Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Wednesday, 1 December, 1999, 10:42 GMT
Rebels, troops clash in Sierra Leone
UN chief military observer, General Joshi The first UN peacekeepers arrived this week

Rebels in Sierra Leone are reported to have attacked the West African intervention force force, Ecomog, as the first United Nations troops arrived in the country to oversee the disarmament process.

Sierra Leone
Civilians fleeing the area said that rebels of the Revolutionary United Front had attacked Ghanaian troops serving with Ecomog in a village near the capital, Freetown.

They shot dead one of the Ghanaians, who reportedly then killed four of the rebels.

Sporadic fighting has also continued in the north of the country between the rebel forces and Ecomog, a Nigerian-led force which has been defending the elected government of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah against the rebellion.

The incidents highlight the ongoing tensions between rebels and Ecomog, which have already cast a shadow over the plans for peace in Sierra Leone.

Part of the Ecomog force is to be incorporated into the UN peacekeeping force, which has led to objections from rebel leaders.

Disarmament held up

Ecomog soldiers Ecomog soldiers are to be incorporated into the UN-led force
Our West Africa correspondent reports from the eastern town of Daru that rebels there say they support the peace process and are prepared in theory to disarm.

But rebel commanders say they will not disarm to the Nigerian-led intervention force, against which they have been fighting for years.

Daru is held by the West African intervention force, but rebel positions surround it just a few kilometres from the town. UN peacekeepers are eventually to enter the town once the force is at full strength

A UN-sponsored disarmament camp in Daru, where the rebels and the armed pro-government militia are supposed to hand in their guns, stands empty and redundant.

Fighting has however ceased in the town, and trading is taking place in the market.

The first members of the UN's 6,000-strong peacekeeping force arrived in the capital, Freetown, on Tuesday, to police an agreement signed in July between the government and rebels

The UN force will take several weeks to gather. A battalion of Indian soldiers is scheduled to arrive next, along with Indian Major General Vijay Kumar Jetley who is to command the entire UN force.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
30 Nov 99 |  Africa
UN troops arrive in Sierra Leone
25 Nov 99 |  Africa
British clean-up for Sierra police
22 Nov 99 |  Africa
Sierra Leone rebels form political party
24 May 99 |  Africa
Analysis: Battle to rebuild shattered Sierra Leone
13 Feb 99 |  Africa
Grim facts of Sierra Leone's war

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Africa stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories