions of the peace agreements and verification of the election process, in consultation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Economic Community of African States (ECOWAS).
Under the terms of the adjusted mandate, UNOMIL will also assist in the maintenance of assembly sites for demobilization, and the implementation of a programme for the demobilization of combatants, support humanitarian assistance, investigate and report on human rights violations, and exercise its good offices to support the efforts of ECOWAS and the Liberian National Transitional Government to implement the peace agreements.
As it unanimously adopted Security Council resolution 1020 (1995), the Council also decided that the maximum number of military observers should be 160. The Council also called on the Economic Community of African States' Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) to take the necessary action to provide security for UNOMIL observers. It stressed the need for close contacts and enhanced coordination between UNOMIL and ECOMOG at all levels.
Expressing concern about the incidence of cease-fire violations and delays in the process of disengagement of forces, the Council also urged the Liberian National Transitional Government to act to avoid further cease-fire violations and to maintain the momentum of the peace process. The Council demanded that all factions strictly respect the status of ECOMOG and UNOMIL personnel, as well as organizations and agencies delivering humanitarian assistance throughout Liberia. It further demanded that those factions facilitate such deliveries and that they strictly abide by applicable rules of humanitarian law.
As it commended those Member States which had provided assistance in support of the peace process, the Council urged all Member States to
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contribute to the United Nations Trust Fund for Liberia, and to provide logistical and other assistance to ECOMOG.
The Council requested the Secretary-General to submit by 15 December a progress report on the situation in Liberia, including the implementation of the adjusted mandate of UNOMIL and its new concept of operations.
Statements were made by the representatives of Nigeria, Botswana, China, Argentina, Indonesia, Honduras, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Russian Federation, United States, Germany, Rwanda and Oman.
In addition, the representative of Nigeria, speaking in response to references made by several representatives to the executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa today in Nigeria, said he took exception to such remarks, which constituted interference in the internal affairs of his country.
The meeting, which began at 11:45 a.m., was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
The Security Council meets this morning to take up the situation in Liberia. It has before it a report of the Secretary-General (document S/1995/881 and Add.1) in which he recommends that the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) be adjusted.
The report is submitted in pursuance of Security Council resolution 1014 (1995) of 15 September. In that resolution the Council requested the Secretary-General to make recommendations concerning a new concept of operations for UNOMIL, by which it could enhance the relationship between the Mission and the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) and address aspects of disarming and demobilization and the resources UNOMIL would need to carry out its tasks effectively.
According to the report,the Liberian parties over the past two months have re-established the cease-fire, installed the Council of State and shown a greater willingness than in the past to take steps towards the restoration of peace and stability. As a result, an opportunity now exists for bringing an end to the civil war.
Under the proposed adjustment of UNOMIL's mandate, the Mission would continue to observe and monitor the implementation of the peace agreements. Its main functions would be to exercise its good offices to support regional and local efforts to implement the peace agreements; investigate allegations of reported cease-fire violations; recommend measures, in cooperation with ECOMOG and the Liberian National Transitional Government to prevent their recurrence and report to the Secretary-General accordingly; monitor compliance with other military provisions of the peace agreements and verify their impartial application, especially disarming and demobilization of combatants; and assist in the maintenance of assembly sites agreed upon by ECOMOG, the transitional Government and the factions, and in the implementation of a programme for demobilization of combatants.
The UNOMIL would also support humanitarian assistance activities; investigate and report to the Secretary-General on violations of human rights; assist local human rights groups in raising voluntary assistance for training and logistic support, and observe and verify the election process, in consultation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Economic Community of African States (ECOWAS), including the legislative and presidential elections.
To perform the mandate described, the Secretary-General says, the Mission would continue to be headed by a Special Representative, whose present headquarters in Monrovia includes a total of eight Professional staff and would be maintained. A small increase in its staff might become necessary. The military component would encompass 160 military observers who would be stationed at assembly sites and co-located, in mobile teams, with ECOMOG brigade headquarters. The Demobilization and Reintegration Office would be
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headed by a senior officer, reporting to the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, under the overall authority of the Special Representative, and assisted by international and local staff.
