Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vice President appeals for extension of UN Mission in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone`s Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana has appealed for an extension of the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), which serves as a symbol of security, peace, democracy and good governance in the country.
At a meeting Friday in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, with the Senior Political Affairs Officer, Africa Division, Andrei V. Shkourko, who led a 13-member delegation from the UN`s Department of Peace Keeping Operations, the Vice President said the authorities were not too comfortable because of the belief that there were still arms in the hands of certain civilians.
He informed members of the delegation that during the elections, people brought arms to the country and called on the UN for prompt action in ridding the country of arms.
Sumana also solicited the assistance of the United Nations in the area of capacity building for the military and the police, to help provide adequate and professional security services needed for the sustenance of peace and stability in the country.
He told the delegation that the government had formed Peace Building Committees at regional levels to settle internal crisis, especially among supporters of different political parties.
The Vice President maintained that Sierra Leone appreciated its partnership with the United Nations and expressed the hope the visitors` assessment would have a positive effect on the country`s development agenda Responding, Shkourko agreed with the Vice President on the need for an extension of UNIOSIL`s mandate in Sierra Leone.
He said the strengthening of the security sector in Sierra Leone would complement the work of the UN when its mandate ends.
Shkourko said his team was in Sierra Leone to assess the accomplishments of UNIOSIL, whose mandate will end in December, and to make recommendations to the UN Secretary General.

AngolaPress - News