REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
“THE SITUATION IN THE REPUBliC OF SIERRA LEONE”
TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
OUAGADOUGOU – BURKINA FASO, 28 JUNE – 1 JULY 1999
1. The re-instating of the democratically elected President of Sierra Leone in April 1998, after a coup by a military faction augured a favourable evolution for restoring stability and national unity in this country.
2. This comeback which was made possible by international pressure on the ruling military faction was finalised through the 22 October agreement signed in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, under the auspices of the Foreign Ministers of the Contact Group of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) comprising Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and liberia.
3. The situation was calm and stable only for a few months. Indeed, as early as December 1998, the coalition composed of rebels from Fode Sankoh’s United Revolutionary Front (FRU) and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (CRFA) launched military attacks in several areas, killing and devastating as they moved on.
4. The Secretary General has been horrified by the barbaric, inhumane and anti-Islamic methods used by the rebels and armed bands of the military faction against innocent populations.
5. At the humanitarian level, the UN Coordinator for emergency relief assessed the situation and came to the conclusion that the international community has to mobilize significant resources to facilitate the return and re-establishment of refugees.
6. The Secretary General calls on Member States to make generous contributions to the fund-raising campaign undertaken by UN agencies for Sierra Leone for 1999.
7. The Secretary General notes with satisfaction ECOWAS action and continues to support ECOMAG operations aimed at restoring order and security as well as defending constitutional legality.
8. The OIC Secretary General urges Member States to take necessary steps in order to help the legitimate government of this country to create security conditions likely to encourage the return of refugees who still constitute a burden for the neighbouring countries.
9. The Secretary General submits this report to the 26th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for consideration and appropriate decision.