The Special Representative would have overall authority and coordination responsibility regarding United Nations activities in Liberia in support of the peace process. All UNOMIL components would rely on integrated logistic, air support, communications and medical evacuation systems.
The expansion cost of UNOMIL for a six-month period is projected at some $27.6 million and includes approximately $10.3 million of non-recurrent costs. The total cost of maintaining UNOMIL for a six-month period amounts to $36 million. The Secretary-General states that despite the financial crisis facing the Organization, the provision of additional resources, modest by comparison with peace-keeping operations elsewhere, is justified by the hope that the Abuja Agreement offers a chance of ending the war in Liberia. As UNOMIL is able to discharge its mandate only if ECOMOG has adequate resources to carry out its own responsibilities, the international community must also provide financial and logistic support to the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Groups (ECOMOG).
The UNOMIL was established in September 1993 as an observer mission to support the work of a subregional peace-keeping operation. It was the first example of such cooperation. Liberian parties had asked the United Nations to assume such responsibilities under the Cotonou Agreement of 25 July 1993. ECOMOG was entrusted with the primary role in implementing the Agreement and UNOMIL was mandated to observe and monitor the implementation procedures to verify their impartial application.
Since then, the parties have signed three supplementary agreements. The Akosombo Agreement of 24 September 1994 called on the Liberian Transitional National Government to play a more active role in ensuring that its provisions were carried out and, in that connection, called on the transitional Government, ECOMOG and UNOMIL to collaborate in supervising and monitoring its implementation. The Agreement also stipulated that the transitional Government would enter into a status-of-forces agreement with ECOWAS, and it provided a more detailed plan for the disengagement, disarmament and demobilization of forces.
Under the Accra Agreement of 21 December 1994, the parties agreed that in the reorganization of the Armed Forces of Liberia, the police, immigration and other security agencies, combatants and non-combatants who had the necessary qualifications should be considered for recruitment. The Council of State would establish appropriate committees to determine the criteria for recruitment, taking advantage of the relevant expertise of ECOMOG and UNOMIL.
While the most recent pact, the Abuja Agreement of 19 August 1995, addressed mainly the composition of the Council of State, it also called on
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the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations to monitor the operations of the Ad Hoc Elections Commission. According to the Agreement, the cease-fire went into effect on 26 August and the factions were to disengage their forces during the period from 5 to 26 September. This was to be followed by the deployment of ECOMOG and UNOMIL from 2 October to 14 December, movement of combatants into assembly sites during the period from 9 November to 3 December and the commencement of disarming on 1 December.
In accordance with those agreements, ECOWAS will continue to play the lead role in the peace process in Liberia, while ECOMOG will retain the primary responsibility for assisting the transitional Government in the implementation of the military provisions of the agreements.
Since the Abuja Agreement came into effect, there have been some violations of the cease-fire, with intermittent fighting between the two wings of the United Liberation Movement for Democracy in Liberia. There have also been informal indications of harassment of civilians and looting.
The parties, which were to have completed their disengagement of forces by 26 September, have not entirely disengaged their forces or dismantled all their checkpoints.
To implement the Abuja Agreement, ECOMOG has defined the following tasks: to monitor the borders of Liberia and man the main entry points by land, sea or air in order to ensure that no arms or ammunition are brought in; to assemble and disarm combatants of all factions; to establish checkpoints to verify the movement of arms and assist in the return of refugees and internally displaced persons; and to carry out intensive patrols throughout the country to build confidence and encourage the holding of free and fair elections. To fulfil these tasks, ECOMOG plans to increase its strength to 12,000 all ranks.
