At the United Nations, the security Council has unanimously approved a resolution calling on all states and international agencies to help Benin repair damage caused by an attack on its capital of Cotonou.
GV Security Council in session
CU Elisio de Figueiredo, Angola, speaking in English
CU Mansoor Kikhia, Libyan Jamahiriyah, speaking in English
CU Thomas Boya, Benin, speaking in French
DE FIGUEREDO: "Mr. President, one of the most shocking aspects of the aggression against Benin was the use of mercenaries. The People's Republic of Angola is no stranger in this respect. We have now been acquainted with this situation of mercenaries--that despicable...(indistinct)... whom Shakespeare referred to as 'the dogs of war'. The blood of countless martyrs is on their hands as well as on the hands of foreign governments that recruit mercenaries, train them, support them and finance them. Mr. President, it is remarkable that the West, which considers itself the law-giver to the world, does not appear to have adequate laws to prevent recruitment and enlistment of mercenaries."
KIKHIA: "The council once again finds itself unable to carry out its obligations under the charter. Having taken note of an act of aggression, and having condemned it, it has so far not found any means of proceeding further. This is a serious matter. It is a serious matter, firstly, because the kind of aggression which was committed against Benin is occurring with ever greater frequency. It is a serious matter also because the council should, indeed must, find a means to prevent the use of armed mercenary forces to carry out acts of aggression against member states. It is clear that if the council does not find the means necessary, we shall be faced with greatly intensified mercenary activity everywhere, and particularly against the small states."
The resolution, sponsored by Benin, the Libyan Jamahiriyah, and Mauritius, also took note of the Benin government's which to have those who took part in the attack subjected to legal process. Investigations into the incident have been continuing for some time in a number of countries.
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Background: At the United Nations, the security Council has unanimously approved a resolution calling on all states and international agencies to help Benin repair damage caused by an attack on its capital of Cotonou. The attack, which took place last January, was alleged to have been carried out by foreign mercenaries. And a reporter submitted to the council estimated the costs of the repairs at 28 million dollars. Before the council passed the resolution on Thursday (24 November), its president, Mansoor Kikhia of the Libyan Jamaniriyah, urged swift international action against the practice of recruiting mercenaries. Otherwise, he warned, their activities would be intensified, particularly against small states like Benin, which was previously known as Dahomey and lies in West Africa.
SYNOPSIS: Among those expressing sympathy and support for Benin during the debate was Angolan representative Elisio de Figueiredo.
Benin's delegate Thomas Boya thanked members for their unanimous support -- the soviet Union was among states which had supported Benin. Mr. Boya said the echo of their solidarity "was heard in my country".
According to a report submitted to the security council, the attackers went to Benin from Gabon and originated in France, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. The report suggested that they were trained in Morocco.