Sierra Leone: UN mission reports fast pace of disarmament effort
According to UNAMSIL, as the mission is known, a total of 359 ex-fighters handed in their weapons over the past two days in the eastern districts of Kailahun and Kenema, bringing to 42,132 the total number of combatants disarmed in the country since the programme began in May 2001.
Of the total, 16,620 were from the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and 25,314 from the pro-government Civil Defence Force (CDF). The remaining 198 were former Sierra Leone Army and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council members.
UNAMSIL said the total number exceeded its projections that some 30,000 combatants would disarm as a result of the exercise. More ex-fighters were expected to turn in their weapons by 5 January, the date by which the Mission intends to complete the disarmament process.