Wednesday, January 6, 1999 Published at 20:36 GMT
Battle for Sierra Leone
Fighting has been reported in Freetown
Government and rebel forces in Sierra Leone are both claiming to have control of the capital, Freetown.
They were also reported to have stormed the main prison in Freetown to release their supporters, and burned down several buildings including the Nigerian embassy and the police headquarters.
Asked what it would take to stop the fighting he said he wanted to ask the Nigerian government to hand back other rebel leaders.
He said rebel armed forces and the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone were in complete control of the city and taking over the reins of government."
City gains for rebels
Sierra Leone's Government and the Nigerian-led intervention force, Ecomog, have denied the rebel gains and say they are still firmly in control of Freetown.
BBC West Africa Correspondent Mark Doyle, who is in Freetown, says the claims and counter-claims are impossible to verify.
Independent reports on Wednesday said the rebels had fought their way into the city and taken up positions in the centre close to State House.
Ecomog has said it still controls strategically important points in the city. Our correspondent says it is in control of the international airport, across a river estuary from Freetown city.
UN staff evacuated
As fighting intensified in the capital, the United Nations military observer mission pulled out of the country, following most of the expatriate community.
A spokesman for the UN's World Food Programme, Wagdi Othman, said: "The population is terrified."
Speaking from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, he said: "They don't know what is happening in the city and who is in control."
The rebels, together with remnants of the ousted military government, have made recent gains in the north of Sierra Leone.
They are loyal to the former military regime of Foday Sankoh, which ousted President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in May 1997.
President Kabbah was restored by Ecomog forces in February 1998 and has enjoyed broad international support.
Nigeria has an estimated 15,000 troops in Sierra Leone.