Sierra Leone Urges International Action At UN Security Council Briefing On Escalating Red Sea Maritime Threats

In a recent United Nations Security Council briefing held on January 3rd, 2024, Sierra Leone raised serious concerns about the escalating maritime threats in the Red Sea under the agenda of “Maintenance of International Peace and Security.”

Sierra Leone started by congratulating the Republic of France on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for January 2024 and commending the working methods of the French Presidency for being effective, open, and action-oriented. Sierra Leone also acknowledged Ecuador’s excellent work during its Presidency in December 2023.

In the speech, Sierra Leone recognized the contributions of the five outgoing elected (non-permanent) members of the Security Council – Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates. Sierra Leone expressed gratitude to the Council for the warm welcome and conveyed its commitment to being constructive in ensuring the Council’s unity and effectiveness.

Moving on to the main agenda of the briefing, Sierra Leone expressed serious concern over the escalation of maritime attacks in the Red Sea. Despite the Security Council’s condemnation of recent Houthi attacks against a commercial vessel, there has been a disturbing increase in such attacks, adversely affecting navigation and threatening the movement of essential commodities.

The attacks by the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea have disrupted trade routes, forcing shipping firms to take costlier routes. Moreover, these attacks pose a grave risk to international peace and security, with potential repercussions on the already tense situation in the Middle East.

Sierra Leone strongly condemned these attacks, demanding the immediate release of all abducted crew members of the vessel MV Galaxy Leader. Abducting crew members in international waters is considered a serious violation of international law, and Sierra Leone called for utmost respect for applicable international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Sierra Leone also emphasized the importance of the multinational task force established to counter Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, urging strict compliance with international law in this endeavor. Furthermore, Sierra Leone expressed concerns that the increase in maritime attacks poses a serious risk to the ongoing peace talks in Yemen, calling on all concerned parties to ensure that these attacks do not lead to a breakdown in the Yemeni Peace Process.

In conclusion, Sierra Leone urged regional actors to refrain from provocative acts that could escalate the already serious and dire situation in the region. Sierra Leone emphasized the need for international cooperation to counter threats to peace and security in the Red Sea.

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