Final Communiqué of the Fourth Meeting of the Committee of Five of the Economic Community of West African States on the Liberian crisis, held in Yamoussoukro on 29 and 30 October 1991
1. The Committee of Five of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Liberia held its fourth meeting in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire, on 29 and 30 October 1991, under the chairmanship of H.E. Felix Houphouet-Boigny, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire. At the invitation of the Committee, apart from those who are members of the Committee of Five, the other members of the ECOWAS Standing Mediation Committee participated in its deliberations together with Guinea and Sierra Leone.
2. Present at the meeting were the following Heads of State and Government or their duly accredited representatives:
H.E. Captain Blaise Compaore, President of Burkina Faso, Head of Government of Burkina Faso;H.B. Felix Houphouet-Boigny, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire;H.E. General Joao Bernardo Vieira, President of the Council of State of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau;H.E. Lieutenant-Colonel Amadou Toumani Toure, Chairman of the People’s Redemption Transitional Committee, Head of State of the Republic of Mali;H.E. Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal;The Honourable Kokou Joseph Koffigoh, Prime Minister of the Togolese Republic;The Honourable Augustus Aikhomu, Vice-President, representing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;The Honourable J. B. Dauda, Second Vice-President, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, representing the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone;The Honourable Alhaji Omar Sey, Minister of External Affairs, representing the President of the Republic of the Gambia;The Honourable Dr. Obed Asamoah, PNDC Secretary for Foreign Affairs, representing the Head of State of the Republic of Ghana;The Honourable Facine Toure, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, representing the Head of State of the Republic of Guinea.
3. Also present at the invitation of the Committee were:
H.E. Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, President of the Interim Government of Liberia;Mr. Charles Taylor, Head of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL);Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Secretary-General of the organization of African Unity;Mrs. Dayle E. Spencer, representative of the International Negotiations Network (INN).
Outcome of Deliberations
Developments since the Committee’s last meeting
4. The Committee reviewed developments relating to the Liberian crisis since its last meeting in Yamoussoukro on 16 and 17 September 1991. The Committee noted with appreciation that since that meeting, the Republic of Senegal, in keeping with its promise to contribute troops to ECOMOG, had started deploying its troops to Liberia to join ECOMOG. It also noted with pleasure the fact that the parties, in consonance with the agreement reached in Yamoussoukro during the last meeting of the Committee of Five, had nominated a five-member Elections Commission for the organization and supervision of the elections to be held in Liberia, and a five-member ad hoc Supreme Court to adjudicate disputes that may arise from the electoral process, as provided for by the Liberian Constitution. The Committee urged the parties concerned to take all necessary action to ensure that the Interim Elections Commission begins its work without any further delay.
5. Recalling its earlier appeal to other ECOWAS member States to contribute contingents to ECOMOG, the Committee welcomed with appreciation the announcement by Guinea-Bissau of its readiness to contribute troops to ECOMOG in order to enhance its capacity to discharge its peacekeeping role in Liberia.
Timetable for encampment and disarmament
6. Recalling the earlier Yamoussoukro Accord of the parties to implement, under ECOMOG supervision, the encampment of their troops in designated locations and their disarmament, and the mandate given to ECOMOG, in liaison with the parties concerned, to work out the practical modalities for the implementation of that Accord, the Meeting considered and agreed a programme of implementation of these important elements of the ceasefire, which is annexed hereto (see enclosure below). This programme envisages the implementation within 60 days of all the modalities for the establishment of the necessary conditions of peace and security on the ground in order to reinforce the confidence of the parties as well as create a proper atmosphere conducive to the holding of free, fair and democratic elections in Liberia not later than six months from the date of this Meeting. The Committee therefore renewed its mandate to ECOMOG to ensure that the programme is smoothly and speedily implemented, in order to make it possible for democratic elections to be held in Liberia within the stipulated period. To this end, it appealed to all the parties concerned to continue to repose trust and confidence in ECOMOG and to cooperate fully with ECOMOG, the Interim Elections Commission, the INN and all other international observers who may wish to observe and monitor the electoral process.
