Tag: Eleazar

Security Council delegation heads to West Africa for eightday seven country mission

Briefing the press at UN Headquarters in New York on the Council’s mission, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom said the team was set to visit Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone and Guinea and would focus on the situations in Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.The mission planned to closely assess the situation in those three countries, all of which affected the regional situation as well, Ambassador Greenstock said. The Council would also be working closely with regional governments and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), particularly on Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, and with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on the issue of Guinea-Bissau.The delegation’s first stop will be in Guinea Bissau to help with internal peace-building and shoring-up the fragile political system ahead of elections, which Ambassador Greenstock said he hoped would be rescheduled soon. The mission aimed to ensure that all efforts underway in Guinea-Bissau would promote better relationships between the main political leaders and that new policies began to have a real effect on the socio-economic realities of the people of the country.In Côte d’Ivoire, the mission will follow on the heels of work within the region to implement the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement (LMA), a French-brokered peace accord reached in January that calls on the government, rebels and political opposition to share power in a transitional government until elections in 2005. “The LMA is a good agreement that must be built upon between the protagonists in the recent civil strife,” Ambassador Greenstock said.”In Liberia, we obviously have a fluid situation – a pretty distressing situation”, Ambassador Greenstock said. There was an agreement in place to observe an ECOWAS-negotiated cessation of hostilities and ceasefire, which was to have paved the way for comprehensive peace talks and the proposed formation of a transitional administration. Even in light of renewed violence, “That work still needs to be done”, he said.The mission will also visit Guinea and Sierra Leone, the other two of the three countries of the Mano River Union, to seek their views on current events, he said. The mission will also study the state of rebuilding process in Sierra Leone and see whether the Rabat agreement arrangements for good practice among the countries of the Mano River Union could be taken further.After Guinea Bissau, the mission will travel to Abuja to meet with Nigerian President Obasanjo, who was a major regional player with close interest in subjects under discussion, he said. In Accra, Ghana, the mission will meet with President Kufuor, who currently holds the rotating ECOWAS chairmanship, on the organization’s input into the mission’s three main issues.Ambassador Greenstock said the region was “in a condition of real distress and ordinary people were suffering miserably.” The mission had talked in detail with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and with non-governmental and civil society representatives in New York about their views on Africa. Members of the mission will take with them a number of recommendations for action on humanitarian issues, including the protection of civilians, children recruited for armed conflict and violence against women and children as a tool of war. read more