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Resolution 1537

The situation in Sierra Leone


S/RES/1537 (2004)
Security Council Distr.: General
30 March 2004
04-28976 (E)
Resolution 1537 (2004)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 4938th meeting, on 30 March 2004
The Security Council,
Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements of its President
concerning the situation in Sierra Leone,
Affirming the commitment of all States to respect the sovereignty, political
independence and territorial integrity of Sierra Leone,
Commending the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States
towards building peace in the subregion, and encouraging the Presidents of the
Mano River Union member States to resume dialogue and to renew their
commitment to building regional peace and security,
Expressing its appreciation to those Member States providing troops, civilian
police personnel and support elements to the United Nations Mission in Sierra
Leone (UNAMSIL),
Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 19 March 2004
Welcoming the significant progress made towards the benchmarks for
drawdown of UNAMSIL, in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1436
(2002) and 1492 (2003), and commending UNAMSIL for the progress made to date
in the adjustments to its size, composition and deployment,
Noting, however, that progress towards the benchmarks remains fragile, and
some major gaps still remain, in particular with regard to the capacity of the Sierra
Leone Police and armed forces to maintain security and stability effectively,
Reiterating the importance of the effective consolidation of stability and State
authority throughout Sierra Leone, particularly in the sensitive diamond-producing
areas and in the border areas, and stressing continued United Nations support to the
Government of Sierra Leone in fulfilling these objectives,
Emphasizing the importance of free, fair and transparent local elections in May
2004 and encouraging the Government of Sierra Leone to make the necessary
preparations, assisted by UNAMSIL within its mandate,
S/RES/1537 (2004)
Encouraging the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to produce its report as
soon as possible and welcoming the intention of the Government of Sierra Leone to
establish a Human Rights Commission thereafter,
Noting the Secretary-General’s analysis of the need for a significantly-reduced
United Nations peacekeeping presence to remain in Sierra Leone into 2005,
Emphasizing the importance of the Government of Sierra Leone’s assuming
full responsibility for national security as soon as possible,
1. Decides that the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone
(UNAMSIL) shall be extended for a period of six months until 30 September 2004;
2. Welcomes the Secretary-General’s intention to adjust the timetable for
UNAMSIL’s drawdown during 2004, in order to ensure a more gradual reduction in
its military strength, as outlined in paragraph 72 of his report;
3. Urges the Government of Sierra Leone to intensify its efforts to develop
an effective and sustainable police force, army, penal system and independent
judiciary, so that the Government can rapidly take over from UNAMSIL full
responsibility for maintaining law and order throughout Sierra Leone, and
encourages donors and UNAMSIL, in accordance with its mandate, to continue to
assist the Government in this regard;
4. Urges the Government of Sierra Leone to continue to strengthen its
control over, and regulation of, diamond mining, including through the High Level
Steering Committee;
5. Decides that a residual UNAMSIL presence will remain in Sierra Leone,
for an initial period of six months from 1 January 2005, reduced from the December
2004 level of 5,000 troops by 28 February 2005 to a new ceiling of 3,250 troops,
141 military observers and 80 United Nations civilian police personnel, and requests
the Secretary-General to proceed with planning on the basis of the recommendations
in his report, in order to ensure a seamless transition from the current configuration
of UNAMSIL to the residual presence;
6. Affirms its intention to confirm the precise tasks of the residual
UNAMSIL presence, and the benchmarks for its duration, no later than 30
September 2004;
7. Requests the Secretary-General to provide by 15 September 2004 a
progress report, including progress made in the work of the Special Court for Sierra
Leone, progress in resolving the conflict in Liberia, further increases in the
capability of the Sierra Leone Police and armed forces and strengthened cooperation
among United Nations missions in the subregion, with recommendations for any
modifications such progress might allow to the size, composition, duration and
benchmarks of the residual UNAMSIL presence;
8. Welcomes the Secretary-General’s intention to keep the security, political,
humanitarian and human rights situation in Sierra Leone under close review and to
report to the Council, after due consultations with troop-contributing countries and
the Government of Sierra Leone, including by quarterly assessments of progress
against the benchmarks for UNAMSIL’s drawdown, including the capacity of the
Sierra Leone security sector;
S/RES/1537 (2004)
9. Expresses its appreciation for the essential work being carried out by the
Special Court for Sierra Leone, notes with serious concern the precarious financial
situation of the Court for its third year of operation, urges all countries to submit
their outstanding pledged funds immediately, supports the Secretary-General’s
request to the General Assembly to consider a contribution to the financing of the
Court from the regular budget, as in the Secretary-General’s report to the General
Assembly of 14 March 2004 (A/58/733), and urges all States to cooperate fully with
the Court;
10. Commends the Secretary-General’s efforts to establish cooperation
between the United Nations missions in the subregion and welcomes his intention in
paragraph 65 of his report to submit recommendations to the Council by the end of
2004 on how such cooperation might be strengthened;
11. Requests UNAMSIL to share its experience with the United Nations
Mission in Liberia and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire and to carry
out its mandate in close liaison with them, especially in the prevention of
movements of arms and combatants across borders and in the implementation of
disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes;
12. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Diamonds (Kimberley Process), Sierra Leone
The situation in Sierra Leone
Related with resolutions
1436 1492
Quoted in resolutions
1562 1688
Security Council Composition