The Sierra Leone Web


State House
Freetown, Republic of Sierra Leone

The President
United Nations Security Council
New York

16th September 1997

Dear Mr. President,

Pursuant to my letter of 5th September, 1997 addressed to the Committee of Five on the Sierra Leone crisis and copied to you, it is my honour to write to you with the purpose of placing the case of the people of Sierra Leone at your door. I continue to seek your guidance and support in attaining a peaceful resolution to the problem of Sierra Leone, a solution that will not only be acceptable to all sides, but will also ensure lasting peace both within the country and in the sub-region.

In respect of this, I wish to express our profound gratitude both as a Ruling Council and as a Nation, for the welcome step that United Nations has taken in appointing Mr. Francis Okelo as Special Envoy to Sierra Leone with the objective of studying the problem at first hand. This is what the people of Sierra Leone have been asking for over the past few months and we sincerely believe that this is a move that the International Community should have taken in the first place.

We look forward to the arrival of Mr. Okelo in Freetown at the earliest and we assure you that we shall give him all the co-operation he requires in order to aid the return of peace, prosperity and constitutionality to our war-weary people.

Mr. President, despite everything we have done to restrain the anger of our people after the brutal massacre by the Nigerian component of ECOMOG on 3rd and 4th September, 1997 perpetrated on our innocent citizenry, despite all the efforts that we have made to call on the [words indistinct] of aggression without the mandate of the Security Council of the United Nations, despite the blood and the tears of our babies, our mothers, our sisters and our old people, Nigeria continues to kill us with impunity and in disregard for human and international decency. Nigeria continues to launch air-raids and artillery bombardment on the City of Freetown. On Tuesday 9th September, 1997 an air attack on our main seaport in Freetown resulted in the deaths of ten people with a number of others seriously wounded, and huge losses of property.

General Victor Malu, ECOMOG Field Commander based in Liberia, openly brags about these atrocities. The world stays incredibly silent. He now threatens to invade the City of Freetown in the same gusto of bravado. The world continues to stay silent. The people of Sierra Leone may be poor and insignificant, but according to the United Nations Charter, we are still members of the Human Race. The United Nations and the world should not require our battered and maimed bodies and our torn limbs to prove it.

Mr. President, we have been endeavouring over the past few months to impress on the world that the Sierra Leone problem is not a simple case of Tejan Kabbah versus Johnny Paul Koroma. I entreat you to study the video recordings that have been recently made available to the United Nations. You will see that the case in question is now the People of Sierra Leone versus ex-President Ahmad Tejan Kabah, a man who has cold-bloodedly ordered the slaughter of those he had sworn to defend, protect and honour.

We as a Ruling Council are nonetheless willing, as has been emphasised on multiple occasions, to enter into talks with anyone for the sake of our people. We are ready to talk at the level of ECOWAS. We are ready to talk at the level of the United Nations and I wish to assert that I am personally ready to enter into tripartite negotiations with Mr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Corporal Foday Saybana Sankoh. Enough of our people have died.

We await the arrival of your Special Envoy, Mr. Francis Okelo.

Please accept, Mr. President, my assurances of the highest esteem.

Chairman - Armed Forces Revolutionary Council
and Head of State, Republic of Sierra Leone


Members of the United Nations Security Council
ECOWAS Heads of States and U.N. Missions
African Commonwealth States: Heads of U.N. Missions
Secretary-General, United Nations
Secretary-General, O.A.U.
Secretary-General of ECOWAS
President of the United States of America
Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs
U.S.A. State Department
Prime Minister, United Kingdom
Minister for Foreign Affairs, United Kingdom
Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand
The European Union
The Council of Europe
Organisation of American States
The League of Arab States (U.N. Mission)
Organisation of Islamic Conference (U.N. Mission)
International Committee of the Red Cross
His Holiness Pope John Paul II
The Archbishop of Canterbury
Amnesty International
The Carter-Menil Human Rights Foundation
International Commission of Jurists
Centre for Conflict Resolution
Nairobi Peace Initiative