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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 2, 1996


Sierra Leone Peace Agreement

The United States warmly welcomes the peace agreement signed by President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and the leader of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) Corporal Foday Sankoh in Abidjan on November 30. We salute President Kabbah and Mr. Sankoh for this milestone achievement that opens a new chapter of hope for all the people of Sierra Leone. This agreement ends a five-year civil war in Sierra Leone and creates the conditions which will allow over one and a half million internally displaced people and refugees to return to their homes. We also commend the Government of Cote d'Ivoire and the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Sierra Leone, Berhanu Dinka, for their constructive roles in support of the Sierra Leone peace process.

We encourage the rapid demobilization and reintegration of both RUF and Sierra Leone military forces. An arduous process of rebuilding the country's shattered infrastructure and economy lies ahead. The United States will remain engaged with Sierra Leone's rehabilitation and reconstruction program by providing food aid and other humanitarian assistance. In the spirit of national unity, we urge all Sierra Leoneans to support the Government of Sierra Leone's efforts to achieve reconciliation and economic development.

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