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Sierra Leone: UNHCR welcomes access statement

Briefing notes

Sierra Leone: UNHCR welcomes access statement

8 June 1999

UNHCR welcomes the joint statement issued by the Government of Sierra Leone and rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in which they agree to allow humanitarian agencies access to areas under their control.

The statement, issued on 3 June in Lomé, where peace talks are ongoing, says that this should enter into effect immediately, and that a committee composed of government representatives, the RUF, members of civil society, NGOs and the UN military observer mission in Sierra Leone will be set up, chaired by the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator and with its work supervised by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General.

Humanitarian activities will depend on the actual evolution of the negotiations on a peace accord in Lomé and on the situation in the field.

There are an estimated 400,000 refugees from Sierra Leone (300,000 in Guinea and another 100,000 in Liberia) as well as more than one million internally displaced people within Sierra Leone.