MANO RIVER UNION JOINT SECURITY COMMITTEE
MEETING-23 AUGUST 2001
Upon the recommendation of the consultative meeting of the Mano River Union Foreign Ministers held from 13th — 15th August 2001 in Monrovia, The Joint Security Committee (JSC) convened a meeting in Freetown on the 22nd-23rd August 2001.
The Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs, Security, Internal Affairs, Defence and Justice, attended the Freetown meeting. Also in attendance was the Mano River Union Secretary-General. The JSC thoroughly reviewed the prevailing security situation in the Mano River Union.
At the end of their deliberations, the JSC:
-Reaffirmed its political will despite the past difficulties to do everything possible to rebuild the confidence of the three member states of the MRU so that peace and stability can be restored in the sub-region.
To achieve this goal, the Committee decided as follows:
- To put an end to end to the endemic problems of dissidents, armed groups and other para-military forces involved in the destabilisation of state(s) of the sub-region, the Committee recommended that all such groups and individuals be apprehended and turned over to their country of origin taking cognizance of the general acceptable norms in the international community.
- To enforce the compliance of all member state of the Mano River Union within the existing legal framework through an effective implementation of the Non-Aggression and Security Co-operation Treaty Signed in Freetown on November 20, 1996 and the 15th Protocol to the Declaration of the Mano River Union on Defence, Security, Internal and Foreign affairs, signed in May 2000 in Conakry.
- To implement the deployment of Joint Border Security and Confidence Building Units along their common borders;
- In collaboration with international institutions and the MRU Secretariat, the three member states agreed to create material and psychological conditions that would encourage the repatriation of refugees to their respective countries of origin;
- To re-establish, as soon as possible, in the secured areas, the Free movement of goods and people;
- To create an effective programme on information education and communication for the benefit of their respective populations on the culture of peace and the objectives of sub-regional integration;
- To establish a network of frequent contacts and exchange of security intelligence and other relevant information in the area of security among member states,
- To encourage member states to pursue the ongoing disarmament process in the sub-region.
- Expressed its commitment to seek the necessary financial support in order to make all the organs of the MRU operational.
- That the Mano River Women Peace Network continues with their efforts of restoring and consolidation peace and stability in the sub-region;
- Noted with satisfaction the atmosphere of cordiality and understanding that characterised their discussions;
- That the JSC would reconvene in Conakry on September 8, 2001 to further deliberate on other pertinent issues preceding the meeting of the Foreign Ministers on September 10, 2001;
- Expressed its profound gratitude to the government and people of the Republic of Sierra Leone, particularly the head of state, Dr. Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah for the warm reception, hospitality and the excellent working conditions that contributed to the success of their deliberations.
Done at Freetown on August 23, 2001