FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The UN Security Council today lifted the 13-year-old sanctions regime on Sierra Leone and also renewed the mandate of the UN’s peacebuilding mission (UNIPSIL) for one year. Today’s actions are important milestones in Sierra Leone’s long recovery from war.
In the coming year, UNIPSIL will play a critical role in Sierra Leone’s continued progress toward development and stabilization. UNIPSIL was launched in October 2008 to facilitate the transition from a successful peacekeeping operation – United Nations Mission to Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), which disarmed and demobilized more than 75,000 ex-fighters – to a forward-looking effort to build a lasting peace.
UN sanctions can be an effective tool, and for the past 13 years they have helped limit the conflict in Sierra Leone and aid its post-conflict recovery. Because of the much-improved situation in Sierra Leone, including the work of its special courts and the demobilization of armed groups, the remaining sanctions can now be lifted.
While challenges such as political intolerance, youth unemployment and drug trafficking endure, Sierra Leone has made tremendous progress with the strong support of the international community. UNIPSIL’s responsibilities remain conflict prevention, supporting good governance, the rule of law and human rights, as well as helping in the fight against illegal drug trafficking. UNIPISL will also work with the government to prepare for the upcoming 2012 elections.
The United States will continue to work with our partners, including the United Nations, to promote lasting peace, stability, and development in Sierra Leone.
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