JOINT COMMUNIQUE OF THE MEETING HOSTED BY
THE CHAIRMAN OF ECOWAS AND HEAD OF STATE OF THE FEDERAL
REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AND ATTENDED BY THE PRESIDENT
OF SIERRA LEONE, THE PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA, AND
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS
2 July 1998, Abuja
1. On 1 July 1998, at the initiative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi A. Annan, the Chairman of ECOWAS and Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Abdusalam Abubakar, hosted a meeting between President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone and President Charles Ghankay Taylor of Liberia.
2. The meeting, which was co-chaired by the Chairman of ECOWAS and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, addressed a number of regional and sub-regional issues, including ways in which security and cooperation between the neighbouring states of Liberia and Sierra Leone could be further improved, what confidence-building measures could be introduced by the two Governments, and what role ECOWAS and the United Nations could play in support of these efforts.
3. The Heads of State of Sierra Leone and Liberia, in the presence of the Chairman of ECOWAS and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, reached agreement on the following points:
- that they strongly condemned the continued rebel activities in Sierra Leone as well as the horrendous atrocities that had been committed there;
- that they were determined to cooperate to promote an end to the fighting in Sierra Leone, and to foster peace and security in the sub-region;
- that they reaffirmed the non-aggression protocol of 1986 of the Mano River Union Agreement, and agreed to seek ways to enhance its effectiveness. Special attention was drawn to the need to control the activities and movements of demobilized former combatants, and the leaders expressly reaffirmed their commitment not to permit their territories to be used for actions aimed at destabilizing the other;
- that as a further confidence-building measure the two leaders would exchange official visits;
- that both leaders would welcome and support the deployment of United Nations and ECOMOG observers along their border;
- that both leaders called upon their citizens not to be involved in destabilizing activities against the other state, and that all those caught committing such offences should be arrested and prosecuted under the laws of the arresting state;
- that both leaders welcomed the initiative taken by the Secretary-General and the Chairman of ECOWAS in facilitating their discussion and expressed their appreciation for this.
4. The three regional leaders called upon the United Nations to increase its presence in Sierra Leone, in support of the efforts being undertaken by ECOWAS and the Government of Sierra Leone to promote peace and security in the country. The Secretary-General of the United Nations expressed support for the need to increase the United Nations presence in Sierra Leone, and noted that the Security Council was presently considering the matter.
5. The participants expressed grave concern over the situation in Guinea-Bissau, and noted the ongoing consultations among ECOWAS member states on this matter.
6. The participants expressed their special appreciation to the Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Abdusalam Abubakar, for having hosted the meeting, and for the facilities which he had made available.
Done at Abuja on 2 July 1998.
Chairman of ECOWAS,
Head of States of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Ahmed Tejan Kabbah
President of Sierra Leone
Charles G. Taylor
President of Liberia
Kofi A. Annan
of the United Nations