Expected Council Action
A long overdue report from the Secretary-General on the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), including proposals for defining UNIOSIL’s future role, could lead experts to begin work on a draft resolution. The UNIOSIL mandate expires on 31 December.
Ernest Bai Koroma of the All People’s Congress won Sierra Leone’s presidential runoff election on 8 September and was sworn in as president on 19 September. Stability appears to have been achieved following tension and violence before and immediately after the runoff election. However, the situation remains fragile.
On 18 September, the Secretariat briefed Council members on the presidential elections. The Council issued a press statement that noted the results of the elections and encouraged the international community to sustain its support to Sierra Leone.
On 9 October, the Special Court for Sierra Leone sentenced two former leaders of the pro-government militia, Civil Defense Forces, to terms of six and eight years respectively, for war crimes committed during the country’s civil war.
|The chairman of the PBC’s Sierra Leone country-specific configuration, Ambassador Frank Majoor of the Netherlands, visited the country on 11 October to follow-up on the post-election situation and development of the Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework. The Framework had been delayed due to the elections. The chairman subsequently briefed the PBC Sierra Leone configuration on 19 October on his trip. The expectation is for the Framework to be finalised by the end of year.|
Key issues before the Council include the future of UNIOSIL and effective consolidation of peace. A related issue is how to factor into Council consideration of these issues the advice of the PBC. Another issue relates to residual matters from the Special Court.
maintaining the current mandate of UNIOSIL;
transforming UNIOSIL into a purely political mission; and
enhancing collaboration with the PBC in peace consolidation and in integrating its advice into the Council’s decisions.
Council members (especially African members and the UK) attach importance to avoiding a premature Council disengagement, especially against the backdrop of recent violence surrounding the elections, which were seen as a test of the country’s recovery from the 1991-2002 civil war. Some Council members seem open to the possibility of a decision to transition towards withdrawal of the military component of UNIOSIL and transforming its mandate into a political mission.
In terms of the dynamics affecting the interface between the Council and the PBC on this issue, the Council appears to be largely ceding activities relating to effective consolidation of peace and stability to the PBC. (The PBC has been involved in tackling the root causes of the past conflict, enhancing good governance, supporting economic recovery, as well as requisite security sector reforms, and promoting access to justice and human rights). But it remains unclear how Council members will involve the PBC in its decision-making process. There was some unhappiness following the recent Council debate on the PBC annual report regarding the extent of participation.
The UK and Ghana are the lead countries on this issue.
|Selected Security Council Resolutions|
|Selected Presidential Statement|
|Selected Secretary-General’s Report|
|UNIOSIL Executive Representative of the Secretary-General|
|Victor da Silva Ângelo (Portugal)|
|Size and Composition of Mission|
|Total budgeted staff of 298, comprising 82 international staff, 192 local staff and 24 UN volunteers|
|1 January 2006 to present; current mandate expires 31 December 2007|