The Secretary-General states, however, that in the final analysis, the responsibility for carrying the people forward rests with the transitional Government and the Liberian faction leaders. They must rise above their differences, avoid further incidents and maintain the momentum of the peace process.
The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/1995/923), sponsored by Argentina, Botswana, China, France, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Oman, Russian Federation, Rwanda and the United Kingdom, the text of which reads as follows:
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"The Security Council,
"Recalling all its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Liberia, in particular resolutions 866 (1993) of 22 September 1993 and 1014 (1995) of 15 September 1995,
"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General dated 23 October 1995 (S/1995/881) on the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL),
"Commending the positive role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in its continuing efforts to restore peace, security and stability in Liberia,
"Stressing the importance of full cooperation and close coordination between UNOMIL and the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) in the implementation of their respective mandates,
"Noting the appreciable progress the Liberian parties have recently made towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict including the re-establishment of a cease-fire, installation of the new Council of State and an agreement on a timetable for the implementation of the peace process from cease-fire to election,
"Noting also that the Liberian parties appear more determined than ever before to take tangible steps towards the restoration of peace and stability in their country,
"Expressing its concern about the incidence of cease-fire violations and delays in the process of disengagement of forces,
"Expressing also its appreciation to those African States that have contributed and are contributing troops to ECOMOG,
"Commending also those Member States that have provided assistance in support of the peace process, including contributions to the Trust Fund for Liberia,
"1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General dated 23 October 1995;
"2. Decides to adjust the mandate of UNOMIL to be defined as follows:
"(a) To exercise its good offices to support the efforts of ECOWAS and the Liberian National Transitional Government (LNTG) to implement the peace agreements and to cooperate with them for this purpose;
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"(b) To investigate all allegations of violations of the cease-fire reported to the Cease-fire Violations Committee, to recommend measures to prevent the recurrence of such violations and to report to the Secretary- General accordingly;
"(c) To monitor compliance with the other military provisions of the peace agreements including disengagement of forces, disarmament and observance of the arms embargo and to verify their impartial application;
"(d) To assist, as appropriate, in the maintenance of assembly sites agreed upon by ECOMOG, the LNTG and the factions, and in the implementation of a programme for demobilization of combatants, in cooperation with the LNTG, donor agencies and non-governmental organizations;
"(e) To support, as appropriate, humanitarian assistance activities;
"(f) To investigate and report to the Secretary-General on violations of human rights and to assist local human rights groups, as appropriate, in raising voluntary contributions for training and logistic support;
"(g) To observe and verify the election process, in consultation with the Organization of African Unity and ECOWAS, including the legislative and presidential elections to be held in accordance with provisions of the peace agreements;
"3. Decides that the number of military observers should be a maximum of 160;
"4. Welcomes also in this context the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's report concerning the new concept of operations for UNOMIL;
"5. Calls upon all the Liberian parties to respect and implement fully and expeditiously all the agreements and commitments they have entered into, in particular with regard to the maintenance of the cease-fire, disarmament and demobilization of combatants, and national reconciliation, taking into account that the restoration of peace and democracy in Liberia is primarily the responsibility of those parties which signed the Abuja Agreement on 19 August 1995 (S/1995/742);
"6. Urges Member States to provide additional support for the peace process in Liberia by contributing to the United Nations Trust Fund for Liberia, and in this regard encourages States that pledged assistance to fulfil their commitments;
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"7. Urges also all Member States to provide financial, logistical and other assistance in support of ECOMOG to enable it to carry out its mandate, particularly with respect to assembly and disarmament of the Liberian factions;
"8. Welcomes the commitments made at the Conference on Assistance to Liberia, held in New York on 27 October 1995;
"9. Reiterates that continued support by the international community for the peace process in Liberia is contingent on the continued commitment by the Liberian parties to achieve national reconciliation in line with the peace process;
