17 March 2003

Press Statement by Security Council President on Indictments by Sierra Leone Special Court

NEW YORK, 14 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today's statement to the press by Security Council President Mamady Traoré (Guinea) on the announcement of indictments by the Sierra Leone Special Court:

Members of the Security Council noted the 10 March announcement by the Special Court of Sierra Leone of indictments against seven individuals charged with crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of humanitarian law.

Council Members welcomed the indictments as the start of a judicial process aimed, with the assistance of the international community, at bringing to justice those individuals who bear the greatest responsibility for the suffering inflicted on the people of Sierra Leone. In holding individuals accountable through a full, fair and transparent judicial process, the Special Court will strengthen national reconciliation and contribute to the Security Council's goal of lasting peace in Sierra Leone.

Members congratulated the people and Government of Sierra Leone for their commitment to achieving justice and national reconciliation through the work of the Special Court, and through the contribution of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and for their support to the Court since its establishment.

Members of the Council called on other States in the region to support the efforts of the Special Court in combating impunity and addressing accountability for the atrocities that have been committed in Sierra Leone.

Council Members expressed appreciation to those States that have contributed to the Special Court's funding and operations. Members urged States to continue to provide support to the Court as it enters the next phase of its work.

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