Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.Res. 62 (ih) Expressing concern over the escalating violence, the gross violations of human rights, and the ongoing attempts to overthrow a democratically elected government in Sierra Leone. [Introduced in House] ...

H.Res. 62 (ih) Expressing concern over the escalating violence, the gross violations of human rights, and the ongoing attempts to overthrow a democratically elected government in Sierra Leone. [Introduced in House] ...


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H. Res. 62

                 In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

                                                         June 15, 1999.
Whereas the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) military junta, which on 
        May 27, 1997, overthrew the democratically elected government of Sierra 
        Leone led by President Ahmed Kabbah, suspended the constitution, banned 
        political activities and public meetings, and invited the rebel fighters 
        of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) to join the junta;
Whereas the AFRC and RUF then mounted ``Operation No Living Thing'', a campaign 
        of killing, egregious human rights violations, and looting, that 
        continued until President Kabbah was restored to power by the Economic 
        Community of West African States Military Observation Group (ECOMOG) on 
        March 10, 1998;
Whereas the AFRC and RUF have escalated their 8 year reign of terror against the 
        citizens of Sierra Leone, which includes heinous acts such as forcibly 
        amputating the limbs of defenseless civilians of all ages, raping women 
        and children, and wantonly killing innocent citizens;
Whereas the Kamajor civil defense group has committed summary executions of 
        captured rebels and persons suspected of aiding the rebels;
Whereas the AFRC and RUF continue to abduct children, forcibly provide them with 
        military training, and place them on the front-line during rebel 
        incursions;
Whereas countries in and outside of the region, including Liberia, Burkina Faso, 
        and Libya, and mercenaries from Ukraine and other countries, are 
        directly supporting the AFRC/RUF terrorist campaign against the 
        legitimate government and citizens of Sierra Leone;
Whereas the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 
        last year more than 210,000 Sierra Leoneans fled the country to Guinea, 
        bringing the number to 350,000, most of whom have left Sierra Leone to 
        escape the AFRC/RUF campaign of terror and atrocities, as have an 
        additional 90,000 Sierra Leoneans who have sought safe haven in Liberia;
Whereas the refugee camps in Guinea and Liberia may be at risk of being used as 
        safe havens for rebels and staging areas for attacks against Sierra 
        Leone;
Whereas the humanitarian crisis in Sierra Leone has reached epic proportions 
        with people dying from a lack of food, medical treatment, and medicine, 
        while humanitarian operations are impeded by the countrywide war and the 
        resultant destruction of infrastructure;
Whereas the Nigerian-led intervention force, ECOMOG, has deployed some 15,000 
        troops in Sierra Leone in an attempt to end the cycle of violence and 
        ensure the maintenance of its democratically elected government at the 
        request of the legitimate Government of Sierra Leone and with the 
        support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
Whereas the escalating violence and terror in Sierra Leone perpetrated by the 
        rebel AFRC/RUF threatens stability in West Africa and has the immediate 
        potential of spilling over into Guinea and Liberia;
Whereas the ECOWAS Group of Seven recently met in Guinea in an attempt to bring 
        about a cessation of hostilities and a negotiated settlement of the 
        conflict; and
Whereas the United Nations report in February 1999 documented human rights 
        abuses by the RUF, the Kamajor civil defense group, and summary 
        executions by ECOMOG: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) welcomes the cessation of hostilities and calls for the 
        respect of human rights by all combatants;
            (2) applauds the effective diplomacy of the Department of 
        State and the Reverend Jesse Jackson, United States Special 
        Presidential Envoy for the promotion of democracy in Africa, 
        particularly the successful efforts in helping to formulate a 
        cease-fire arrangement;
            (3) supports the efforts of all parties to bring lasting 
        peace and national reconciliation in Sierra Leone;
            (4) calls on all parties, including government officials 
        and the RUF, to commit to a cease-fire;
            (5) appeals to all parties to the conflict to engage in 
        dialogue without any preconditions to bring about a long-term 
        solution to this civil strife in Sierra Leone;
            (6) supports the people of Sierra Leone in their quest for 
        a democratic and stable country and a reconciled society;
            (7) urges the President, the Secretary of State, and the 
        Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs to support the 
        democratically elected government of Sierra Leone and continue 
        to give high priority to helping resolve the devastating 
        conflict in that country, which would be an important 
        contribution to stability in the West Africa region;
            (8) abhors the gross violations of human rights ongoing in 
        Sierra Leone, including the dismemberment of citizens 
        (including children) by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council 
        (AFRC) and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and demands 
        that they immediately stop such heinous acts;
            (9) condemns the West African countries and those outside 
        the region that are aiding the AFRC/RUF and demands they 
        immediately withdraw their combatants and cease providing 
        military, financial, political, and other types of assistance 
        to the rebels in Sierra Leone;
            (10) applauds the Economic Community of West African States 
        Military Observation Group (ECOMOG) for its support of the 
        legitimate Government of Sierra Leone and urges it to diversify 
        its forces with troops from additional Economic Community of 
        West African States (ECOWAS) countries and remain engaged in 
        Sierra Leone until a comprehensive settlement of the conflict 
        is achieved;
            (11) calls upon the United States to provide increased, 
        appropriate logistical and political support for ECOMOG;
            (12) calls on the United States to appoint an independent 
        commission to investigate human rights violations;
            (13) calls on the United Nations Security Council to fully 
        support, financially and diplomatically, the activities of the 
        human rights section of the United Nations Observer Mission in 
        Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL);
            (14) calls upon the United States to provide increased, 
        appropriate logistical and political support for Ghana and 
        Mali, countries that participate in ECOMOG; and
            (15) urges the President to appoint a special envoy for 
        Sierra Leone.

            Attest:

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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