Sunday, February 14, 1999 Published at 19:04 GMT
Ecomog denies abuse allegations
Ecomog denies its forces were involved in abuses
The West African intervention force in Sierra Leone, Ecomog, has denied allegations by the UN that it has carried out summary executions.
A spokesman for Ecomog, Lieutenant Chris Olukolade, is reported as saying he was not aware of any such killings.
He said Ecomog had no mandate to execute anyone, and its soldiers had always exercised restraint.
The UN document said that there had been reports that the West African peacekeeping force Ecomog had been "summarily executing detainees who were allegedly either rebels or rebel sympathisers".
Casualty figure not known
A large number of bodies were believed to have been left in ruined buildings or to have been hastily buried on waste ground.
Since rebel forces had renewed their offensive against Sierra Leone's democratically elected government in December, conservative estimates put the total casualty figure at between 3,000 and 5,000, said the UN report.
Many of the soldiers on the rebel side were children, with some as young as eight.
Although human rights violations by the Nigerian-led Ecomog force and Sierra Leone's Civil Defence Forces did not match the scale of rebel atrocities, they were nonetheless totally unacceptable, the report said.