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Pakistan to contribute over 4,000 soldiers to UN mission in Sierra Leone

Pakistan to contribute over 4,000 soldiers to UN mission in Sierra Leone

The Government of Pakistan has decided to deploy a brigade-size contingent of over 4,000 troops to the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), a UN spokesman announced today in New York.

"The details of their deployment, including discussions on equipment, logistics and transportation requirements, are still being worked out," Manoel de Almeida e Silva told the press at UN Headquarters.

The Government of Nepal is also actively considering offering a battalion, which would bring the size of the UN Mission close to the 17,500 military personnel authorized by the Security Council. The current strength stands at a little over 12,000, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette, who arrived Wednesday evening in Freetown, met today with President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. She was also scheduled to meet with other senior Government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and the UN staff in Sierra Leone.

On Friday, following meetings with senior UNAMSIL staff and representatives of international and local non-governmental organizations, Ms. Fréchette will leave the capital to visit other parts of the country, the spokesman said. She is also scheduled to visit Lunsar, a town previously held by the rebel Revolutionary United Front, to meet with UN peacekeepers who were deployed there recently.