Top UN envoy in Sierra Leone satisfied with deployment of national army

Top UN envoy in Sierra Leone satisfied with deployment of national army

The head of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) has expressed satisfaction with the smooth deployment of the national army in Kambia district following the completion of the disarmament process in the area.

Reviewing progress in that country's security situation, Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, met today with Maj. T.A. Abu, commanding officer of the Sierra Leone Army's 11 Battalion, at his Kambia headquarters, where he advised the troops to maintain good relations with the citizenry so as to advance the peace process.

Flying on to Lunsar, Ambassador Adeniji met with Col. Patrick Beinda and Col. Molesky Kallon of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and toured the construction work on the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration centre there. Approximately 195 demobilized RUF combatants are currently in the centre.

Yesterday, meanwhile, the UNAMSIL Force Commander visited the centre under construction at Yengema in Kono district. It is expected to house 1,120 ex-combatants of both the RUF and the Civil Defence Force (CDF) who will disarm in Kono district.

Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande met with RUF interim leader Gen. Issa Sesay and Col. Batten of the CDF in the town of Koidu. Responding to a CDF call for urgent implementation of the disarmament process, Gen. Opande assured the RUF and CDF leadership that there would be simultaneous disarmament of both groups in Kono and Bonthe districts.

Gen. Opande later visited Tongo to check on the preparedness of combatants for the forthcoming disarmament exercise and to sensitize them on plans by UNAMSIL to deploy in the area.

At a ceremony in the market square, Sheku Seiya, a CDF member captured by the RUF on 18 April, was handed over to the Force Commander, who brought him back to Kenema.