The Sierra Leone Web


Final Communique

1. At the initiative of His Excellency Lansana Conte, President of the Republic of Guinea, and after consultations with the other Chiefs of State of the subregion, His Excellency Sani Abacha, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current Chairman of ECOWAS, convened a Special Meeting of Foreign Ministers, held on Thursday, June 26, 1997, at Conakry, Republic of Guinea.

His Excellency Lansana Conte graciously hosted the Meeting.

2. The following Member States attended the Meeting:

  • The Republic of Benin;

  • Burkina Faso;

  • The Republic of Cote d'Ivorie;

  • The Republic of Gambia;

  • The Republic of Guinea;

  • The Republic of Ghana;

  • The Republic of Guinea-Bissau;

  • The Republic of Liberia;

  • The Republic of Mali;

  • The Republic of Niger;

  • The Federal Republic of Nigeria;

  • The Republic of Senegal;

  • The Republic of Sierra Leone;

  • The Republic of Togo.

3. An OAU delegation, headed by Secretary General Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, also attended the Meeting.

4. His Excellency Lansana Conte, President of the Republic of Guinea, opened the Meeting.

5. The Meeting reviewed the situation in Sierra Leone following the coup of May 25, 1997.

6. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs then conducted a fruitful exchange of views on the situation in Sierra Leone and its consequences for peace and security in the subregion.

7. They examined ways and means to bring about the immediate restoration of constitutional authority in Sierra Leone.

8. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs agreed that with regard to Sierra Leone, the objectives of ECOWAS are the immediate restoration of the lawful government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, the restoration of peace and security, and the settlement of problems relating to refugees and displaced persons.

9. The Ministers therefore:

  1. Reaffirmed the decision adopted at Harare by the Heads of State and Government at the Thirty-third Session of the OAS Summit on the situation in Sierra Leone;

  2. Reaffirmed the support of ECOWAS for the Abidjan Peace Accord, signed on November 30, 1996;

  3. Urged that no State recognize the regime installed following the coup of May 25, 1997, and that every effort be made to restore the lawful government by a combination of three measures, i.e.: the use of dialogue; the application of sanctions, including an embargo; and the use of force.

10. In order to bolster the effectiveness of the above-mentioned measures, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs recommended prior consultation among the Member States at the highest level.

11. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs deplored the bloodshed and other loss of human life that resulted from the coup of May 25, 1997. They warned the unlawful regime to refrain from violence against Sierra Leonean citizens, foreigners living in Sierra Leone, and ECOMOG personnel.

12. In order to ensure that the decisions and recommendations adopted at their Meeting are implemented, they established a Committee consisting of Nigeria, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, and Ghana, to be joined by representatives of the OAU and ECOWAS Secretariats.

13. The Meeting reported the conclusions of its proceedings to the President of the host country and assigned the Committee the task of reporting to the current Chairman of ECOWAS. The Committee was also asked to follow developments in Sierra Leone and the application of measures to ensure the aforementioned objectives. Within two weeks of today, the Committee will again brief the President of ECOWAS on the result of its efforts.

14. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs appealed to the international community to support the activities of ECOWAS in Sierra Leone.

15. The Meeting called on the international community to provide emergency aid and assistance to the Republic of Guinea and other Member States of the subregion affected by the influx of refugees.

16. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed their deep appreciation to His Excellency Lansana Conte, President of the Republic of Guinea, and to the Guinean Government and people, for the hospitality they enjoyed and for the facilities made available to them.

Done at Conakry, June 26, 1997
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs