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 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
Monitoring 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


The BBC's Sylvestre Rogers
A tense stand-off between Kenyan soldiers and rebels
 real 28k

Wednesday, 5 January, 2000, 19:46 GMT
Sierra Leone rebels block UN troops

Kenyan peacekeepers Kenyans were the first UN troops to arrive in Sierra Leone


Rebels in Sierra Leone have stopped a detachment of United Nations peacekeepers from entering a rebel-held town.

Sierra Leone
UN forces are in the process of being deployed across the country to disarm and demobilise former combatants.

BBC correspondent Sylvestre Rogers, who was travelling with the 450 Kenyan peacekeepers, said rebel soldiers would not let them enter the town of Makeni.

The rebels, who included members of both the Revolutionary United Front and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, said the UN troops had to show proof of clearance from rebel commanders.

The UN soldiers insisted they had authorisation. But the rebels would not listen, and the situation became more tense as a rebel colonel arrived with reinforcements.

Gunfire

The BBC correspondent said the colonel was "very discourteous" to his Kenyan counterpart, who acted diplomatically throughout the confrontation - despite "accidental" gunfire by a 14-year-old rebel fighter.

The Kenyans eventually had to return to the base from which they had come.

One rebel officer said that if Nigerian soldiers had approached the town, the rebels would have opened fire without asking questions

Nigerian troops are currently preparing to leave Sierra Leone, having led the Sierra Leonean government's fight against the rebels for the past decade.

The incident near Makeni is the latest setback in a process which has already suffered delays.

In one notable success for the peacekeepers, a Ghanaian contingent has gone to Daru in eastern Sierra Leone - a diamond-producing centre formerly controlled by the rebels.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Africa Contents

Country profiles

See also:
05 Jan 00 |  Africa
Uncertainty as Nigerians leave Sierra Leone
02 Dec 99 |  Africa
Gurkhas to tackle Sierra Leone troublespot
30 Nov 99 |  Africa
UN troops arrive in Sierra Leone
24 May 99 |  Africa
Analysis: Battle to rebuild shattered Sierra Leone
13 Feb 99 |  Africa
Grim facts of Sierra Leone's war
07 Dec 99 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Cleaning up the diamond badlands

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