The Sierra Leone Web


U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


Statement by M. Lee McClenny, Acting Spokesman
December 28, 1998

Sierra Leone—Civil War

The United States Government commends the peacekeeping efforts of the ECOMOG forces—especially Nigerian and Guinean troops—and the enormous sacrifices in lives and material they have made in defending the people and the legitimately elected government of Sierra Leone.

The Government of the United States condemns in the strongest terms the brutal RUF insurgency in Sierra Leone. In their effort to gain power, the insurgents have mutilated, raped and killed thousands of innocent civilians. The United States Government stands firmly with the democratically elected government of President Kabbah. We can not countenance any renewed attempt to overthrow the Kabbah government by force. Nor will the people of Sierra Leone accept another coup d’etat as was demonstrated yesterday in Freetown by their march in support of the legitimate government.

The United States Government is especially concerned about external regional support for the RUF insurgency. We continue to urge the Government of Liberia to take all necessary measures to stop support for RUF activities emanating from its territory.

The U.S. is providing $55 million this fiscal year in humanitarian assistance for the Sierra Leonean people. In 1998, we provided $3.9 million in logistical support for the West African peacekeepers (ECOMOG), and the Department of State has notified Congress of its intention to provide an additional $1.3 million to ECOMOG in 1999.