"10. Urges the LNTG to take the necessary action to avoid further incidents of cease-fire violations and maintain the momentum of the peace process;
"11. Reminds all States of their obligations to comply strictly with the embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Liberia imposed by resolution 788 (1992) and to bring all instances of violations of the arms embargo before the Committee established pursuant to resolution 985 (1995);
"12. Calls on ECOMOG, in accordance with the agreement regarding the respective roles and responsibilities of UNOMIL and ECOMOG in the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement and the new concept of operations, to take necessary action to provide security for UNOMIL observers and civilian staff;
"13. Stresses the need for close contacts and enhanced coordination between UNOMIL and ECOMOG in their operational activities at all levels;
"14. Demands once more that all factions in Liberia strictly respect the status of ECOMOG and UNOMIL personnel, as well as organizations and agencies delivering humanitarian assistance throughout Liberia, and further demands that these factions facilitate such deliveries and that they strictly abide by applicable rules of international humanitarian law;
"15. Stresses the need for improved coordination in carrying out the repatriation of refugees and the resettlement of internally displaced persons;
"16. Stresses also the importance of respect of human rights in Liberia as well as the necessity to rehabilitate promptly the penitentiary system in this country;
"17. Requests the Secretary-General to submit by 15 December 1995 a progress report on the situation in Liberia including the implementation of the adjusted mandate of UNOMIL, as well as its new concept of operations;
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"18. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General, his Special Representative and all UNOMIL personnel for their tireless efforts to bring peace and reconciliation to Liberia;
"19. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
WILLIAM BUELL (Liberia), speaking in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council's rules of procedure, said there was renewed optimism in Liberia that genuine peace and the restoration of civil authority were in the offing following the signing of the Abuja Agreements by the faction leaders and their subsequent installation in a six-man Council of State on 1 September. Peace, which had eluded the Liberian people for more than half a decade, was finally at hand.
He said that recent reports of cease-fire violations by some factions had raised legitimate questions, but for the first time the faction leaders had taken on the responsibility of administering the affairs of government. The new leadership had publicly pledged its total commitment to the peace process and declared it to be irreversible.
The support of the international community was indispensable and must complement the efforts of the Liberian people, he said. He endorsed the Secretary-General's recommendation on a new mandate and concept of operations for UNOMIL. The implementation of the mandate would ensure a more effective coordination between UNOMIL and ECOMOG. He supported the draft resolution before the Council but regretted that the Council could not have adopted it earlier given its importance to the Liberian people.
ISAAC AYEWAH (Nigeria) said the recent positive developments in Liberia, particularly since the signing of the Abuja Agreement in August, gave cause for optimism. Over the past two months the re-establishment of a cease-fire, installation of a Council of State and the willingness to take other concrete steps towards the restoration of peace and stability had been remarkable achievements. A real opportunity now existed for ensuring that the peace process in Liberia became irreversible.
Nevertheless, he was concerned about certain negative actions by the parties, particularly cease-fire violations and delays in removing check- points in certain areas. The true test of the commitment of the parties lay ahead, when the process of assembly, disarmament and demobilization of more than 60,000 combatants would commence. Nigeria had decided to increase its contingent in ECOMOG, but its efforts needed to be supplemented with logistic transport, communications and fuel assistance from the international community.
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Nigeria supported the proposed adjustment to the mandate of UNOMIL, as well as its new concept of operations. The Secretary-General's proposals and recommendations, which the Council was about to approve through the resolution now before it, would enhance UNOMIL's ability to complement ECOMOG in the peace process.
LEGWAILA J.LEGWAILA (Botswana) urged the parties and political leaders in Liberia to continue implementing the Abuja Agreement. The members of the Council of State must demonstrate a willingness and readiness for compromise and pragmatism in addressing priority issues. The disengagement, disarmament and demobilization of the combatants demanded the urgent attention of Liberian political leaders. It was essential that the members of the Council not lose command of their fighters. They had a major responsibility to ensure that the fighters report to the assembly points.
He said ECOWAS and ECOMOG had a vital role to play in implementing the cease-fire. The international community must render the necessary logistical and financial support to ECOMOG to enable it to carry out its mandate. The United Nations must ensure that the gains achieved were not reversed by lack of resources for demobilization. He supported the provision of resources for demobilization under the assessed budget, as that process was too important to be left to voluntary contributions.
He said the return and resettlement of the refugees and displaced persons was vital to any comprehensive and durable peace. Also, the recovery and rehabilitation of the Liberian national economy was a major challenge, which the people of Liberia could not tackle alone. They should understand, however, that continued assistance by the international community was contingent upon their demonstrated consistency in working towards the attainment of national reconciliation and peace.
QIN HUASUN (China) said that since the signing of the Abuja Agreement, the peace process in Liberia had continued to move in a positive direction, thanks particularly to such neighbouring countries as Nigeria and Ghana. Its new Council of State had started to operate and had taken effective measures for the restoration and maintenance of stability in the country. He welcomed those positive developments.
However, the Liberian parties still needed to make unremitting efforts in order to achieve lasting peace, he said. So far, only 133 out of the 60,000 combatants to be disarmed had laid down their arms and returned to their native land. The work in that regard therefore remained very arduous. At the same time, there were still occasional violations of the cease-fire.
His Government had long held that the Security Council should treat the conflicts in Africa in the same way as those in other regions, support the just demands of the African countries and peoples and refrain from adopting double standards in considering peace-keeping operations in Africa. His
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Government and people would, as always, support the peace process in Liberia and the efforts made by the international community and the relevant regional organizations for the settlement of the Liberian question. China would, therefore, vote in favour of the draft resolution.
EMILIO J. CARDENAS (Argentina) said that the international community must actively support the efforts for peace now solidly under way in Liberia. While past experience had taught that the Liberian parties might set aside agreements once they had been reached, the will to peace this time around appeared more substantial. The Liberian parties seemed more resolved than ever before to take specific steps to restore peace and stability.
Particular credit should be accorded the efforts of the ECOWAS countries, particularly Ghana and Nigeria, towards the peace process. Argentina supported the revision of the UNOMIL mandate proposed by the Secretary-General, as well as the proposal to increase the number of UNOMIL observers to 170. ECOMOG, he noted, had successfully guaranteed the security of observers and other United Nations workers. With continued assistance from the international community, achievement of lasting peace and stability might soon be within reach.
At the present stage, sustained coordination between UNOMIL and ECOMOG was vital, he said. Equally important was the smooth functioning of the disarmament and demobilization process, which should be accomplished by next January. In order to be successful, however, that process must be accompanied by programmes of rehabilitation and reintegration into civilian society. In order for that to be brought about, access, security and freedom of movement for United Nations observers were essential.
NUGROHO WISNUMURTI (Indonesia) said the momentum gained since the signing of the Abuja Agreement deserved strong support and should continue to be encouraged and sustained by the international community. It was essential for UNOMIL to maintain its presence in the country and to be provided with a clear mandate reflecting the changing conditions. He fully supported the adjusted mandate of UNOMIL.
However, he said it was of utmost importance that UNOMIL be effective in discharging its task. Close cooperation and enhanced coordination with ECOMOG and all the Liberian parties should be undertaken to enable UNOMIL to overcome and resolve many challenges still being confronted. He expressed concern that the process of disengagement and disarmament had encountered delays. The lack of coordination in carrying out the repatriation of refugees and the resettlement of internally displaced persons was a problem. The reintegration of former combatants also required improvement.
He said the adoption of the draft resolution was critical for carrying the peace process forward. While effective implementation lay in the hands of the Liberians themselves, he welcomed the commitments made by many Member
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States during the Conference on assistance to Liberia. He hoped that their pledged assistance would be disbursed in a timely manner and help put an end to a tragic chapter in Liberia's history.
