Cablegate: Sierra Leone: Talking Points for May 7 Briefing


DE RUEHC #8119 1272245
O P 062240Z MAY 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. USUN is instructed to draw from the following talking
points for the May 7 UN Security Council briefing and
consultation on Sierra Leone. Begin points:

-- The United States commends the work of UNIOSIL and the UN
Country Team in Sierra Leone for all the support they have
provided to the govenment and people of Sierra Leone in
helping the nation transition into a stable, prosperous,
democratic country.

-- We are pleased that UNIOSIL has kept firmly to the
drawdown guidelines outlined in UNSCR 1793 and the Secretary
General's letter to the President of the Security Council of
January 31, 2008.

-- The United States thinks the UNIOSIL's intervention and
subsequent drawdown can be a model for future peacekeeping

-- We welcome the proposal of the Secretary General for a new
mission to follow UNIOSIL when it ends its mandate in
September 2008. The mandate is ambitious but correctly
focuses on the key issues facing Sierra Leone. We have some
questions regarding some aspects of the personnel and
equipment needed for the follow-up mission, but hope to
resolve these with the Secretariat and other Council members
in the coming months.

-- We welcome the idea of co-location of the United Nations'
political and development personnel, who would utilize the
joint resources of the integrated office and the United
Nations country team to implement the new mission's mandate.
We would encourage further streamlining of UN equities in the
country to produce the most efficient and cost effective
mission possible.

-- The United States welcomes the adoption of the Sierra
Leone Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework by the Government
of Sierra Leone and the Peacbuilding Commission. We concur
with the recommendation of the SYG that the follow-on mission
to UNIOSIL should include a mandate to work with the
Government of Sierra Leone to implement the Peacebuilding
Cooperation Framework. It is extremely important that this
follow-on mission consult closely with the Peacebuilding
Support Office, the UN country team, and other relevant
stakeholders to maximize effective use of resources.

-- The United States thinks it is important the follow-on
mission continue to provide logistical support to the
Mongolian Guard Force protecting the Special Court for Sierra

-- The United States looks forward to the local elections in
Sierra Leone scheduled for this July. We are pleased that
all funds required for the local elections have been pledged
or received from donors. We call on those who have pledged
funds to fulfill their pledge as soon as possible. We thank
all those who have given generously so that this important
benchmark in Sierra Leone's march to a stable democratic
state can take place.

-- The United States commends the efforts of President Koroma
to reach out to the political opposition, including holding
meetings with the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) Minority
Leader in Parliament, including SLPP members in his
delegation for official visits abroad, and hosting
reconciliation visits throughout the country. While the
healing process has begun, we call on all parties to continue
efforts at reconciliation and cooperation for the good of all
the people of Sierra Leone.

-- We commend UNIOSIL and the international development
community for their efforts in security sector reform. We
are pleased with the progress of the Sierra Leone police
force and are impressed efforts have progressed so much that
20 Sierra Leone police officers are now serving in UNAMID.

-- The United States welcomes the approval by the Government
of Sierra Leone of the reduction of their armed forces from
10,500 to 8,500 to be completed by 2010. With the help of
the United Nations and the international donor community this
leaner force will be able to effectively serve the security
needs of the people of Sierra Leone.

-- The United States is well aware that the significant
increase in global food prices presents challenges for the
economy of Sierra Leone, a country that imports 70% of its
rice. As President Bush announced last week, he is asking
the U.S. Congress to approve an additional $770 million in
funding for an integrated package of food aid to support
emergency needs and development assistance to address the
underlying causes of the world food crisis. If approved this
would bring total U.S. food aid contributions to $5 billion
for 2008 and 2009.

-- The United States commends the Government of Sierra Leone
for its efforts to reform its justice system, promote
anti-corruption efforts, and increase human rights and the
rule of law.

Questions for the briefer:

-- Will the SYG be announcing a new Executive Representative
of the Secretary General to replace Victor Angelo before
September? If not, the United States hopes that an ERSG can
be announced as soon as a new force is approved by the
Council. It is important this new mission have clear
executive leadership from its inception.

-- What role, if any, does the Secretariat envision the UN
Office for West Africa (UNOWA) playing to support the follow
on mission to UNIOSIL?

End points.

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