OIC Press Release
|15 September 2000|
The situation in Sierra Leone continues to be the subject of deep concern, on account of the obstinacy of the rebellious movement and their rejection of the attempts aimed at achieving an end to the conflict and the violent opposition they have been exercising against the democratically elected Government led by Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.
This was highlighted by Dr. Azeddine Laraki, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, on Friday 17 Jumada II 1421H (15 September 2000), in the address he delivered at the opening of the deliberations on the Contact Group on Sierra Leone, in the course of the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States convened at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The Secretary General drew attention to the dual effort made by the forces of the UN and the Economic Community of the West African States (ECWAS) which led to the resumption of peace and the return of normal life to the capital Freetown and to large-areas of the country. The Secretary General also expressed regret at the rebellious movement’s failure to observe the Lome Peace Agreement concluded between the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Revolutionary Front.
Dr. Azeddine Laraki pointed out that great hopes were pinned on the Contact Group to act for the mobilization of moral and material Islamic as well as international support for the Government and people of Sierra Leone in the face of the major challenges and problems before them.
The Contact Group resumed its first meeting since its creation by the 27th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and elected Malaysia as Chairman.
The Contact Group then looked into the items on its agenda, foremost of which the issue of ways and means to put an end to the conflict and the challenges facing the elected Government of Sierra Leone so that peace and security may prevail, and that due arrangements may be made for the return of refugees, the reconstruction of the State institutions, the rehabilitation of the infrastructure and the restructuring of the economy.
The Contact Group has adopted the Report of the Secretary General on the issue and agreed to submit the said report to the Annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States.
It is to be mentioned that the Contact Group on Sierra Leone is composed of the following members: Malaysia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Guinea, Federal Republic of Nigeria, State of Kuwait and the OIC General Secretariat.