World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Security Council Extends Mission In Sierra Leone

Security Council Extends Un Mission In Sierra Leone And Slows Troop Withdrawal

Extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) by another six months, the Security Council today endorsed plans to scale down the size of its peacekeeping force to a residual presence next year to give Government forces time to assert control over the country.

In a unanimous decision, the 15-member Council voted to continue UNAMSIL's work through 30 September at least, as requested by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his latest report.

The Council also resolved that a reduced UNAMSIL presence should stay on in Sierra Leone for at least six months starting 1 January, to help with the smooth transition of authority over security to the national government. Under a more gradual drawdown than previously planned, the Council estimates that the troop numbers should fall to 3,250 by 28 February 2005 from 5,000 at the end of this year.

The Council resolution follows Mr. Annan's report last week, which noted that the peace process remains fragile in the West African country, which is attempting to stabilize after a decade-long civil war.

Local elections are scheduled to be held in May and the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission is expected to produce its report soon.

In the resolution, the Council also urges the Government to strengthen its efforts to develop an effective police force, army, penal system and independent judiciary so that it can take over those responsibilities soon.

Daudi Mwakawago, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sierra Leone, told reporters at UN Headquarters today that there has been much progress in extending the effective authority of the central government in Sierra Leone to areas that were once considered no-go.

But he said the civil war had damaged so much of the country's infrastructure that even communicating with outlying areas remained extremely difficult.

Mr. Mwakawago also highlighted the increasing state control of revenue from the diamond industry, an important economic plank for the country. Last year Sierra Leone earned about $76 million in diamond revenues, up from $10 million in 2000.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news