Disarmament Stalls Again in Sierra Leone

150 150 Rapaport News

(Rapaport…November 27, 2001) Disarmament in Sierra Leone’s diamond-mining center of Tongo Field did not get underway as scheduled on November 26. Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel leadership has said that it is waiting for approval from higher authorities in Makeni before it begins disarming. United Nations spokeswoman Margaret Novicki said there were logistic as well as political issues behind the latest delay.

A member of Sierra Leone’s parliament questioned whether the disarming of Tongo before next May’s elections is even plausible.

“I don’t think the timetable is even going to be correct as far as Tongo is concerned,” People’s Democratic Party representative Kemoh Sesay told the BBC. “There are no indications that they are moving in accordance with what they’ve set as a pace for disarmament. It is still at a snail’s pace, and I think by May they may not even be able to disarm Tongo.”

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