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Cablegate: Sierra Leone- Talking Points for December 14

VZCZCXYZ0010
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #6907 3480117
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O P 140058Z DEC 07
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0020
INFO RUEHAB/AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN PRIORITY 0076
RUEHFN/AMEMBASSY FREETOWN PRIORITY 4512
RUEHMV/AMEMBASSY MONROVIA PRIORITY 2073

UNCLAS STATE 166907

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNSC PREL PHUM XA XY SL
SUBJECT: SIERRA LEONE- TALKING POINTS FOR DECEMBER 14
BRIEFING/CONSULTATIONS


1. This is an action cable. See paragraph 2.

2. USUN is instructed to draw from the following talking
points for the December 14 consultations on Sierra Leone.

Begin points:

-- The United States thanks Executive Representative Victor
Angelo for his thorough briefing and for his
exceptional leadership of UNIOSIL over the last year.

-- The United States once again congratulates the Government
and people of Sierra Leone for
their successful parliamentary and presidential elections,
which were relatively peaceful, free, and
fair. We thank UNIOSIL and UNDP for the extensive role they
played in supporting the elections.

-- The United States agrees with the Secretary General's
report that Sierra Leone is still in a critical
period. The 2007 general elections revealed some deep-seated
political divides. We commend former President Kabbah,
President Koroma, UNIOSIL, and the security forces of Sierra
Leone for the steps they took to reduce tensions,
intimidation, and violence in the run up to the elections.
We were pleased by President
Koroma's reconciliation campaign following the elections.

-- The 2008 local elections will be another key test for
building a stable democratic state in Sierra Leone. The
Government of Sierra Leone has requested additional technical
assistance for these elections. A drawdown of UNIOSIL prior
to the 2008 local elections should be conditioned upon the
security and stability in country and should not signal a
lack of commitment from the international community toward
Sierra Leone's democracy. We agree UNIOSIL's mandate should
continue until after the conclusion of 2008 local elections
and the peaceful start to the post electoral period.

-- The United States remains concerned about the low
operational capacity of the Sierra Leone security forces and
the high rate of youth unemployment, both of which have a
negative impact on the country's internal security.
We urge the Government of Sierra Leone to continue to work
with UNIOSIL and the Peacebuilding Commission to address
these problems.

-- We call on the Government of Sierra Leone to complete SSR
and downsize its armed forces to created a more
professional force with greater capacity.

-- We urge the Government of Sierra Leone and the Government
of Guinea to resolve in a peaceful manner their dispute
over the border town of Yenga.

-- We urge Sierra Leone to increase its efforts to fight
corruption in order to strengthen its institutions of
governance, build public support for government initiatives,
encourage investment and private sector growth, and to manage
its resources more efficiently.

-- The United States strongly supports efforts to strengthen
the role and independence of the
Anti-Corruption Commission and urges the Government to
accelerate the review and implementation of the National
Anti-Corruption Strategy.

-- The United States is encouraged by the progress made in
strengthening the rule of law.
We fully support the Justice Sector Project, funded by the
Peacebuilding Fund, which aims at strengthening the
judicial system and the Family Support Unit of the police.

-- The United States commends the establishment of the Human
Rights Commission, one of the key TRC recommendations, and
encourages the Government of Sierra Leone to continue to make
progress on the human rights situation in Sierra Leone. In
this regard, we urge the rapid development and implementation
of the National Action Plan for Human Rights.

-- We are encouraged by the cooperation between the
Government of Sierra Leone and the Peacebuilding
Commission in identifying four priority areas of assistance
and in developing the Peacebuilding Cooperation
Framework. We look forward to tangible progress by the PBC
in promoting sustainable peacebuilding that builds on
existing efforts.
RICE

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