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1. Your Excellency Mr. Francis G. Okello, Special Envoy of the United Nations' Secretary-General, Members of the United Nations Technical Survey Team, I welcome you all to Sierra Leone on behalf of the Government of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), and the entire people of this country. I strongly believe that your presence in this country and indeed in Freetown, the capital city will go a long way in dispelling whatever apprehensions and misinformation you may have heard about us through our detractors who do not want the attainment of lasting peace in this country in particular, and the sub-region in general. 

2. Over the past months, I have consistently informed the international community about our commitment to ensuring sustainable peace in this country and demonstrated that stance by inviting major stakeholders to come over to Sierra Leone to consolidate the peace process immediately after signing the Conakry Peace Plan. I have also sought the assistance of the international community to assist us in the attainment of this noble object in many ways.

3. To this end, my Government has already indicated that while it welcomes the establishment of the Liaison Office in Sierra Leone, it disapproves its location in Lungi which is in the hands of the Nigerian-led ECOMOG Forces. Freetown, the capital city is safe and most appropriate for that purpose. My Government also welcomes the arrival of humanitarian assistance into the country and guarantees it safe delivery to the intended recipients. Our cooperation with regard to the deployment of the UN Observers has also been reassured. 


1. The Conakry Peace Plan contains the following key elements: 

i) Cessation of all hostilities; 
ii) Re-instatement of ousted President Alhaji Tejan Kabbah by 22 April, 1998; 
iii) Receipt of Humanitarian Assistance; 
iv) Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration of demoblised Personnel; 
v) The Release of Corporal Foday Saybannah Sankoh to join the peace process; and
vi) The Formation of a broad based Government. 


1. In Paragraph 5 of the Second Report of the UN Secretary-General on the situation in Sierra Leone dated 5th December 1997, the Secretary-General had this to say: 

"Although the junta publicly committed itself to the implementation of the Conakry Agreement and has held discussions with ECOMOG on the modalities for the disarmament process and for the provision of humanitarian assistance, it has issued several statements criticizing key provisions of the Agreement and raised several important issues which may seriously affect, if not undermine its implementation". 

The UN Secretary-General concedes that important issues that may seriously affect the implementation of the Conakry Peace Plan have been raised by my Government. However, no efforts have been made either by the UN or ECOWAS to resolve these issues, yet AFRC is blamed for the slow implementation of the Plan. 

2. If I may re-state the three key issues raised by my Government, they include: 

  • the immediate release of Corporal Foday Sankoh, who is Deputy Chairman of my Government; and head of the RUF;
  • the non-disarmament of the Sierra Leone Army and;
  • the dominant role played by the Nigerian contingent in ECOMOG.

3. These issues were raised in Conakry, but time was not in favour of the delegates; and not signing the Agreement would have sent the wrong signal of non-compliance to the world. Therefore, consensus was reached in principle that the issues will be discussed at a later date by ECOWAS. However, ECOWAS refused to invite the AFRC at its meeting in LOME, Togo, but rather, invited Alhaji Tejan Kabbah's representatives to Lome. The issues were therefore not raised. This action by ECOWAS was contrary to the statement in the Secretary-General Second Report on Sierra Leone in which he stated that his Special Envoy, Mr. Francis Okello, would continue to assist the search for a peaceful resolution of the crisis and to that end to participate in discussion with all parties concerned. (Para.28) 

4. What right do you therefore have to blame the AFRC for the delay in the implementation of the Conakry Agreement? The need for continuous dialogue in the search for peace when contentious issues are raised is paramount. It is in this regard that my Government is delighted to have you here. 

5. The objection by the AFRC to disarm the Sierra Leone Army is based on the fact that, unlike the Liberian Army, then, which ECOMOG disarmed, the Sierra Leone Army is still intact, cohesive, culturally, tribally and regionally. Why do we want to disrupt a well stable institution, like the Sierra Leone Army? Is this a peaceful path to the Sierra Leone crisis? Obviously no!! What we need is to restructure the Army in line with the November, 1996, Abidjan Peace Accord. 

6. Our concern about the domineering role of the Nigerian contingent in ECOMOG has been based on several factors. Nigerian jets bombarded important areas in our country before October 8, 1997, when no resolution imposing sanctions on Sierra Leone was passed. As a matter of fact, Nigeria bombardment started on June 2, 1997 and continued on the very day that the Security Council met on the Sierra Leone issue, that is October 8 , 1997. This is contrary to Article 53 of the UN Charter which states that no regional body has the power to enforce sanction on another country without these sanctions being first ratified by the UN Security Council. 

