West African foreign ministers ended their extraordinary meeting in Abidjan yesterday strongly condemning the rebel atrocities against the civilian population. In a communique issued at the end of the day-long meeting, the ministers also appealed to the rebels to accept the legitimacy of the government in Freetown, stop fighting and take advantage of an amnesty offer by President Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.
The Sierra Leone Committee expressed “total support” for the government in Freetown. It called on the UN Security Council to reaffirm support for the government and for the international community to ensure that the rebels knew they would “never be accorded recognition as the legitimate government of Sierra Leone”.
The Committee appealed to all countries that have pledged troops to honour their commitments immediately and to the UN, OAU, EU, and the Contact Group on Sierra Leone to provide transport and communications to ECOMOG to improve mobility and the force’s effectiveness.
The ministers condemned the presence of mercenaries in Sierra Leone and countries providing support to the rebels.
The ministers called on Togo, the Chairman of ECOWAS, to take the initiative in developing “genuine rapprochement” between the presidents of Sierra Leone and Liberia.