Over 1,700 rebel and government-backed militia disarmed in Sierra Leone: UN
In a statement issued in Freetown, the UN Mission said that 813 RUF combatants - 618 adults and 195 children - had handed over their weapons in UNAMSIL disarmament centres. Of the 915 CDF fighters to disarm, 907 were adults and 8 were children.
The ex-combatants turned in a range of heavy and light weapons, including an anti-aircraft battery and mortars, as well as AK-47s, AK-58s, rocket-propelled grenades and other small arms and ammunition. The weapons were immediately disabled on hand-over, UNAMSIL said.
The UN Mission also reported that the CDF attacked RUF positions approximately 20 miles east of Koidu on the night of 19/20 May, in violation of the 15 May cessation of hostilities agreement. The attack was verified by the Bangladeshi Battalion, which maintains a permanent patrol presence at Koidu. The attack caused some 600 internally displaced persons to flee the area and move westwards towards Sefadu, UNAMSIL said.
To show its commitment to the peace process and help to resolve the situation, a joint UN-Government of Sierra Leone delegation travelled to Koidu today to talk to the CDF militia.