GERARDO MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said that the signing of the Ajuba Agreement had given a new momentum to the peace process in Liberia by ushering in both a cease-fire and the establishment of the Council of State. However, the timetable for implementation of the Ajuba Agreement had clearly not been met. For that goal to be achieved, complete demobilization as well as dismantling of military checkpoints and withdrawal of border posts from areas of possible confrontation, as called for in the Agreement, were essential.
It was, therefore, essential that the Liberian parties comply fully with the agreements they had signed, he continued. But it was undeniable that conditions in Liberia had improved considerably, given the establishment of a national court of justice, cooperation with ECOMOG on the status of forces, and recognition by the national transitional Government that making and achieving peace was its responsibility. He stressed that ECOMOG's efforts would be crucial in helping the Government implement the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement.
The resolution before the Council would contribute substantially to the peace process, he said. He reiterated, however, that only respect for and faithful observation of the agreements, as well as a resolute determination on the part of the transitional Government of Liberia and the leaders of the Liberian parties, would set the country firmly on the road to peace and national reconciliation.
KAREL KOVANDA (Czech Republic) said his country was the only participant from the European Community in UNOMIL and also the only Council member in UNOMIL. He stressed the importance of a clear-cut mandate for UNOMIL and pointed to the dangers inherent in a fuzzy mandate. He stated that in one incident, UNOMIL troops from the Czech Republic had had to escape under dangerous circumstances.
He said the way ahead would not be problem free. The disengagement, assembly and demobilization of combatants would not proceed without incident. He stressed the importance of providing incentives for combatants to come out of the bush and allow themselves to be disarmed. In Liberia, one must rely on the combatants being tired of war and being under the control of their commanders. He also emphasized the importance of the effective control of weapons and stated that any delay in the reintegration into civil life would lead to banditry.
Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) said his delegation welcomed the Secretary-General's report on the situation in Liberia, and supported his recommendations for an adjustment to UNOMIL's mandate. The challenges ahead could not be underestimated, but the willingness of the factions to find a
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peaceful resolution to the conflict, as demonstrated by the Abuja Agreement, provided encouragement. The role of ECOWAS, in particular that of its Chairman, President Rawlings of Ghana, had been crucial to that new impetus for peace. The United Kingdom had contributed 5 million pounds to the United Nations inter-agency appeal for Liberia, 50,000 pounds for communications equipment for the additional Ghanaian battalion to be deployed with ECOMOG, as well as military training assistance for Ghanaian armed forces pledged. He urged others to provide assistance to ECOMOG to enable it to carry out its mandate.
The Secretary-General's report gave grounds for cautious optimism, he said. But it also noted serious violations of the cease-fire and a disinclination on the part of some factions to disengage forces and begin the process of demobilization and reintegration into civilian society. The international community needed to be reassured that the factions meant what they said.
He then told the Council that he had just been informed that despite repeated appeals for clemency, Ken Saro-Wiwa and six of his fellow-accused had just been executed by hanging in Nigeria. The British Government was appalled at the callous act.
FRANCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy) said that just a few months ago, hopes for a positive conclusion to the peace process in Liberia had seemed minimal. Today the international community faced a radically different picture. The desire for peace seemed finally to have prevailed over the logic of war. In that regard, the role of the African countries in the peace process had been vital. Despite significant financial obstacles, they had kept the ECOMOG contingent in the country. The mediation of ECOWAS, under the tireless impulse of the president of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, had never been interrupted, even at the most difficult moments in the negotiation. Equally important was the firm stance of the Security Council which made it possible to convey to the factions in conflict that it would not be possible for the international community to continue its support without a definite commitment by the parties to achieving peace.
Today the Council would adopt a resolution that took note of those positive developments, and laid the foundation for renewed international support for the peace process and for the normalization of Liberia, he said. Italy fully shared its goals. Like the other donor countries, it would carefully assess the country's immediate needs, especially from a humanitarian point of view. However, all the Liberian parties, particularly the Council of State and the Liberian National Transitional Government, must show their commitment to peace by strictly abiding by the terms of the Abuja Agreement, in particular with regard to the disengagement, disarmament and demobilization of their forces.
