UNAMSIL to Deploy Police in Sierra Leone Towns

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(Rapaport…July 25, 2001) The United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) announced on July 14 that it had reached an agreement between its peacekeeping operation and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) to deploy police officers in the towns of Makeni and Magburaka in Sierra Leone.

The agreement was reached at a meeting between UNAMSIL’s special representative for governance and stabilization, Alan Doss; the inspector general of police, Keith Biddle; advisers from the international Civilian Police force; and officers of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP).

“The deployment of the SLP in these towns is an important step forward in the extension of state authority throughout the country,” said a representative from the peacekeeping operation.

The RUF said it welcomed the deployment, starting on August 1, of 600 to 700 police officers in the two towns. UNAMSIL said that weapons of the Special Services Division would be “kept under lock and key and used only in self defense.” A community Safety and Security Committee is also in the process of being established.

Other issues addressed at the meeting include a possible curfew if necessary and the referral of suspects to the magistrate’s court in Port Loko.

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