Global Policy Forum

Rebels Reiterate Commitment


By Jerome Hule

Panafrican News Agency
April 9, 2001

Sierra Leone's rebel group, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), has assured of its desire to cooperate with the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to further the peace process in the country. According to a UN statement Monday, rebel leaders gave their commitment over the weekend during a meeting with visiting UN Deputy Secretary General, Louise Frechette at Lunsar, a town formerly held by the rebels but now under UNAMSIL.

To demonstrate their commitment, the rebels have dismantled three checkpoints between Rogberi and Lunsar in accordance with a request by Frechette, the UN said. In her brief meeting with members of the RUF high command, including Col. Jonathan Kposowa and Gibril Massaquoi, Frechette stressed the need for the rebel group to demonstrate concrete evidence of their commitment to implementation of the ceasefire accord they signed in Abuja last October.

In Lunsar, Frechette toured UNAMSIL's deployment and met with the local population and traditional rulers. While in Sierra Leone, the UN official met with President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and told him she was in the country to look at the economic, social and humanitarian situation. In his response, Kabbah said his government was working very well with UNAMSIL. He expressed his appreciation of UNAMSIL's emphasis on development, as shown by the recent appointment of a senior official to be in charge of governance and stabilisation.

Frechette, whose visit came as the UN approved an increase in the number of peacekeepers to Sierra Leone to 17,500, left the country Saturday. The UN currently has about 12,000 peacekeepers in Sierra Leone, with more than 3,000 from Nigeria.

More Information on Sierra Leone and Liberia


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