UN Security Council stresses that Sierra Leone Government has the primary responsibility to protect and defend the country.
The United Nations Security Council has emphasized the Sierra Leone Government’s “primary responsibility for peacebuilding, security and long-term development in the country.”
In a statement from the President of the Security Council to conclude the recent quarterly session on the situation in Sierra Leone, the Security Council also noted “the steady progress achieved so far by the national authorities and people of Sierra Leone in a number of areas including national reconciliation, the promotion of gender equality and the preparation for national and local elections on 17 November 2012.”
Permanent Representative Ambassador Shekou M. Touray said today that the statement means that the primary responsibility for maintaining peace and security in the country rests with the government. Diplomatic sources interpreted this statement to mean an expression of support from the UN Security Council for measures the government has taken to protect the lives and properties of the Sierra Leonean people and foreigners within her borders.
The President of the Security Council also acknowledged “the statement of the Government of Sierra Leone on 3 April 2012 clarifying its position regarding the arms delivered to the Sierra Leone Police” and the Council underscored “the importance for Sierra Leone’s national authorities to respond proportionately to threats to the security of all citizens in Sierra Leone.”
Another diplomat versed in the language of UN diplomacy told COCORIOKO that this was also an expression of support for the government’s right to protect and defend the country against threats to her security , using proportionate force.
This latest development in the UN Security Council also means that the Council did not view unfavourably the recent arms importation by the Sierra Leone Government. In fact, the statement also seems to acknowledge that the Sierra Leone security forces had been faring well when it called upon the Government “to ensure that its security forces remain committed to upholding human rights and applicable international law. Since the end of the war, Sierra Leone has trained security forces that are among of the most disciplined in Africa.
Stating that the 2012 elections are important “for consolidation of peace and security in Sierra Leone”, the Council called upon “all political parties to engage constructively in an honest and open dialogue aimed at furthering national cohesion.”
The Council also called “on the Government of Sierra Leone, all political parties as well as other stakeholders to intensify their efforts to foster an environment that is conducive to the holding of peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections.”
Further, “The Council calls on the leadership of the political parties to undertake cross-party confidence building measures, promote political participation and non-violence among their membership and ensure the full adherence to due process of law and to the recommendations of the 2 April 2009 Joint Communiqué, which inter alia calls for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints Committee to reinforce the neutrality and professionalism of the Police, and the Political Parties Code of Conduct “.
This very favourable Security Council Report on Sierra Leone was distorted and given a negative twist by the Reuters News Agency which came out with the totally misleading headline: UN Warns Sierra Leone. That has been addressed by COCORIOKO’s Editorial with title: The coverage of African issues by the Western and foreign media is disgraceful to accurate journalism .
Security Council also laid to rest the Michael Schulenburg issue and urged “the Secretary General to promptly appoint a successor”.