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UN mission reports progress in Sierra Leone's disarmament effort

UN mission reports progress in Sierra Leone's disarmament effort

A top United Nations peacekeeping official in Sierra Leone has reported progress in the disarmament process after leading an assessment team to two of the country's districts, the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) said today.

UNAMSIL's acting force commander, Maj. Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, accompanied by the Chief Military Observer, Maj. Gen. Athar Ali, and other senior military officers, witnessed yesterday the successful completion of the disarmament exercise in Kono District and also progress made thus far in Koinadugu District.

Gen. Agwai and his entourage were received in Koidu, Kono District, by the Sector 5 Commander, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who briefed them on the general security situation in the area and gave an update on the just-completed disarmament exercise.

In Makeni, Col. Bai Bureh, Brigade Commander of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) forces, accompanied the team to Alkalia, where he instructed his men to hand over their weapons to UNAMSIL in order to speed up the disarmament process, explaining that transportation and bad roads were responsible for the slow pace of disarmament in the area.

In the northern town of Kabala in Koinadugu District, Gen. Agwai said he was pleased with the conduct of the disarmament exercise in the area, where disarmament is scheduled to end on 31 August.