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He added that he had been appalled by the news relayed by the United Kingdom representative of the hangings in Nigeria today. That people would be hanged for defending their ideas was appalling. "You can hang people, but you can never hang their ideas", he said.
Action on the Draft
The Council unanimously adopted the draft resolution as Security Council Resolution 1020 (1995).
Statements after the Vote
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said the hardest jobs still had to be done, including the tasks of disarmament, cantonment and the reintegration of combatants into civilian life. The return to peace would only be possible if the Liberian factions abided by the commitments of the Abuja Agreement. It would not be easy to restore trust after five years of war, but the Liberian Government had a special responsibility in that area.
It was necessary for the international community to support the various actors involved in seeking peace for Liberia, he said. The Conference for assistance to Liberia was a good start. Liberia should be given a chance to succeed. He urged those States which had not yet done so to join in supporting the country.
He said the Abuja Agreement was designed not only for peace, but also to bring 1.5 million refugees home and to reconstruct a country that had been totally ravaged. He hoped that the international community would be generous and responsible in helping not only Liberia, but that region in Africa to recover stability and the way to progress. His Government was ready to participate actively in that enterprise. He hoped the commitment in the Abuja Agreement would be synonymous with human rights. He expressed alarm over the violations of human rights which had been reported by other speakers.
VASILIY SIDOROV (Russian Federation) reiterated his country's full support for United Nations peace efforts in Liberia. The resolution just adopted was a clear confirmation of the international community's determination to help the Liberian parties bring an end to years of fratricidal war. Particularly worthy of commendation in that regard were the efforts of the African countries themselves, through ECOWAS and ECOMOG, to make that process possible. However, final success would hinge on the commitment of the parties themselves to the return of peace and stability.
He emphasized the importance of confidence-building factors. It had, therefore, been particularly disturbing to hear of cease-fire violations and armed clashes during the disengagement process, he said. The resolution was a
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timely reminder of the continued need to comply fully with the agreements, and in particular to maintain maximum coordination between UNOMIL and ECOMOG at all levels.
MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States) said that the Resolution adopted was another acknowledgement of the progress towards peace in Liberia. The peace process there was very important, not only for the people of Liberia, but for the whole west African region. That was why the United States had pledged $75 million at the recent conference on assistance to Liberia. It had also carefully considered the Secretary-General's proposed adjustment to UNOMIL's mandate and its revised concept of operations. It had needed time to do so, since its sole aim had been to ensure that UNOMIL continued to play an appropriate role in helping to implement the peace program.
Under the new concept of operations, UNOMIL would have a major role in the management of, and financial responsibility for, the demobilization process, she said. International humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organizations could and must be brought into the peace process as soon as possible -- not only because their expertise and resources would ease the burden on UNOMIL, but also to ensure that the entire process -- from disarmament through demobilization to reintegration into society -- was carried out in an efficient, speedy, and coordinated manner. She supported the Secretary-General's intent to expand and strengthen coordination mechanisms, to appoint a United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations agencies, and to support the efforts of the wider humanitarian community -- including non-governmental, international and multilateral organizations.
The peace process in Liberia could not move forward unless the Liberian national transitional government, the Liberian factions and ECOMOG did their part. The Transitional Government, the Liberian factions and ECOMOG must do the maximum with the resources they now had to keep the process moving, and she trusted that they were doing so. If ECOMOG did not deploy in December, many combatants and civilians would lose faith in the peace process. The United States intended to work closely with the United Nations and UNOMIL to achieve an efficient and cost-effective implementation of the new mandate.
The United States, she said, shared the outrage already expressed at reports of the execution today of Ken Saro-Wiwo and other minority activists. The unseemly haste of that execution ran counter to all standards of the civilized world. It darkened the prospects of democracy for Nigeria, and she hoped that the Security Council would take up the matter promptly.
