Thursday, August 5, 1999 Published at 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Sierra Leone rebels 'want to atone'
UN leaders want an inquiry into atrocities like amputations
Rebels in Sierra Leone say they want to atone for the atrocities they have committed and help rebuild their country.
Following last month's peace deal, he said the important thing now "is to reconcile, apologise, to atone, to ask forgiveness, to do practical things to help our country".
"Insofar as the RUF is concerned not only would I want to engage in sympathy with them, but I will be looking at how we were going to help these people," he said.
BBC West Africa Correspondent Mark Doyle says that one of the tactics of the rebels during the war was to chop off people's limbs as a warning to others against supporting the democratically-elected government.
And he believes that creating a new administration to include rebels as ministers, as evisaged under the peace deal, is unlikely to be politically easy as they are deeply unpopular among many Sierra Leoneans.
Peace-keeping under scrutiny
In New York, detailed discussions are due to get under way on the future of peace-keeping in Sierra Leone.
Eight years of civil war have devastated Sierra Leone. Nearly half the country's population is thought to have been displaced.
The United Nations recently placed Sierra Leone bottom of its list ranking how countries are meeting the needs of their people.