The Sierra Leone Web




1. The ECOWAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Committee of Five on Sierra Leone held their seventh meeting at the ECOWAS Secretariat Headquarters in Abuja on 19 December, 1997.

2. All the members of the Committee were present, namely:

  • Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
  • Republic of Ghana
  • Republic of Guinea
  • Republic of Liberia
  • Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • The ECOWAS Executive Secretary and
  • The Representative of the OAU

Attending as Observers were:

  • The Republic of Sierra Leone, represented by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sierra Leone; and
  • The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Sierra Leone.

4. The meeting reviewed the situation in Sierra Leone in the light of the reports presented by the ECOMOG Force Commander, the Executive Secretary ECOWAS and the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Sierra Leone.

5. The Ministers reaffirmed the central objective of the ECOWAS Peace Plan for Sierra Leone which is the restoration of constitutional order in that country and the re-instatement of the legitimate government of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.

6. In this regard, the Ministers emphasised that the ECOWAS Peace Plan for Sierra Leone adopted in Conakry on 23 October, 1997 remains the best framework for the restoration of peace and constitutional order to Sierra Leone.

7. The Ministers reaffirmed the date of 22 April 1998 for the reinstatement of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to office, and emphasised the need to adhere to the time table of the Peace Plan accordingly.

8. The Ministers reiterated that the Government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah is the sole and legitimate government of Sierra Leone.

9. The Foreign Ministers noted that there had been some violations of the ECOWAS and UN sanctions imposed on the junta in Sierra Leone. In this connection, they noted specifically the violations of the arms embargo and travel restrictions on members of the illegal regime and their families.

10. They therefore called upon all countries and in particular Member States of ECOWAS, to strictly adhere to those sanctions. In addition, countries harbouring members of the military junta, their families and all others on the restricted list were requested to repatriate such persons to Sierra Leone.

11 The Ministers were informed of the upgrading of an airstrip at Mabguraka into a full-fledge airport by the illegal regime for the illegal importation of arms and other supplies. The Ministers noted that this was in violation of the sanctions and embargo regimes, and therefore mandated ECOMOG to ensure that the airstrip is not used.

12. The Ministers noted that the ECOWAS Peace Plan for Sierra Leone provided for the deployment of a UN Observer Mission along with ECOMOG in Sierra Leone to implement the disarmament process. In this connection, they urged the United Nations Security Council to accelerate efforts towards the deployment of a United Nations Military Observer Mission in Sierra Leone. They also called on Member States to urgently contribute more troops to enhance ECOMOG's operational capability in Sierra Leone.

13. In this regard, the Ministers expressed satisfaction at the recent deployment of a Ghanaian naval vessel for ECOMOG to enhance the implementation of the sanctions. They called on other Member States to make available similar contributions to ECOMOG.

14. The Ministers deplored the incessant and unprovoked attacks on ECOMOG peace-keepers. They reaffirmed ECOMOG's right of self defence.

15. The Ministers noted the intention of the Government of Liberia to bring to an end the mandate of ECOMOG in Liberia by 2 February, 1998, and they considered that this would have implications for the implementation of the ECOWAS Peace Plan for Sierra Leone. They therefore decided to refer this matter to the Chairman of ECOWAS.

16. The Ministers expressed their profound gratitude and appreciation to His Excellency, General Sani Abacha, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, and the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the hospitality and excellent facilities for the success of the meeting.