7. Our distrust in the dominance of the Nigerian contingent in ECOMOG again stems on the fact that, they had even before October 8, 1997, imposed a universal embargo on our country. There is no pre-condition for the shipment of humanitarian materials in Resolution 1132, yet the Nigeria-led ECOMOG enforces sanctions and prohibits humanitarian imports and all other goods coming to the country. This is contrary to  Article 6 of the UN Security Council Resolution 1132 on Sierra Leone, which clearly identifies the goods prohibited to be imported into this country which include Petroleum and Petroleum Products, and arms and ammunition. 

8. These illegal sanctions have been imposed despite the growing concern raised by the USA, the British and Japanese Ambassadors to the UN and Lord Avebury of the British House of Lords. 

9. Clearly, these and many others manifest the partisan role that is being played by Nigeria in the current crisis. 

10. Humanitarian arrangements by ECOWAS Committee of Five had ignored local realities and efforts, as the humanitarian committee established is based in Conakry and has never touched base with local NGOs and Civic Organizations. 

11. My Government and all concerned must therefore have a re-think on these issues, if our ultimate objective is the attainment of lasting peace. That democracy is our guide in modern world polity cannot let us be illusioned with Pseudo-democracy underneath which lies political turmoil. This is the case with the much over-dramatized democracy in Sierra Leone, which election took place when over 50% of the country was under armed struggle with no voting taking place in these areas. 

12. There are key responsibilities in the Conakry Peace Plan that have never been honoured. Humanitarian Assistance was to have started on November 14, 1997. ECOWAS Committee of Five was to have visited on 20th December 1997. Both actions were never undertaken; yet the UN does not consider these as contributing factors to the delay in the implementation of the Peace Plan.   Rather, my Government is blamed because of our frankness in observing that, if the events of activities to address the military, political and humanitarian provisions are slowed down, the deadline of April 22, 1998 to handover power might not be met. Our position is to redouble our efforts so as to meet this deadline. 

13. One interesting event that followed my observations about the delay in the implementation of the Peace Plan was the swiftness with which the Nigeria-led ECOMOG facilitated Alhaji Tejan Kabbah's day's visit to Lungi and launching a dastardly operation Black December whereby the main highways have been constantly ambushed and innocent civilians killed, contrary to the key element of cessation of hostilities as contained in the Conakry Agreement. How feasible will the Peace Plan hold now that RUF knows that ECOMOG can facilitate Kabbah's visit to Sierra Leone as was demonstrated by his recent visit to Lungi but Corporal Foday Sankoh can  continuously be held by Nigeria? 

14. We have confirmed information that Lungi, which is under ECOMOG occupation is now a new base for the training of Kamajohs. In fact the Nigerian-led ECOMOG is reported to be recruiting and training youths in the area. This was the reasons for Alhaji Kabbah's visit together with his agents, notably, James Jonah and John Leigh during which period both the Nigerians and the Kamajohs were given gifts worth millions of leones. 

15. With these facts at hand, coupled with the fact that the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy has been based in Conakry with not a single night spent in Freetown, we continue to request that he be based in Freetown where the majority of the stakeholders live and indeed the capital of Sierra Leone. 

16. Also of great concern to us as a Government is the apparent neglect of discussion on demobilization and re-integration and the formation of broad based Government which all require time, talents and other resources. It is our hope that these, among others  will form integral ingredients of the work of this Technical Survey Team. 


1. UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy, other members of the UN Technical Survey Team, Ladies and Gentlemen. You will agree with me that the Conakry Peace Plan entails a range of activities, which, if scrupulously implemented will surely bring lasting peace to Sierra Leone. 

 2. In that regard, I am pleased to quote the penultimate paragraph of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy letter addressed to me on 29, December 1997 as follows: 

"The United Nations has only one overall objective in mind: namely, to bring about the needed constitutional order, peace and stability to Sierra Leone and its people through the implementation of the Conakry Peace Plan and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1132. If we both work together in the spirit of friendship, cooperation and commitment towards this common objective, we can be assured that a new era of stability will dawn on Sierra Leone before too long". 

3. Consistent with his thinking, and given the six months time frame for the implementation of the Conakry Peace Plan, there is need for some concrete and timely actions to be taken for the attainment of the objectives of the Plan. For this to be effective, my Government suggests the formation of technical committees immediately to address the salient issues contained in the Peace Plan. Disarmament is only part of the process of the peace plan. 

4. The composition of the membership of these committees must reflect the major stakeholders, technical and political realities on the ground. To regain the time lost the committees should work concurrently and membership should not overlap. As my Government's commitment to the realization of the Peace Plan is overwhelming, and considering the nearness of the deadline, I suggest the following committees: 

i) Coordinating and General Purpose Committee; 
ii) Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration Committee; 
iii) Humanitarian Assistance Coordinating Committee; 
iv) Committee on the formation of the broadly-based government of national unity. 

V. Committees, Objectives and Composition 

(1) Coordinating and General Purpose Committee 

a) Objectives: 

  • To coordinate the activities of all other committees;
  • To ensure that comprehensive programmes and strategies are scrupulously followed within the given time frame;
  • To enhance confidence building activities among the major stake holders e.g. Kabbah, Sankoh and Koroma;
  • To ensure the release of RUF leader, Foday Sankoh as part of the confidence building process; 
  • To raise funds for the effective and timely implementation of the activities of the committees listed above as well as the overall implementation of the Peace Plan; 
  • To undertake all relevant and Peaceful activities needed for the quick and effective implementation of the Conakry Peace Plan. 

b) Composition:

  • UN Special Envoy 
  • ECOWAS Committee of Five 
  • ECOMOG field and task force commander 
  • Sierra Leone's Chiefs of Defence and Army Staff, and Chief of Staff 
  • AFRC Under Secretary of State, Defence 
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
  • AFRC Secretariat 
  • Attorney-General, AFRC. 

ii) Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration Committee: 

a) Objectives:

  • To identify all warring factions in the conflict in Sierra Leone 
  • To develop a framework for disarmament, demobilization and re-integration (DDR) 
  • To draw a detailed plan of action and associated budget for the activities of the committee and the implementation of the DDR process 
  • To identify institutions and the needed logistics for DDR 
  • To develop a framework for the strengthening and streamlining of the national army in the context of re-organising and restructuring, as contained in the Abidjan Peace Plan. 
  • To prepare and submit periodic report to the coordinating and General Purpose Committee. 

b) Composition: 

  • ECOMOG Field and Task Force Commander 
  • CDS and COAS 
  • International Committee of the Red Cross 
  • Representatives of the UN 
  • Representatives of the RUF 
  • Under Secretary of State Defence 
  • Representative of the OAU 
  • Representatives of Local NGOs 
  • AFRC Secretariat 
  • Representative of the Militia 

iii) Humanitarian Assistance Coordinating Committee: 

a) Objectives: 

  • To identify humanitarian assistance needed 
  • To develop the framework and criteria needed for the free flow of humanitarian assistance 
  • To draw up a detailed plan of action and an associated budget for the activities of the committee as well as the monitoring team of humanitarian activities 
  • To prepare and submit periodic reports to the Coordinating and General Purpose Committee. 

b) Composition: 

  • ECOWAS Committee of Five 
  • Secretary of State, Foreign Affairs, 
  • Directorate, DDR, 
  • Representatives of INGOs (Food and medical Pipelines) 
  • Representative of UN agencies 
  • Local NGOs 
  • Secretariat, AFRC. 

iv) Committee on the formation of the broadly-based Government 

a) Objectives:

  • To identify the key stakeholders necessary for the formation of the broad based government to be headed by ousted President Ahmed Kabbah; 
  • To allocate specific numbers of seats in cabinet to the identified stakeholders; 
  • To determine the life span of the proposed Government; 
  • To identify various bodies and mechanism for peace building, enhancement and sustainability of democracy; 
  • To set up modalities for the commencement of Parliament 
  • To review the various legal instruments and make the necessary recommendations to accommodate the proposed revision in the legal system of Sierra Leone for the restoration of constitutional order; 
  • To draw a detailed plan of action and an associated budget for the activities of the committee; 
  • To prepare and submit periodic reports to the Coordinating and General purpose committee 

b) Composition;

  • ECOWAS Committee of Five 
  • Representatives of all registered Political Parties 
  • RUF 
  • Inter-religious Council 
  • Secretariat, AFRC 
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
  • Attorney-General, AFRC 

5. These activities if undertaken will be in accordance with paragraph 4 of Resolution 1132 and with your mandate, as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, as contained in paragraph 28 of the Secretary-General's Second Report to the Security Council on Sierra Leone, which requires you to assist in the search for a peaceful resolution of the crisis and to that end to participate in discussion with all parties concerned. 

6. In conclusion let me emphasise that my Government has every hope that the UN Secretary-General will include the concerns raised herein in his next report to be submitted to the UN Security Council, as required by Article 16 of Resolution 1132 on Sierra Leone. 

7. I thank you all.