Global Policy Forum

In New Blow to UN Force,

Agence France Presse
October 25, 2000

In a fresh blow to the United Nations peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone, Jordan has said it intends to withdraw its 1,800 troops by the end of the year, UN sources said Tuesday. The Jordanian contingent is the third largest in the force, which is close to its authorised strength of 13,000 troops. India, which has overall command of the force, announced last month that it would pull out its 3,000 soldiers once replacements could be found.

The sources said the Jordanian authorities wrote to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan late last week informing him of their decision, which comes at a time of crisis in the Middle East. The sources said the Jordanians had also wanted to see a more varied composition to the force in Sierra Leone.

The departure of the Indians and the Jordanians will leave Bangladesh as the only non-African country with troops in Sierra Leone. Bangladesh has already offered to send two more battalions, the sources said, and Ghana and Kenya were considering sending one extra battalion each.

The force has been bedeviled by tensions between the Indian commander, Major-General Vijay Jetley, and Nigeria, which has provided the largest contingent, of 3,200 troops. Jordan's decision to withdraw further complicates the job of increasing the force to 20,500 troops, as recommended by Annan.

The Security Council is scheduled to discuss the mandate of the force on Thursday.

More Information on Sierra Leone


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