Visits to Guinea and Sierra Leone
7. The Meeting received the report of the delegation of the Foreign Ministers of Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria, headed by Senegal, which was requested to visit Guinea and Sierra Leone after the end of the Committee’s last meeting. It welcomed the participation of Guinea and Sierra Leone at the meeting and particularly noted with appreciation, the declaration of these countries to continue to cooperate with the Committee in order to achieve the successful implementation of the ECOWAS peace plan and to facilitate the restoration of normalcy in the border areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Committee agreed on the necessity that all hostile foreign forces be withdrawn immediately from the territory of Sierra Leone and that a buffer zone be created with similar dispatch on the Liberian side of the border, to be monitored by ECOMOG.
Vote of Thanks
8. The Committee expressed its appreciation and gratitude to H.E. Felix Houphouet Boigny, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, and to the Government and people of Cote d’Ivoire for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to all delegations and for the excellent facilities made available to ensure the success of the Meeting.
Done at Yamoussoukro this 30th day of October 1991.
His Excellency Captain Blaise COMPAOREPresident of Burkina Faso
His Excellency Felix HOUPHOUET-BOIGNYPresident of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
His Excellency General Joao Bernardo VIEIRAPresident of the Council of State of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
His Excellency Lt. Col. Amadou Toumani TOUREHead of State of Mali
His Excellency Abdou DIOUFPresident of the Republic of Senegal
The Honourable Kokou Joseph KOFFIGOHPrime Minister of the Togolese Republic
The Honourable Augustus AIKHOMUVice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Honourable J. B. DAUDASecond Vice-President, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Sierra Leone
The Honourable Alhaji Omar SEYMinister of External Affairs, The Gambia
The Honourable Dr. Obed ASAMOAHPNDC Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ghana
The Honourable Facine TOUREAttorney-General and Minister of Justice, Republic of Guinea
His Excellency Dr. Amos C. SAWYERPresident of the Interim Government, Liberia
Mr. Charles TAYLORHead of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL)
Programme of Implementation
· Cover the whole of Liberia.
· Supervise the encampment and disarmament of all warring factions.
Preliminary accepted conditions
· ECOMOG shall enjoy freedom of movement throughout the territory of Liberia.
· All warring factions will willingly abandon their fighting positions and move into designated camps.
· During the Period of encampment and disarmament, eminent persons of the INN will visit Liberia in order to reinforce the confidence of the parties.
· All parties concerned will recognize the absolute neutrality of ECOMOG and demonstrate their trust and confidence in it.
· Some weapons inadvertently lost would therefore need to be located and recovered.
· There would be some obstacles and possible minefields that would need to be neutralised.
· All entry points into Liberia will be monitored by ECOMOG troops.
· Eliminate external threat to allow the encampment and disarmament programme to be smoothly and effectively carried out.
· Monitoring of all possible avenues of approach into Liberia by patrols and static guards.
· Search, in conjunction with administrative authorities, to recover hidden or lost weapons,
· Strategic installations will need static guards.
· Security will be provided to all VIPs and where freedom of movement is established such security will not be necessary for local dignitaries.
· It is clear that trust and confidence from all the parties to the conflict underpin the operations of ECOMOG which, in the light of the Yamoussoukro meetings, should now take us into the next phase. It is therefore recommended that this next phase commence on 15 November 1991, which shall be known as “D” Day.
· It is envisaged that the ECOMOG military programme can be completed within 60 days as follows:
· Issue Orders
D-Day + 7
· Confirmatory reconnaissance completed of all encampment areas and forward patrol bases.
· Border guards in place including buffer zones along Sierra Leone/Liberia border.
· Roadblocks and checkpoints removed in collaboration with administrative authorities.
· Reception centres for encampment opened.
· ECOMOG patrols commence.
· NPFL encampment and documentation.
· Receiving, crating and storage of weapons at designated points completed.
· Resettlement programme commences.
· Robertsfield International Airport reactivated.
· Consolidation of border areas in collaboration with the administrative authorities.
· Appropriate light Air Detachments deployed in Liberia (including helicopters).
· Routine patrols continue.
· Permanent presence and supervision of all airports and seaports.
· International flights into Robertsfield commence.
No movement of heavy weapons belonging to ECOMOG where not necessary.
D Day + 60
· Assignment completed by 14 January 1992.
· The operation itself will be conducted at small unit and subunit levels but there is an overriding need to keep border security forces for as long as necessary. Command and control will be exercised at Force Headquarters.