I congratulate the people of Sierra Leone on the conduct of peaceful
presidential and parliamentary elections.
The election outcomes are a significant achievement after 10 years
of conflict in Sierra Leone. This conflict has caused tens of thousands
of deaths and the displacement of more than two million people.
I also congratulate President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah on his re-election
for a five-year term and am encouraged by his call for the people
to unite to rebuild their country. I hope these developments usher
in a period of stability for Sierra Leone.
The United Kingdom has played a leading role in helping rebuild
Sierra Leone. Australia has also played its part, contributing
Defence personnel to the International Military and Training Team
responsible for training Sierra Leone's police and defence forces.
Australia has also been active in curbing the worldwide trade in
'conflict diamonds'. This trade has helped finance the conflict
in Sierra Leone and continues to finance other conflicts in the
This year, Australia has provided A$100,000 to the UN Special Court
for Sierra Leone to investigate crimes against humanity and A$21,227,900
to the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). UNAMSIL
is the largest and one of the most successful UN peacekeeping operations.
The Commonwealth has assisted through capacity building activities
to rehabilitate local institutions and by contributing an Observer
Group to monitor elections.
Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / Julie
McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555