The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) has returned weapons and military equipment seized last year from United Nations peacekeepers, the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) said today.
RUF commanders handed over an assortment of AK-47 and G3 rifles, general purpose machine guns and other weapons to UNAMSIL at a ceremony in the northern town of Makeni. Also turned in were various military vehicles, equipment, uniforms and kits.
Col. Ngulu Kpakai, leader of the RUF delegation, told the UNAMSIL Deputy Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Martin L. Agwai, that logistical problems had prevented the release of more equipment. He pledged to hand over more in the future.
Noting that the hand-over demonstrated the RUF's commitment to abide by the Abuja Ceasefire Agreements, Maj. Gen. Agwai asked the group to provide the type and location of remaining equipment taken from both the UN Mission and peacekeepers of the Economic Community of West African States' Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG). That information would enable UNAMSIL to determine the kind of logistical assistance needed, he said.
Maj. Gen. Agwai urged combatants to turn in seized weapons to their commanders, who would then hand them over to UNAMSIL.