TONO EITEL (Germany) said that an enlarged mandate for UNOMIL was necessary to enable it to play an effective role to further the peace process. He stressed, however, that UNOMIL could only be effective with the full cooperation of all parties. He called on the warring parties to make the Abuja Agreement the lasting foundation for a peace settlement in Liberia.
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He said that international assistance would be necessary to sustain the peace process, especially within the framework of demobilization and to re- establish an economic foundation for Liberia's further development. Only if former combatants, refugees and internally displaced persons were able to earn a living within a functioning national economy could there be a permanent and peaceful settlement of the civil war. Humanitarian assistance would play a crucial role, but it would also depend on credible proof from the warring parties on their commitment to the peace process. Only under those conditions could continued international assistance be maintained.
He expressed dismay on learning that the minority leaders in Nigeria had been hanged. Together with other governments, his Government had worked for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. He joined those who had expressed their utter dismay over those executions.
MANZI BAKURAMUTSA (Rwanda) welcomed the developments in Liberia, which had been brought about thanks to the efforts of ECOWAS and ECOMOG. It was not the first time that African countries had taken affairs into their own hands, following the international community's abdication of its responsibilities. He recalled that United Nations forces sent to Rwanda to maintain peace had been the first to leave the country once that peace had been disturbed -- at a time when the defenseless population most needed protection. It was a group of Rwandans, resolved to save their country, who had stepped in to halt the massacres and reestablish the rule of law.
He said that the financing required to maintain ECOMOG for a whole year was less than the sums invested in a single week for the peace-keeping forces in the area of the former Yugoslavia. What Council member was prepared to stand up and publicly explain why the United Nations Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia was so favoured over ECOMOG? he asked. He repeated his country's appeal both to the Security Council and to the United Nations Secretariat not to address Africa's problems only with the resources and the institutions Africa now possessed. In the long run the impact of giving full support to African institutions would be more effective and less costly.
For two years now, the Council had focused on Somalia, Rwanda and Liberia, three countries related by scourges of poverty and instability, he said. Was it not now time for the Council to alter its approach to the building of peace and stability in African countries? he asked. He suggested that a Marshall Plan for Somalia, Rwanda and Somalia would be both possible and feasible. He was not speaking of humanitarian assistance, but of economic cooperation. He added that the national budget of those countries was lower than the average budget of some medium-size cities in the countries of most Council members.
The President of the Council, SALIM BIN AL-KHUSSAIBY (Oman), speaking as a representative of his country, said much of the credit for the positive development in Liberia went to the Liberian people themselves. They had
Security Council - 16 - Press Release SC/6123 3592nd Meeting (AM) 10 November 1995
pursued a long and hard peace. Much remained to be done, however, if the peace process was to remain on course. The warring factions had yet to grapple with the cease-fire violations, the slow pace of the disengagement of forces and the integration of former combatants into civilian life.
He said international support and assistance were essential for ensuring that the peace process in Liberia became irreversible. In that context, he welcomed the convening of last month's pledging conference for Liberia. He hoped that the funds pledged would help put the country on the path to recovery. He welcomed the adjustment made to the UNOMIL mandate, as well as the mission's new concept of operation. It was only right and proper that the new mandate reflect the realities on the ground, especially the latest positive developments.
Mr. AYEWAH (Nigeria) said his delegation had been touched by the sensitivity of those Council members who had commented on an incident reported to have taken place in his country. He took strong exception to comments by certain members of the Council, led by the United Kingdom, on an action taken by the Nigerian Government.
Speaking to "those who ascribed to themselves the role of world policemen", he said that what had reportedly taken place in Nigeria bore no relevance to the item before the Council. He found it unacceptable for those members to meddle in the affairs of Nigeria. Their remarks constituted an intervention in the internal affairs of his country.
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